Ms. Yingling's Reviews > Circle of Secrets

Circle of Secrets by Kimberley Griffiths Little
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May 22, 2012

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Read in May, 2012

Shelby is angry at everyone. Her father, because he's going away and can't leave her with her grandmother, who is in the hospital. Her mother, who walked away from the family a year ago. The new students in her school who slyly taunt her. Shelby's mother is a healer and her house is in the swamp, so her new classmates have plenty of ammunition to tease her. When Shelby meets Gwen, she is relieved to have someone to talk to, but she's concerned because Gwen's parents are missing and she is staying on her own. While dealing with Gwen's problems, Shelby becomes somewhat more understanding of her mother's difficulties in living away from the swamp with Shelby's overbearing paternal grandmother, and starts to embrace the odd life the two make in the swamp. Gwen's secrets, however, take on a new urgency when they put Shelby in danger.
Strengths: This was a good ghost mystery, reminiscent of Barrett's Cold in Summer. There is a very strong sense of place, and Shelby's difficulties are realistic and not easily solved.
Weaknesses: Anything with a quirky/Southern component is never my favorite, especially when there is a bit of dialect ("jest" for "just"). No idea why.
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