THE HEALING SPELL by Kimberley Griffiths Little


Age Range: 8 - 12


Set in the heart of Cajun country, this novel tells the story of 12-year-old Livie Mouton, who is living with a terrible secret. Her mother is in a coma, and Livie thinks she’s the one who put her there. Her heart heavy with memories of terrible fights and bitter words, Livie can’t bear to touch her mother, let alone do her part in her daily care. Instead, Livie seeks another way to help. She travels through the swamp to see a traiteur, a faith healer, who gives Livie a complicated spell intended to cure her mother. If she hopes to complete it, Livie will first have to make peace with her family and herself. Little’s portrayal of Cajun culture is a mixed bag; while it gets some things right, such as speech rhythms and dialect, there are unfortunate misrepresentations of other aspects of the culture, including, for example, the role of the traiteur as feared outsider. Still, an interesting story with likable characters and a lot of heart. (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: July 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-545-16559-4
Page count: 368pp
Publisher: Scholastic
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1st, 2010


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