Read Spirit's Key by Edith Cohn Online


Spirit's Key is a mystery with a bit of magic for fans of Savvy and Because of Winn Dixie.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 dSpirit's Key is a mystery with a bit of magic for fans of Savvy and Because of Winn Dixie.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....

Title : Spirit's Key
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780374300111
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 320 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Spirit's Key Reviews

  • Mercedes
    2019-04-12 14:25

    I really enjoy reading children's books as an adult. Sadly I felt that whilst I would have really enjoyed this as an child it didn't work for me as an adult reader. It was much too simplistic for me.

  • Benji Martin
    2019-04-08 15:35

    All righty then. I've been looking for THAT book this year, the book I was going to obsess over, recommend to every student that asked for a suggestion, and cheer my heart out for come Newbery season, and this might be it. If Revolution, Fourteenth Goldfish or some random dark horse doesn't blow me away, then I'm on Team Spirit.I laughed when I read that it was for fans of Because of Winn-Dixie and Savvy, because really? Those two don't go together, but I knew that any decent publisher wouldn't be brave enough to tag those titles on a book if it wasn't very good, so I moved it to the top of my TBR pile, and dove in. This book is amazing. The writing is nearly flawless. (I say nearly because someone always points out flaws that I didn't see.) The first person present tense works very well. I love Spirit and Sky and by the end of the book Nector too. I'm very impressed.

  • Kristi
    2019-04-20 17:30

    Wonderful! This is a beautifully written debut novel from Edith Cohn. Readers will instantly fall in love with the main character Spirit Holden and be rooting for her every step of the way as she uncovers the mysteries of her strange hometown. With her beloved dog sidekick, Sky, who is loyal even from beyond the grave, Spirit discovers that Bald Island has more secrets than she'd ever dare to imagine. The setting and magical elements are intriguing and the friendship of a girl and her dog are truly heartwarming.

  • Livia Blackburne
    2019-04-04 16:40

    What a delightful book! Spirit is a plucky heroine, and an easy one to get behind. Also, I loved the baldies and wanted to take them home with me.

  • Heidi
    2019-04-03 21:43

    I’ve found a book for those of you who were traumatized in youth by Where the Red Fern Grows, Old Yeller, and other hopeless dog tales. As a lifetime dog owner and lover, dog books have become my personal cancer books. I just can’t read them without having the heart ripped out of my chest.When in graduate school my Resources in Children’s Literature prof assigned us Because of Winn-Dixie, we took it with a measure of trepidation and asked her tremulously before we’d begin, “Does anything bad happen to the dog?” Turns out, no, it doesn’t. (Yay!) And turns out, when they tout Spirit’s Key as being Savvy meets Winn-Dixie, they’re not far off. Spirit’s Key is the poignant tale of both a girl coming into her family power and her relationship with a much beloved dog. Edith Cohn’s solution to the much feared dying dog issue? Bump him off before the book even begins—genius!“You know what legends are?”“Stories that aren’t real?” I guess.“Legends are the realest kind of stories, told over and over by people for generations.”Spirit Holden and her father came to Bald Island six years ago after being driven off the mainland by dissatisfied customers. They chose it because on Bald Island, people believe. The folks of the island have been unmoved for generations, full of superstition and odd beliefs, willing to put stock in her father’s predictions. The Holden family has survived for generations on their ability to see the future, an ability that Spirit should have inherited by now, but is still outside her grasp. Stamped a “dingbatter” (outsider) by her immigrant status and friendship with one of the island’s “devil spirits,” an adopted baldie, Sky, Spirit relies only on her father for company. When the island’s wild dogs begin turning up dead they bring with them a fear of sickness and devil spirits that only Spirit’s unprejudiced belief may overcome.Spirit’s Key is a lovely work, tying together coming of age, heartache, hope, friendship and loss with just a touch of White Fang and magic. Spirit and her father need a community willing to believe in the supernatural to sustain themselves, and yet it is these community beliefs and legends that cause the bulk of the conflict in the story. Throughout the book it seems Spirit is squinting hard at the blurred lines of what is ridiculous to believe and what is real. After all, with a family that sees the future is it such a stretch to think that all living things might have a spirit? Perhaps not for a dog, perhaps so for a banana. Spirit is a girl who believes in dreams if not miracles, a girl for whom all animals are sacred, and a girl with a seething anger she is unable to see until it begins to ebb.Edith Cohn draws Bald Island beautifully through her words, and Eliza Wheeler does so literally with her stunning map and illustrations, bringing it to life and making it a character in its own right. I’ve said so before, but I can’t help but repeat my love of island settings in books. Perhaps it dates back to a little girl and Avonlea, but it also arises from the fact that islands act their parts in stories as few other settings are able. Bald Island is touched with the calming spirit of yaupon tea, the wild fear of baldies and hurricanes, and the remnants of an abandoned way of life.Like any great Middle Grade novel with a twelve-year-old lead, Spirit’s Key is a coming of age story. Spirit is caught between a world that is close and safe and one that is far more frightening but potentially rewarding. She struggles with the notion of coming into her own gift and the realization that it could be something completely different than anything the Holden family has ever known before. Spirit struggles with giving up her past so that she might face her present and be prepared for the future. Edith Cohn strikes a marvelous balance here between internal and external struggles as Spirit forms new bonds and must uncover the truth of the mysterious illness that is wracking Bald Island in order to save its people and its dogs.Spirit’s Key is formed by the notion that people fear things that they don’t understand, but that children can see past these fears—there is such a multitude of things they do not yet understand that they must learn to face them bravely or become mice. Even with the power to see the future, the Holden family has learned that things can be changed if one is prepared. Spirit is, perhaps wisely, afraid of the messenger status that will come with her gift and unwilling to let go of Sky, the only and best friend she has ever had. She finds strength in her loss and fear, and learns what can be gained by pushing beyond.While Spirit’s Key is a beautiful and touching tale of friendship, family, and the relationship one can have with a beloved pet, it did fall short in its ending. Spirit, and indeed all of the inhabitants of Bald Island, were too understanding of one another’s motives, and the end was simply too chummy to be believed. I found it hard to swallow that people who believed so ardently in certain superstitions that they let them run their lives were so easily changed. Indeed, the unmasked villain of our piece comes off somewhat Scooby Doo-ish only barely missing the lines “I would have gotten away with it too if it weren’t for you kids and that confounded ghost dog.” Perhaps I am an aging cynic, but even as the end result seemed fitting it also seemed too easy.Still, Spirit’s Key remains on my shortlist for best new Middle Grade titles of the year. It is lovingly thought out and detailed, right down to using a very Great rope as the page breaks. Spirit is smart, insightful, and though perhaps too understanding is not without a bite of temper and obstinence to make her real. I’ll even admit to a twinge of dog-induced emotion with Sky, even though I thought myself safe. As Spirit discovers of Sky’s grave, this book acts as a trap door connecting our world and theirs, and I highly recommend it to every young and spirited dog lover.This review was originally posted at

  • Chelsea
    2019-04-11 16:16

    Sometimes when I read middle grade books I can completely forget that it was intended for a younger audience and fall in love with the stories. Other times, like with this book, all I can think about is how young the story feels and I usually don’t end up enjoying those.The premise with this one was pretty girl; a young girl who comes from a family who of psychics is grieving the loss of her dog. She lives on an island where dogs aren’t viewed well, so when dogs start dropping and dead and people begin to develop a strange illness, Spirit gets tangled up in the mystery.It sadly didn’t live up to that premise for me. Partly was because it felt intended for someone much younger, but also due to the writing.The writing was very to the point and simplistic, a lot of telling. It was also weird in parts? The main character says phrases like “whooping wowzer”, newcomers to the island are called “dingbatters”, and the dogs are called “Baldies”...Though it was a cool idea I didn’t find the mystery all that compelling and I really didn’t care about the main character. Honestly surprised this book has such a high rating average.There are definitely better middle grade books out there, like Raymie Nightingale and A Million Ways Home, which I read recently. This one isn’t an awful book. just not particularly captivating.

  • Courtney Leigh
    2019-04-17 18:15

    This is a gorgeous, heartfelt story. What I love most is that it not only deals with loss and grief, but also friendship, prejudice, and the power of kindness. There were so many perfect moments of truth sprinkled throughout that I couldn't help but to fall in love with this little island and all its inhabitants! Spirit, especially, is a fantastic protagonist, fighting for what she believes in and trusting her empathetic instincts to guide her actions. Also, THAT COVER. It matches the artistry and beauty of what's inside and is a perfect example of how judging a book by its cover isn't always a bad thing.

  • Bridget
    2019-04-20 20:37

    LOVE! In her debut middle grade novel, Spirit’s Sky, Edith Cohn masterfully balances thrilling adventures with a tenderness that pulls the reader into this story from the very first page. The main character Spirit, a seer like her father, searches for answers to the mystery behind the deaths of several local wild dogs. The ghost of her own cherished wild dog, Sky, helps Spirit uncover dangerous secrets on the island. Their unwavering loyalty to each other and the magical world where Spirit lives, give this enchanting book the classic feel of a story that will be read and enjoyed over and over again.

  • Beth
    2019-04-06 15:40

    I bought this book and set it on my night stand excited to read it that night. A bit later I noticed it was missing. And I heard my daughter talking in her room. I snuck down the hall and found her reading Spirit's Key to herself. I cried. She was a reluctant reader and here she was reading to herself all on her own. "Sky is Spirit's dog, mom!" Sometimes kids need that key to get then into reading. That was that for my girl. I will be eternally grateful This book was wonderful, whimsical and heartbreaking in that perfect lesson-learning way.

  • Frances Sackett
    2019-03-31 16:38

    I have a lot of friends who are writers, and I've read many books prior to their publication. But this is one of those novels that I just can't wait to see published so that everybody else can read it too. Edith Cohn is such a gifted writer, and in this book, she creates a magical, wonderful world that I would have given anything to visit as a child. Bald Island a lot like our world -- except better. On Bald Island, house keys hold the secrets to the future; ghost dogs help solve mysteries; and the neighbors are eccentric and delightful and so darn REAL. I want to go there. I really really do. Here's the thing I like best about Spirit's Key, though: this novel is imaginative and fun, and I know my kids (age 7 and 11) will love it for those reasons. But they'll also love it because it has an enormous heart. The book tackles serious subjects like loss, fear, and prejudice, but it does so in a sensitive, thoughtful way that's always conscious of the age of its intended audience. It's a beautiful novel that kids will love: what more can you ask for than that?

  • Susan
    2019-04-14 14:13

    Spirit’s Key is a beautifully written story of loss and friendship and one girl’s struggle to fight for what she believes in. Spirit is feisty and brave and stubborn and a little reckless, yet still manages to wear her heart on her sleeve. And it’s that attitude that will draw readers in from the first page. Then they’ll get caught up in the story itself. The death of her beloved dog Sky sets in motion an island-wide mystery that only Spirit can solve, but as she delves deeper into what is killing the wild dogs on her island, she finds not only her latent Holden-family magic but also a few human friends who had been there all along, just waiting for her to notice them. This story is magical and delightful and at times heartbreaking. And it’s one that I would recommend to kids and adults alike.

  • Liz Dean
    2019-03-31 21:32

    I am so impressed with this novel! I loved the quasi-realistic island fantasy setting. I grew up sailing along the coast of NC and this took me back to what it felt like to be on camping on an island or anchored in a creek and cut off from the rest of the world. That's a gift in this interconnected, always on digital age! Spirit and those close to her - Sky, her dad, and the wonderfully named Nector Hatterask are a joy to spend time with. Any kid who loves fantasy, mystery or animals will love this book (as I did!).

  • Sarah
    2019-04-20 18:39

    I saw a description of the book as being a combination of Savvy and Because of Winn-Dixie, and that definitely rings true. This book has adventure, mystery, meaningful themes and issues that can be discussed, a satisfying ending, and has content totally appropropriate for third graders. That adds up to five stars for me!

  • Holly (Holly Hearts Books)
    2019-04-26 17:42

    So this book absolutely won me over the second I saw it. The story is so beautiful and I am proud to say I truly immersed myself in the world with Spirit and Sky. The description of the island was beautifully done and the story captured my heart. I was so impressed!

  • Valerie Nelan
    2019-04-13 19:18

    This is a great read for middle-graders. Readers will be enchanted by Spirit, and will probably be looking for their own personal ghost dog before it's all said and done.

  • Kiersten
    2019-04-02 15:24

    This book was amazing I loved watching how the characters changed through the book, but it did have me crying at the end.

  • Janyce
    2019-03-30 13:18

    Loved it !, uhch a good book loved the format and how the writing was in first person. i wouild read it again

  • Sugarrr
    2019-04-21 18:37

    So I went into reading this book thinking, I won't be that into it , it's a children's book , but I was very surprised how much I loved it ! The little island with all its people and the writing style of the author just pulled me right in. I was surprised to Find out that it was the authors first book, her writing style was just so engrossing and so very very good. Loved it !

  • Shazzer
    2019-04-02 15:32

    As posted on Outside of a Dog:There is an episode of the British science fiction show (and now worldwide phenomenon) “Doctor Who”, in which the character of the Doctor attempts to explain his current whereabouts by describing the universe as a bubble, with a tiny bubble sticking to the outside. While the Doctor dismisses his metaphor before he has even finished it, I feel this appropriately encapsulates the world of Edith Cohn’s Spirit’s Key. It’s our world, but not quite. Our world as it could be, under certain circumstances. If I were being technical, I would call this style magical realism, but for the moment, I’m going to stick with the Doctor’s bubble-on-bubble universe.Spirit Holden and her father live on Bald Island, a small, close-knit and superstitious community. Spirit’s father has a gift, and can see into the future of someone whose key he is holding, but lately his visions have been shaky. Spirit believes this will pass, but in fact, the gift of sight is in the process of transferring from her father to herself. One day, while clutching his discarded dog tag, Spirit sees the ghost of her beloved “baldie” (a local, wild dog), Sky. With Sky’s help, and the help of a few new friends, Spirit realizes her gift and fights to save the island from prejudice and misconception and take her place among the “greats” of her family.I had a hard time getting into Spirit’s Key at first, I will admit. I wasn’t sure of the world Spirit was inhabiting, and wasn’t sure of the rules. But I kept with it, because Spirit herself was an interesting character, and in time the workings of Spirit’s universe became clear, and then seemingly all at once, the entire book fell into place. The story rests on Spirit’s shoulders, but she is more than up to the task. Spirit is resourceful and brave, not afraid to admit when she needs help, and has remarkable strength in her convictions. Spirit’s Key is a call for preservation and for the need to reach out in kindness to all living things, be they strangers, strange or simply misunderstood.

  • Sam
    2019-04-05 18:32

    Huge thank you to Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) and Netgalley for this ARC!What an enchanting debut middle grade novel! I was completely hooked into the story of this book, especially because it's about a young girl's connection to his missing dog. Spirit's family has the power to see the future, and the story really revolves around Spirit learning how to cope with being given a gift she might not have wanted in the first place.What I loved the most about this book was genuine amount of emotion. Spirit is a surprisingly resourceful and intelligent young girl, but she's equally shy and emotional as well. I adore young heroines who are very methodical, and Spirit is exactly that. I think the way Cohn weaved a lot of the relationships in this novel was also fantastically done -- you get the sense that Spirit cares about everyone she encounters, even if she struggles to figure out how she can help them.Also the relationship between Spirit and Sky? Perfection. Absolutely wonderful. I love dog stories and this one has a lot going for it, plus the ending completely broke my heart (in a good way). Cohn just has this magical way of weaving relationships in this story, and the writing is just so strong that it's easy to be captivated by all the events and characters.This is an amazing middle grade novel, and it's one that will completely appeal to those who love stories of friendship and animals. It's sweet, thoughtful, and above all else, an enchanting read.

  • Jaye
    2019-04-11 14:30

    2014 is going to be an excellent year for Middle Grade and SPIRIT'S KEY fits nicely into the pantheon of what you should buy your middle grade reader!Spirit Holden lives on a small barrier island and has recently lost her beloved dog, Sky. But lest you think cocker spaniel or some other ball of fluff, Sky was a baldie - one of the wild island dogs - that Spirit nursed back to health when he crawled under her porch. Fortunately, this story starts after Sky has died, so the reader doesn't have to live through that intensity, but the grief of her missing him is still strong. Spirit's father, has the gift of seeing people's futures, but as it becomes time for the gift to transition to Spirit, things start going wrong. Can Spirit connect with her intuition in time to save her father, the baldies, and even the island itself?This book is one part heart, one part character-filled setting, and one part adventure. Together, it's a book that will have your mg reader clamoring for more. There's a gorgeous map on the inside that I would have loved at that age, that will really help sink the reader into the where and who of the island. And Mrs. Borse. Y'all are going to love her.Great for animal lovers and those who love a rich, full cast of characters!! Spirit's Key is a winner.

  • Barbara
    2019-04-06 19:42

    Twelve-year-old Spirit Holden lives on Bald Island with her father who uses his psychic abilities to make a living. He is able to see the future by holding someone's house key. Still dealing with the death of her dog, Sky, Spirit finds his dog tag and is able to see her dog's ghost. As her psychic gifts begin to develop, Spirit realizes that there is a reason for her ability to communicate with Sky. Sky and the other baldies--feral island dogs that many of the islanders fear and suspect of harboring disease--want her to solve the mystery behind their deaths. The book's storyline is engaging, and readers will feel as though they've been transported to a place and time very different from their own and yet just as filled with mistrust, paranoia, and unreasonable superstition. There are several interesting characters introduced in the book, all of whom are dealing with their fears in different ways.

  • Robin Herrera
    2019-04-02 15:38

    Hello, wonderful book!From the moment I started SPIRIT'S KEY, I knew I had to finish it. There was so much mystery and intrigue in that first chapter, so many oddly-named yet endearing characters who jumped right off the page. Spirit's voice was pitch perfect: a little uncertain, a little scared, very determined, and incredibly vulnerable. I love the small island she called home, with its superstitions and rich history. I love the idea that someone can hold a house key and see into the owner's future. A seriously creative premise paired with excellent writing. It was such a joy to read. When I turned the last page, I wanted more!Alas, the book ended and I said goodbye to these characters I'd grown to love. I hope to see them again someday.

  • Tara
    2019-03-31 16:16

    What a perfectly-crafted middle-grade book! From the singular setting of Bald Island, to the sometimes-lovable, sometimes-frustrating characters, to the light touches of magic that the author gets just right, I found this book to be unique and hard to put down. Kids will be enchanted by Spirit's ability to communicate with animals, but readers of any age will embrace the themes of learning to belong and overcoming fears. Plus the writing is simple and beautiful. I loved reading Spirit's Key.

  • L. Chase
    2019-03-28 18:41

    This book is adorable!!! I want a ghost dog!Spirit Holden is a character with a lot of spunk. When her town criticizes her beliefs about the baldies, Spirit always holds fast to her morals and convictions--and stays strong. Perhaps my favorite part is that the setting is so vivid and fresh. This richly-imagined world felt like no where else I've ever read. And the future-seeing aspect of the story adds just the perfect touch of magic to the story!Bottom line: For those who love books about kids and their dogs, Spirit's Key is definitely a great addition to that sub-genre!

  • Alyson (Kid Lit Frenzy)
    2019-04-01 21:19

    I need a category for books like Doll Bones by Holly Black and Spirit's Key by Edith Cohn. Fantasy set firmly in reality, and with important lessons to learn. I really enjoyed this book and thankful to have gotten an early copy and also for a chance to have met Edith Cohn. Both she and her book are wonderful.This book will be easy to book talk - I suspect you should have 2 copies for your classroom. Full review to be posted on my blog.

  • Tehlor Mejia
    2019-04-06 18:33

    One of my favorite new middle grade titles, and definitely my favorite of the fall! Spirit is a believable and ferocious heroine with just enough of a sense of humor to balance her sense of social justice, Ghost Sky is a fantastically unique sidekick, and Bald Island is the perfect setting for a story where the supernatural is commonplace and a 12 year old with a gift can come into her own with style :)

  • Maria
    2019-04-07 19:33

    Love mystery, adventure, and a little bit of spooky? Love animals and stories of preteens learning to accept their skills and talents? Spirit is an intelligent, passionate, loving young woman. The story moved quickly and will delight middle grade readers. Kids who loved Savvy and also enjoy mildly spooky tales will love this book.

  • Michele Knott
    2019-04-23 20:14

    Mystery, adventure, the impossible, the unknown. I love what this book offers to its readers.I found it hard to put down and for every question that got answered another one popped up. This will be a great book to share with readers this fall!

  • Cara Stone
    2019-04-09 21:27

    Absolutely charming for late elementary and middle grade readers. Wonderful female protagonist, charming story with action and heart.Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for providing a free e-galley of this book.