Bayou Magic
Bayou Magic

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Annotation: Visiting her grandmother in the Louisiana bayou, ten-year-old Maddy begins to realize that she may be the only sibling to carry on the gift of her family's magical legacy.
Catalog Number: #119024
Format: Perma-Bound Edition
All Formats: Search
Common Core/STEAM: Common Core Common Core
Copyright Date: 2016
Edition Date: 2016
Pages: 239 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 0-316-22485-5 Perma-Bound: 0-605-93956-X
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-316-22485-7 Perma-Bound: 978-0-605-93956-1
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2014029152
Dimensions: 20 cm.
Language: English
School Library Journal Starred Review
Gr 36 Maddy lives with her family in New Orleans. At almost 10, she is the youngest of five girls, and this summer it will be her turn to stay with her grandmother in the bayou. Apprehensive about the visither sisters say Grandmère is a witch, whose house has no electricity or indoor plumbingMaddy is also excited to discover Bon Temps. Soon, Grandmère teaches Maddy about healing herbs and their family history. When Maddy finds that she can call fireflies and see mermaids, Grandmère tells her the story of Mami Wata, the water spirit who accompanied their slave ancestors from Africa. Maddy soon comes to love the wetlands and the residents of Bon Temps, human and otherwise. So when the Gulf oil spill threatens the town, it is Maddy who must use her magic to save her new home. Some sensitive subject matter may be disturbing to younger readersMaddy's friend has an alcoholic father who inadvertently hurts him and then later dies in the explosion. Maddy is a brave and hopeful heroine, and the descriptions of the bayou are almost as magical as her legacy. VERDICT Hand this to middle grade readers who enjoy family stories, history, and a dose of fanciful magic. Laurie Slagenwhite Walters, Brighton District Library, Brighton, MI
Starred Review ALA Booklist
*Starred Review* It's 10-year-old Maddy's turn to spend a summer with her maternal grandmother on the bayou in Bon Temps, Louisiana. She has heard stories from her sisters about the strange woman they call "Grandmére," but Maddy can't wait to go. During her stay, she meets the locals and makes friends with Bear, whose father works on a deepwater oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico and who is looked after by the bayou people. Under Grandmére's tutelage, Maddy learns her family's history, important life lessons taught through wise, simple dictums, and becomes adept at watching and listening. She comes to understand that family magic is deep within her, and when she senses that something bad is about to happen, she realizes that the only one able to keep her beloved bayou from being destroyed is her. Environmental issues that have impacted and continue to threaten the Gulf Coast play a strong role, shaping Maddy's understanding of humanity's connection to the fragile ecosystem. Though her stirring coming-of-age story is set in a world of magic, folk history, and ritual that is easy to embrace, at the same time it revels in friendship and love, and reflects life in the Deep South. Looking to add diversity to your shelves? Look no further than the fascinating characters that populate Bon Temps and experience the community in which they live.
Word Count: 31,041
Reading Level: 3.1
Interest Level: 3-6
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 3.1 / points: 4.0 / quiz: 174062 / grade: Middle Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:2.4 / points:9.0 / quiz:Q66160
Lexile: 410L
Guided Reading Level: V
Fountas & Pinnell: V

A magical coming-of-age story from Coretta Scott King honor author Jewell Parker Rhodes, rich with Southern folklore, friendship, family, fireflies and mermaids, plus an environmental twist.

It's city-girl Maddy's first summer in the bayou, and she just falls in love with her new surroundings - the glimmering fireflies, the glorious landscape, and something else, deep within the water, that only she can see. Could it be a mermaid? As her grandmother shares wisdom about sayings and signs, Maddy realizes she may be the only sibling to carry on her family's magical legacy. And when a disastrous oil leak threatens the bayou, she knows she may also be the only one who can help. Does she have what it takes to be a hero? Jewell Parker Rhodes weaves a rich tale celebrating the magic within.

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