27 Magic Words

27 Magic Words

Book - 2016
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Although Kobi's parents sailed into a storm five years ago, she believes they are alive, and when she is sent from her grandmother's luxurious Paris apartment to live with an uncle in Iowa, Kobi tells lies that soon catch up with her.
Publisher: New York : Holiday House, [2016]
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780823436576
0823436578
Branch Call Number: Ju F Mor
Alternative Title: Twenty-seven magic words

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chelseasc
Jan 19, 2017

Surprisingly, this was one of my favorite reads of 2016. It would be easy for some readers to be turned off by what may appear to be a spoiled little rich girl story, but Moranville does a masterful job of making both Kobi and Brook relatable and sympathetic. Their grief over the loss of their parents is still achingly raw, and their fear over losing the only other family they know, Grandmama, feels entirely natural. While their privilege is undeniable, these are two girls who have lost much, and who continue to be shuttled around by the adults in their lives without much say. Any child can relate to the feeling of powerlessness of adults making all the decisions, and while Grandmama and Uncle Wim are clearly trying to do their best, readers will sympathize with the instability and sense of loss that Kobi and Brook feel so acutely.

Moranville adds a touch of magic to the story, too - their father was a magician, and their mother, a writer, left 27 words for Kobi that she truly believes can affect the course of everyday life. She even relies on one of them to see what she believes to be her parents, shipwrecked on a desert island. As Kobi's facade begins to crack under the stress of her new life, a nicely executed twist (that some readers may anticipate), illuminates the depths of Kobi's grief, and adds further complexity to her relationships with her family and friends. All the characters are nicely realized, adults and children alike, and Moranville manages to weave in numerous complicated issues, from OCD to dementia to changing relationships between parents and children, without the book feeling overstuffed or glossing over complexity.

Understated, emotionally authentic, and gentle, with memorable characters and a great depth of feeling, this is a quietly lovely book, and one that I hope more young readers pick up. Not overly dark, and respectful of young readers, it should find a broad audience.

j
joywolf83
Jan 05, 2017

You have two bougie girls who grow up pampered then move to America to their uncle's place. The older sister dealing with ocd, is loving and kind until she attends middle school. Then she immediately turns rude to her younger sister. The younger sister doesn't remember her parents dying and imagines alot. So she creates lies to cope with the brats at school. The Uncle they go to live with is nice but vague which is irritating because there's no reason to have any mystery. It's made clear from the start: the parents are dead. Even when the girl herself finally understands her parents are dead, everyone is like 'O I thought you knew. After all you were 5 YEARS OLD' Yeah. Why wouldn't a 5 year old remember everything that happened perfectly.

At first I could take it or leave. However as the book wore on, it became more and more repulsive. From the arrogance of the sisters, to the brats at school, to the non information from any adult ...... this is one book I completely disliked. If I could I would give it negative stars. I can not understand how people would think kids would like this book. I could *maybe see the appeal to adults. However, are we that out of touch with what *kids* relate to and enjoy?!

LPL_LaurenT Dec 22, 2016

After Kobi's parents disappear during a boating accident, Kobi finds out that the 27 words her mom, a writer, gave to her on Post-it notes, are magic and can make the most amazing things happen. When Kobi and her sister Brook are sent to live with their Uncle Wim, in Iowa, Kobi feels she needs those words more than ever. Poignant and sweet. I couldn't put this novel down. Full of VERY heavy subjects: mental disorder, trauma, dementia, loss, this book tackles a lot of difficult topics, yet still ends up being a magical read.

Kobi and her sister move to the U.S. from Paris when their grandmother decides to remarry. Living with their uncle introduces them to a whole new way of life.

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chelseasc
Jan 19, 2017

chelseasc thinks this title is suitable for 8 years and over

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