Monday, May 16, 2011

Sparrow Road by Sheila O'Connor

It's the summer before seventh grade, and twelve-year- old Raine O’Rourke's mother suddenly takes a job hours from home at mysterious Sparrow Road– a creepy, dilapidated mansion that houses an eccentric group of artists. As Raine tries to make sense of her new surroundings, she forges friendships with a cast of quirky characters including the outrageous and funky Josie.Together, Raine and Josie decide to solve the mysteries of Sparrow Road–from its haunting history as an orphanage to the secrets of its silent, brooding owner, Viktor. But it's an unexpected secret from Raine's own life that changes her forever. An affecting and beautifully written story of family and forgiveness,Sparrow Road is an incredible gift.
Sparrow Road is a whimsically inspiring novel of discovery, family secrets, and forgiveness making it a strikingly wonderful work in middle grade fiction.
The story opens with a lot of mysterious things. When Raine is pulled from her comfortable life in Milwaukee, she suddenly finds herself at a summer country home for artists. Not only is twelve-year-old Raine not told why she is there, she must live among a very eccentric group of adults who retain a week of silence until Sundays; and of course there are many secrets hidden within the grounds of Sparrow Road.
The beginning of the story was very strong and though confusing, it made me want to keep reading. I felt the storyline slowed a bit toward the middle which may disinterest younger readers to a point, but it retained its  poetic and emotional narrative quite nicely. Nonetheless Sparrow Road is an splendid debut novel with a touching message and a setting so dreamy and vidid, you won’t want to leave.

Recommendation: Highly recommend! although the plot might seem to be somewhat juvenile for teenagers, the actual message and writing might appeal more to older readers rather than middle graders. Whatever age, it will be timeless to those who enjoy it.
Ages 12+

Content: references to alcoholism/drinking

|Pages: 247|Release Date: May 2011|Publisher: Putnam's Sons|
|Genre: Contemporary fiction, family, coming-of-age, relationships|
|Content Rating: 5/5|Cover: 5/5|Overall: 5/5|
This review is copyrighted© by Books and Literature for Teens. Special thank-you to Stacey!

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