I received this book for free from Scholastic Press in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

{Circle of Secrets: Kimberley Griffiths Little}Circle of Secrets by Kimberley Griffiths Little
Series: Bayou Bridge Louisiana
Published by Scholastic Press on October 1, 2011
Genres: Childrens, Middle School, Science Fiction
Pages: 336
Format: Hardcover
Source: Scholastic Press
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{Synopsis} – Critically acclaimed author Kimberley Griffiths Little weaves a haunting story of friendship and family and the power of faith, once again set against the lush backdrop of the Lousiana bayou.

After her mother walked out on Shelby Jayne and her dad, Shelby thought she'd never speak to her mamma again. But with her dad leaving the country for work, it turns out she doesn't have a choice: Shelby has to move back into her mamma's house, deep in the heart of the Louisiana bayou.

Her new classmates tease and torment her, so Shelby's relieved to finally find a friend in Gwen, a mysterious girl who lives alone on the bayou. But Shelby can't help wondering if Gwen has something to do with the puzzling messages she finds hidden in the blue bottle tree behind her house. The only person who might be able to explain is her mamma — but Shelby's not ready to ask. Not yet. It may take a brush with something from the beyond to help Shelby see that the power to put her own ghosts to rest is within her reach.

Kimberley Griffiths Little's haunting and powerful tale brings one girl's attempt to grapple with family, friendship, and forgiveness to beautiful, vivid life.

{My thoughts} – I have apparently read these books all out of order. But it’s okay because they make their own individual stories as well as stories combined to build a better story and a wonderful book world.

Shelby is a nearly twelve-old girl that has a lot on her plate. She hadn’t seen her Mom or been around her much in the past year and now she’s going to be living with her for six months. Her Dad has a job that is taking him out of country and her Grandma is in the hospital having hip surgery. Shelby has a lot of resentment towards her Mom which makes their relationship really strained. When she first gets there she does everything she can to irritate her Mom in hopes that maybe she won’t have to have to stay there for the entire six months.

She gets calls from her Dad and from her Grandma while she is there, but it’s not the same to her because she really misses them both and would rather be with them then with her Mom whom she believes never really cared about her. Her mom does everything she can to try and make the transition easier and also tries to help her understand the choices that were made when in the past and how much she wishes she could have changed a lot of things, but Shelby doesn’t really hear her out, she’s stubborn and really mad or angry about the whole thing.

Throughout this book Shelby struggles to find her place in a new school, with new peers. She misses her one friend back home LizAnn and she misses her home, the one with her Dad and her Grandma. She ends up meeting the wrong group of kids and they try to bully and or peer pressure her into things that she knows she shouldn’t be doing and then she meets Gwen.

Gwen is a mystery, I’m going to say. If you are interested in reading about Shelby and Gwen and their story which is truly heartbreaking. I admit I teared up and I cried some, who wouldn’t. Some points in this book just grab a hold of your emotions and keep on tugging! I think that if you want to read about an almost twelve-old girl and her struggle to accept change that is out of her control, that you’ll enjoy this book. I know I did, I also have read the other three in the series and I have enjoyed those as well. It’s an easy series to fall in love with. While I read this I could almost feel like I was right there taking a part in the story myself and to me that a wonderful experience when your reading, it leaves a lasting imprint on the reader. I can’t wait to share this series with my daughter very soon. I am sure she will enjoy it as much as I did.

Final Conclusion: 5 Star Rating.