Description from GoodReads:
By now, twelve-year-old Spirit Holden should have inherited the family gift: the ability to see the future. But when she holds a house key in her hand like her dad does to read its owner's destiny, she can’t see anything. Maybe it’s because she can't get over the loss of her beloved dog, Sky, who died mysteriously. Sky was Spirit’s loyal companion, one of the wild dogs that the local islanders believe possess dangerous spirits. As more dogs start dying and people become sick, too, almost everyone is convinced that these dogs and their spirits are to blame—except for Spirit. Then Sky's ghost appears, and Spirit is shaken. But his help may be the key to unlocking her new power and finding the cause of the mysterious illness before it's too late.
My thoughts on the book:
Every once in awhile, I find myself struggling to find a book to just read for enjoyment. One that doesn't require me to read dozens of pages before my interest is piqued. When I picked up Spirit's Key, I was a bit nervous. I love the cover, and was curious about the premise of the story. It seemed to be exactly the type of book I would enjoy. I, also, had met Cohn at several Southern California author events. It is always fantastic when the person you know and the book you read are equally wonderfully. However, I was thrilled when I easily slipped into the story and found myself investing in the characters and what would happen to each one of them.
Spirit's Key has a little of everything. A delightful main character named Spirit Holden who is twelve years old and lives with her father, who has the ability to see things about the future when holding someone's key. Quirky secondary characters, superstitions, ghosts - well ghosts of dogs, and a mystery. To top it all off, it is set on an island. See, how can you not be interested in this already?
One of the things that I loved about Spirit's Key is that despite being about physic abilities and spirit dogs, the story is very real. Small communities are filled with their own set of rules for how they interact with one another and in what they believe. Those beliefs can help to develop and establish their fundamental guidelines for living together. However, they can also do much damage especially if driven by fear. Regardless of whether Spirit has inherited her father's gift or not, she still has to battle against prejudices, especially about the local baldies (wild dog packs that live on the island). With the direction of her father, the support of friends, and the encouragement from the spirit of her dog, Sky, Spirit unearths the truth about what is killing the baldies and making people ill, and uses it to create a future for her community.
Finally, I love the cover to Spirit's Key. The wonderfully delightful Eliza Wheeler (Miss Maple's Seeds, The Grudgekeeper) designed the cover. If you look at the cover carefully, you might notice that Wheeler also illustrated the cover for one of my favorite books in 2013, Holly Black's Newbery Honor book, Doll Bones. And fans of Black's Doll Bones will likely find another book to enjoy.
Here is to wishing Edith Cohn a very happy book birthday. Her debut Middle Grade novel, Spirit's Key is now available for everyone to read and enjoy. Pick up a copy at your local indie bookstore or look for it in your public library.
Don't forget to check out Edith Cohn's recent guest post here.
There is still time to enter the SPIRIT'S KEY Giveaway:
Thank you to Macmillan, one lucky reader will win a copy of Edith's book SPIRIT'S KEY. And Edith is offering a copy of a poster she created. To learn about how to get a copy of the Be the Breed that Reads Poster click here. To enter for a chance to win a copy of the book you need to be 13 years old or older and have a US mailing address. Complete the rafflecopter below.