Monday, December 22, 2014

Bayou Magic by: Jewell Parker Rhodes

Bayou Magic is another wonderful story written by Jewell Parker Rhodes.  The story is about Maddy, who is the youngest in her family.  All of her siblings have had a turn spending the summer on the Bayou with her Grandmere (Grandmother).  Now it is Maddy's turn.  She has always lived in the city and at first she is very nervous in her new surroundings.  However it doesn't take Maddy long to feel right at home on the bayou.

Maddy learns from her Grandmere that she has the "family magic" in her and she can call fireflies.  She soon has a special firefly of her own.  Grandmere tells Maddy about the history of their family and how they came to live in Louisiana.  During the story, Gradmere tells Maddy about Mami Wata, the mermaid who swam along the slave trading ships offering hope to those trapped inside the ships.

Bear is a boy who lives in the bayou and becomes Maddy's friend.  While they play in the waters of the bayou, they look for mermaids.  Bear is not able to see Mami Wata but he believes Maddy when she tells him about seeing her.  Bear's father works on an oil rig and is only home for short periods of time.  It is when Bear's father is home and Bear isn't with Maddy that Maddy has underwater adventures with Mami Wata.

Maddy has such love for the world around her that she will say "thank you" to the hen who lays her eggs for their breakfast.  While on a shrimping boat she thanks the shrimp for the goodness they will bring to her and her friends on the bayou.  Maddy begins to sense the world around her, sensing when things are not right and what to do to set things right.  When she sees three mermaids, she senses that trouble comes in threes.  Soon thereafter, Maddy hears a big explosion.  The rig where Bear's father works has exploded and word comes that Bear's father has died.  Oil is in the Gulf and it is soon entering the bayou and hurting many animals.  Maddy believes that she can save the people and animals she has come to love on the bayou but she is not sure what to do.  She begins to call to Mami Wata.  Can she and the other mermaids help?

Jewell Parker Rhodes and Me
I loved this book.  Jewell Parker Rhodes is one of my new favorite authors.  I had the pleasure of meeting her and she has such passion about the stories she writes.  She writes in such a way that you feel like you've made a new friend in the characters of her books.  I would highly recommend you find all the books she has written and read them.  Watch for this book in bookstores and online booksellers starting in May 2015.

Happy Daily Reading

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