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27 Magic Words

By: Sharelle Byars Moranville
Recommended for grade(s): 4, 5

An irrepressible ten-year-old must reconcile her fantasies with reality in this beautifully written novel about facing the future. Although eleven-year-old 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 wealthy Parisian Grandmama is sending Kobi and her sister away to live with Uncle Wim in Iowa, she will need the magic words her mother left her more than ever. To fit in at her new American school , Kobi tells lies that soon catch up with her, and leans heavily on her magic. 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. –From Holiday House

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