Sunday, August 31, 2014

Spirit's Key by Edith Cohn

Sometime this summer my good friend, Colby Sharp, began raving about a book he'd read called Spirit's Key. Looking it up online, I realized it didn't come out until September. Darn that Colby, he always gets me excited about books when I can't read them. Fortunately for me, the author heard from Colby that I might like to read a copy and sent one my way. I am ever so grateful she did. 

Spirit's Key is just the kind of book I enjoy. You have a great protagonist in Spirit - a twelve year old girl who lives on an island with her dad. Her dad has the family talent - the ability to see your future when he holds your key. Usually family members inherit this ability at the age of twelve, but it hasn't happened for Spirit yet. 

I was fascinated by so many of the characters in this book - the island really is like a small town with people who know everything about their neighbors. There is also an element of mystery. The island is populated by a group of wild dogs know as baldies. Local legend has it that these dogs are evil, but Spirit knows otherwise. Her dog, Sky, was one of them, but Sky died mysteriously before the book begins. Spirit needs to be strong and brave to figure out what is happening in her town - why are so many of the baldies dying? Why are members of the community getting sick? Sky's ghost returns to help her find these answers and so much more.

I loved this book because I know it is one my students will treasure. Beyond being a story about the love between a child and a pet, the book looks at themes such as fear and prejudice, but in a way my fifth graders can understand. My only quibble with this story was that I didn't want to see it end. Grab Spirit's Key when it goes on sale September 9th. Your students will love it.