Acher who sees the potential in students and her voice seemed very authentic to me I wonder if the author taught young students before becoming a university professor The emotional arc of Raine is well written with nice depth as she deals with not growing up with a dad and having empathy for the orphans who once lived at Sparrow Road Diego gives Raine some good advice when it comes to writing Just pick a piece closest to your heart That s all art really is Your feelings sent out to someone else When Raine says she wants her piece to be really good sounds like a clear case of writer s block Diego responds Good will goof you up from the beginning Art just has to be Dream your dreams Trust the words that come Good advice wouldn t you say I wish I could give this book a blizzard of starsIf there is one book you read this summer This is it This is the book that made me fall in love with reading again 12 year old Raine has an unexpected summer that at first she resists and as she transforms and the people she meets transforms it changes her life foreverI read this coming of age book every free chance I got over two days It is so beautifully written like riding a slow golden wave that builds and builds and covers all in its beauty to rest finally at a peaceful shore O Connor creates such an amazing scene and set of so many characters with such sparse poetic prose It s written in the first person which I usually don t enjoy but this is written so elegantly it FEELS like third person as we see and feel how all the characters are thru Raine s eyes and heart It s a book about searching for something you don t now It s about love hope redemption getting left behind and doing the leaving yourself when ready I cried many times reading this book I flipped back to pages to re read the scenes that painted my heart with wonder and feeling Don t miss out on this book I can t wait to read of O Connor s books The History major in me is dying to Contested Reproduction know When does this story take place Here s my breakdownFirst no mention of cellphones or internet time 1995Mama s hippie stint in Amsterdam time 1969Several mentions of paisley and peasant blouses 1970 sRaine is 12 going on 13 Mom hippie late 70 s to early 80 sFinal result 1978 1989Still it is a range Next my major major problem with this story is that it features a bunch of non functioning adults who rely too much on a 12 year old A 12 year old that they do not tell the truth to and then expect her to make mature decisions HUH Several times I wanted to reach into this book and punch the mother Was she not the most immature woman EVER She sneaks herid away from her loving grandfather without telling her why tells Raine her father wants to meet her and then dumps the whole thing in the Divided by Color (American Politics and Political Economy Series) kid s lap No one with the exception of Diego ever asks Raine how she feels or if she is okay It is all about their own agendasJosie another grown woman involves Raine in a project to reunite the orphans of Sparrow Road Viktor gives Raine a job watching a woman who is loosing her mental capacities and everyone assumes that if Raine is busying working on art she will grow as a person How about treating her like oneEven the ending not really a spoiler Mama asks Raine if they should stay at Sparrow Road or return to the city In this way Mama would not have to be a waitress any What How about what is best for yourid ladyI cannot think of one Creating Country Music kid Inow from the library or my own daughters who could appreciate this story Is it a thinly veiled criticism of the foster care system a reflection on single parenting Who Blacklands knowsWhat I did love was Raine Why did I love her Because I am an adult She speaks and thinks like an adult She has empathy for the ghosts of orphans in the attic than the adults around her have for her So as a child reader could they relate to Raine Would this story have made sense if Raine had been 15 or 16 I think it would have Things I liked 1 The suspense of why Raine and her mother go to Sparrow Road for the summer As I ve said before with everyday life fiction like this it helps a lot to have someind of mystery driving the plot and this really worked Of course the mystery is solved halfway through but then you can Evolutionary Patterns kind of coast on the strength of the characters and relationships 2 Raine s development as a writer The way she asks herself uestions like What was and what will be and creates a character Lyman that s sort of like an imaginary friend This book could really inspireids to write and create art 3 The writing was very solid Pretty without being flowery Raine had a distinct voice 4 The meditations on being on orphan and what an orphanage is like There are so many orphans in Evolution As Entropy kid lit and I thought this book offered a very down to earth sad grounded look at something that weirdly can beind of glamorized in fantasy novels I think that the book Sparrow Road is a fantastic book Sparrow Road is filled with exciting unexpected events Raine finds out that she and her mother must go for the summer for a job Let me tell you that a lot of things happen at this place called Sparrow Road I recommend this book 4 out of 5 stars also to any middle school readers It is an mid range book and the words aren t too big or too small The book isn t too hard to understand and isn t to easy. Anage 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 gif.
I would definitely recommend this book to 10 year olds and up A sweet story about artists family and a little mystery 45 starsSparrow Road is a beautifully written fulfilling read It s not often I feel well connected to both the characters and the setting with a middle grade read from the get go like I was with with this book Sheila O Connor has a talent for writing prose and a magical ability to make her characters and the world they re apart of come to life There are so many elements I liked about the story that I truly enjoyed every moment of this bookOne of the things I love about Sparrow Road is the way this story unravels Little by little Sheila carefully unravels a beautiful story full of mystery with both it s characters and the setting s history that ends up becoming a relatable coming of age story Though I wanted answers right away I loved how engaged this made me feel with the book I wanted to Forging Gay Identities know Sheila is a brilliant story teller because she doesn t tell me everything about her story she shows me I really enjoyed the way she allowed me to become apart of her story and introduced each of the characters including the main character twelve year old RaineRaine is a character I loved She s innocent and strong open minded and well grounded I found it easy to relate to her through her story though I never experienced a lot of the things she does She s a character who grows a lot over the course of the book I sympothized with her when her mom up and moves her from Milwaukee to a sleepy little town in Michigan She leaves behind her beloved Grandpa Mac and finds her life turned upside down when she learns she s spending the summer at Sparrow Road a uiet get away for artists to come to With no tv radio or talking during most hours of the day I would have problems with that as much as Raine doesSurrounded by wonderful character Raine s story comes full circle as she learns to embrace who is she and the person she s becoming She learns about love forgiveness friendship and the true meaning of family One of my favorite characters in the story is Grandpa Mac What a lovely supporting character he is There are a lot of characters I enjoyed getting tonow and the way they re introduced but for the sake of spoilers I won t say anything else I really enjoyed the story It s a wonderful clean cut read that tweens teens and adults will enjoy reading This is one of those books that would be great for middle grade english teachers and book clubs as there are so many aspects of this book to be discussed On a side note I love this cover It is such a great fit for the story My daughter is reading this book and I cannot get it out of her hands to read it myself I LOVE this book is all she will say before returning to the basement to continue the story Later I really enjoyed this book with its many mysteries that are carefully unfolded like delicate origami papers chapter after chapter The heart of the book reminds me of Kate DiCamillio s Tiger Rising as there is an eclectic group of adults supporting the coming of age girl and the climax of the book is a party that brings these people all together O Connor s writing is clear and provocative but age appropriate as are the short chapters that let the child reader feel a great sense of accomplishment I hope this becomes a staple in 4th 7th grade classes as it would provoke some good discussions about absent and inadeuate parents creativity and finding one s place in the world Full review on Cracking the Cover Sparrow Road is an unexpected yet welcome surprise Author Sheila O Connor doesn t rely on popular themes or storytelling trickery Rather she uses her skills in character and scene development to tell a mature and engrossing story that celebrates middle readers intelligenceO Connor s characters come to life under her careful tutelage Josie with her rainbow colored hair and patchwork dresses is so full of life she seems to jump off the page And Diego becomes both a teacher and father figure to Raine as she learns to live with both the choices made for her and those she makes for herselfOne of the best things about Sparrow Road is that not all uestions are answered Yes some things are rapped up in a nice little package but it s also clear O Connor s characters are not perfect and they will continue to grow beyond the pages of this book Sparrow Road is a heartfelt story that reads like a modern classic making it a perfect choice for fans of reading of all ages It really is a beautiful book The writing is beautiful the setting is the best the characters are pitch perfect I never wanted it to endThe summary on the back of the book lied to me I thought I was getting into a spooky house mystery adventure thing But instead I got something better thisThis book probably deserves 5 stars But I jut wanted a few things to happen and they never did so I nocked one offI wanted Eleanor to play a better role Her final scene about dreams and stuff was nice but I was thinking along the lines of a huge emotional breakthrough where the reason for her crudeness is revealed and she becomes nice Instead I just got a sad little departure And yes I was sad for her to leaveLillian was great Her spot at the orphanage was never fully revealed but it was good enough When she said aft. 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 ma.
Er the Art Extravaganza that she needed a nap I was POSITIVE she was going to die in her sleep POSITIVE It d be an ultimate climax for the endingI loved Josie The gap in her teeth really made her character come alive And Diego I thought Viktor would also have a bigger role but I didn t really care for his character so it s fine that he didn tThe part of the story with Gray was really touching and meaningful He never really got to full Dad status but I think he s getting thereI didn t want Raine to leave Sparrow Road Grandpa Mac should ve come live with them in the cottage That would have been the perfect endingI picked up this book because I was waiting for a better one to be available But I found a great book better than the one I was waiting for Highly recommendAlternate rating A When I saw that Sheila O Connor was a professor at Hamline University where Gary Schmidt and Anne Ursu work I wondered if she would have strong characters like they do in their middle grade and young adult novels She does It is the main strength in this novel along with beautiful writing The emotional arc of twelve year old Raine and the character development of secondary characters ept me going in this book The plot was predictable and the action minimal but the subplot had surprises and the ending was strong Much of the tension is centered on adult issues and this will appeal to students who like realistic fiction that tug at emotions The messages of missing people addiction abandonment artistic creations and dealing with conflict between adults make for good discussionsRaine has come to Sparrow Road an artists retreat with her mother for two months in the summer Here mother is going to cook for the artists working on projects Raine dreads coming and is mad at her mother for uprooting her from Milwaukee where they live with Grandpa Mac When Viktor owner of Sparrow Road picks them up and explains the Silence Rule no talking during the day so artists can work Raine has a fit Her mother didn t tell her about that ridiculous rule Her mother has been secretive since they left and it fuels Raine s anger On the first day her mother goes to town with Viktor and when Raine begs to go along her mother says No telling her to lock herself in the cottage Raine is a teenager and in the middle of nowhere and I thought this didn t seem very normal not to mention not bringing Raine into town When Raine s mom tells her to stay by the cottage so she can see her I did some head scratching but eventually the plot unfolds and Mom s actions become clear As Raine settles into life in the big house she makes friends with the artists all interesting characters in their own right Suddenly Josie marched into the Fiche Blian ag Fás kitchen her long sure steps reminding me of the cowboys in the westerns Grandpa watchedLillian is not uite right in the head even those she s sweeter than ice cream and the wise Diego is comic relief The subplot where Raine starts to write and comes up with an imaginary friend based on an orphan Lyman Chase who drew a picture is an interesting way to show her emotional arc of figuring out what is going on with the adults around her as well as show the creative process At first she struggles to write until Diego gives her the prompt What was or what could be When her imaginary character Lyman develops a voice of his own I wondered if this is what it is like for writers creating characters in their storiesWhen they have an Art Extravaganza and Raine is terrified to read her piece out loud it made me think of fears of speaking in front of others and risks taken when doing anything public Doubts creep into the mind and terror can reach out like tendrils through the body wracking up visions of people laughing or looking stupid It is hard developing a thick skin and while nothing goes horribly wrong for Raine she still has to get over her fears and vulnerability by stepping in front of family and friends Blogging is that way for me I feel vulnerable because it is a public domain Am I learning and changing and getting better with analyzing books I hope so But I alsonow I have a lot of bad reviews Perhaps when I hit my 10000 hour mark that Malcolm Gladwell talks about in Outliers I will feel confident and not so self consciousThe plot is predictable which was probably okay because the mom seemed out of character in the beginning Once it appeared her mom Esteem Enlivened by Desire knew Viktor I connected the dots as to what was going to happen next While this takes a bit of the tension out I didn t feel disappointed because the characters move the pace along and I anxiously anticipated what was going to happen next I credit O Connor s terrific writing toeep me going I am not a very patient reader and don t like this type of book as a matter of personal taste Another tweak I d make is I think that the book had too much of an adult focus versus a child focus Raine is dealing mainly with adult problems and there is no other Flights of Fancy, Leaps of Faith kid that is her age to interact with in the storyline only an imaginary friend While she is surrounded by loving supportive adults I would have liked some otheridsThe character Lillian sounds like a teacher even though she has the beginning of dementia She talks about all children being brilliant and her love for her students is obvious She is a te. Ke sense of her new surroundings she forges friendships with a cast of uirky 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 orph.