Bayou Magic

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Nature is full of mysterious, and can seem magical at times. However, not all people fully appreciate the wonders of the environment. “Bayou Magic” by Jewell Parker Rhodes shares the story of Maddy, a ten year old girl that understands the importance of nature, even when her sisters do not. This novel is an enchanting read, and is great for students ages nine to twelve.

Maddy and her sisters take turns visiting their grandmother over the summer. Until now, Maddy has never gotten to visit her grandmother, who she calls Grandmėre. Her sisters joke about Grandmėre being a witch, and Maddy becomes afraid of what will happen during her visit. However, when she is introduced into the Bayou that Grandmėre calls home, she realizes what her sisters never did: both the magic and importance held by the enchanting environment.

“Bayou Magic” teaches the reader about why nature is beautiful and that it is important to protect. Reading the story through Maddy’s perspective helps the reader connect with her and understand what makes her different from her sisters, who do not respect nature like she does. The Bayou is filled with new plants, animals, and people for both Maddy and the reader to connect with. She learns about the history of her family while making new friends, and is given the chance of carrying on her family’s legacy when her sisters did not. Using this new power, ten year old Maddy must find the courage to protect her new second home from a devastating oil spill. Will Maddy be able to protect both the Bayou and her family’s legacy?