27 Magic Words by Sharelle Byars Moranville

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An irrepressible ten-year-old with a vibrant imagination must reconcile her fantasies with reality in this beautifully written novel about facing the future.

Although Kobi's parents sailed into a storm at sea five years ago, she knows they are alive. If she says Avanti she can see them. Now that her life is being turned upside down again, she will need the magic words her mother left behind more than ever. Instead of living with wealthy Grandmamma in Paris, Kobi and her sister will temporarily stay in Des Moines, Iowa. There, the girls will, as Uncle Wim puts it, live like normal kids for a change. To fit in at her new school Kobi tells lies that soon catch up with her.

In a heart-wrenching climax, she must confront not only the untruths she has told others but the stories she has made herself believe. Only then will she be able to grieve for her parents and move on with her life.


About Sharelle Byars Moranville

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Sharelle Byars Moranville is the author of the middle-grade novel Over the River, which Booklist called "beautifully written" in a starred review and A Higher Geometry, a Booklist Top 10 Romance for Youth. She lives in West Des Moines, Iowa.
Published July 30, 2016 by Holiday House. 208 pages
Genres: Children's Books.

Unrated Critic Reviews for 27 Magic Words

Gr 4–6—Despite the titular magic, there is no fantasy in this quietly moving, well-paced work—just the reality of a child deep in denial ultimately coming to terms with her parents' death. Ten-year-old Kobi and her older sister live in Paris with their grandmother, enjoying a seemingly enviable l...

Aug 01 2016 | Read Full Review of 27 Magic Words