“In real life, it’s hard to be a hero. Bad things happen and you can’t fix everything yourself. You need good friends and hope.”

Bayou Magic is part of the Louisiana Girls Trilogy

Bayou Magic

It’s Maddy’s turn to have a bayou summer. At first she misses life back home in the city, but soon she grows to love everything about her new surroundings—the glimmering fireflies, the glorious landscape, and something else, deep within the water, that only Maddy sees. Could it be a mermaid? As her grandmother shares wisdom about sayings and signs, Maddy realizes she may be only the sibling to carry on her family’s magical legacy. And when a disastrous oil leak threatens the bayou, she knows she may also be the only one who can help. Does she have what it takes to be a hero?

A coming-of-age tale rich with folk magic, set in the wake of the Gulf oil spill, Bayou Magic celebrates hope, friendship, and family, and captures the wonder of life in the Deep South.

Want to own an autographed copy of Bayou Magic? Order one straight from Jewell!



Introducing Bayou Magic by Jewell Parker Rhodes


Recognition and Accolades awarded to Bayou Magic

Magnolia Book Award Shortlist
University of Southern Mississippi

South Carolina Book Award Nominee
South Carolina Association of School Librarians

Top 10 Multicultural Fiction for Youth
Booklist Online

We Need Diverse Books Educational Kit Selection

We Need Diverse Books

LA Times Summer Read Selection: Middle Grade
Los Angeles Times

Cybil’s Elementary/Middle Grade Speculative Fiction Finalists


Teaching for Change’s Favorite Books: Middle School & Adult Fiction

Teaching for Change Books

We Need Diverse Books End of the Year List

We Need Diverse Books

Center for the Study Multicultural Children’s Literature Best Multicultural Books



Words of praise for Bayou Magic from the press and authors

Bayou Magic revels in friendship, and love while reflecting life in the Deep South. Looking to add diversity to your shelves? Look no farther than the characters that populate Bon Temps and experience the community in which they live.”

Booklist, Starred Review

“Maddy is a brave and hopeful heroine, and the descriptions of the bayou are almost as magical as her legacy.”
School Library Journal

“Hand this to middle grade readers who enjoy family stories, history, and a dose of fanciful magic.”
School Library Journal, Starred Review

“Readers will be easily drawn into Rhodes’s heady descriptions, and as environmental disaster threatens the landscape Maddy has come to love, her heroism shines as she protects the community and recognizes her own strength.”
Publishers Weekly

“A richly evocative middle grade fantasy adventure…The author brings the flavors, sights and scents of the bayou into the reader’s imagination.”
Views From The Tesseract


Interviews on Bayou Magic

Jewell Parker Rhodes’s “Bayou Magic” Explores Fantasy, Folklore, and Family Ties

School Library Journal

Jewell Parker Rhodes: A Magical Summer in the Bayou


Jewell Parker Rhodes: Living the Dream and Writing for Children: Children’s Institute 2015

Publisher’s Weekly

The Louisiana Girls Trilogy

The Louisiana Girls Trilogy are stories of young girls coming of age and finding the strength to overcome adversity. They are steeped in the folklore of the deep south of America and are hugely popular with young readers.

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