27 Magic Words

Praise for 27 Magic Words:

  • Starred review from Kirkus
  • Starred review from School Library Journal
  • Selected by the Iowa Center for the Book as Iowa’s title for the 2016 National Book Festival’s Discover Great Places through Reading Map
  • A 2017 Notable Children’s Book in the Language Arts http://childrensliteratureassembly.org/notables.html



When the story begins, Kobi is shielded from the world by people who love her: Grandmamma, her sister Brook, Mr. Gyver. Yet she chooses to deal with the loss of her parents privately, trusting the power of the secret magic words her mother gave her.

A move from her privileged life in Paris to an ordinary life in Des Moines, Iowa, is hard. She’s forced to grow up. And she does, making new friends and family in a new place. And she never gives up her belief in magic words.

From the author:

The inspiration for 27 Magic Words comes from the people in my life: husband, parents, sisters, grandparents, aunts and uncles. I also believe in environmental responsibility and social justice. And the magic of imagination. And friendship. And the power of words. And absolutely most of all: love. So these are the themes of 27 Magic Words.

Educators’ Guide available at http://www.holidayhouse.com

Holiday House ISBN 9780823436576               Ages 8-12