REVIEW: Sparrow Road by Sheila O’Connor

REVIEW: Sparrow Road by Sheila O’ConnorSparrow Road by Sheila O'Connor
Published: Putnam Juvenile (2011), Paperback, 248pg
Source: Publisher
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction

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. (from Amazon)

I have been reading a lot of cute books lately, and this one’s no exception to that. It’s adorable! It’s also very emotionally touching, without ever getting cheesy or draining or silly. Pus it’s got great characters, a lovely story, and just enough mystery and excitement to keep the pace moving quickly

You know E.L. Konigsburg’s best books? Where she talks about difficult subjects, like death or loneliness, and she does it in such a way that you never feel talked down to? That you could understand what the characters were going through, even if you have never dealt with that stuff personally? That’s what Sparrow Road does. It focuses on the difficulties that arise between family members, on the relationship between parent and child, and on not being afraid to think of things beyond the here and now.

One of my favorite things about Sparrow Road was the descriptions of the town and of summer itself. I love reading books set in the summer during the summer– it just brings home the fact that the season’s changed and something new is happening. That’s one of my favorite feelings in the world! And Sparrow Road captures it perfectly, even twisting it into the plotline itself.

The only bump in the road (ha) was that the beginning of the book made me think the mystery was going to be more about the house than about Raine’s family. It seemed more like a potential ghost story to me, in those early chapters, than anything else, and the switch from that line of thinking to the other was a bit of a jar. I like the way the storyline turned out, but I wish it had been more clearly defined earlier on.

By the end of the book I was smiling my face off. I loved the characters, I loved the story, and I think if you enjoy sweet books about family, being creative, and the importance of dreams, you’d enjoy Sparrow Road.

Read: May 28-29, 2011

4 thoughts on “REVIEW: Sparrow Road by Sheila O’Connor”

  1. I loved this book! I agree that the descriptions of the town and of summer itself are great. I read it slightly before summer started and it practically made my mouth water for summer!

    1. I know! And what makes it sad is that I actually really hate summers in New Mexico, so I don’t even do that much during it as I’d like to. Oh well– it’s nice to dream about perfect summers, anyway.

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