Cityview on Facebook Cityview on Twitter Cityview on MySpace Cityview on flickr


Book Review

August 11, 2011

Sparrow Road

Courtesy of Beaverdale Books

Reviewed by Catherine Rihm

By Sheila O'Connor

Putnam Publishing Group



256 pp

Twelve-year old Raine is confused when her mother moves them from the Milwaukee apartment they share with Grandpa Mac to a crumbling estate hours away. Her mother has mysteriously taken a summer job at the old mansion — a former orphanage that is now an artists' retreat run by its stern owner, Viktor. Raine protests the new arrangements and suspects a secret is being held from her.

Raine builds relationships with the artists, and they shower her with attention. Josie encourages her to explore the orphanage, and they make visits to the attic where remnants of orphans' beds, toys and drawings remain. Diego offers encouragement and advice and helps foster Raine's talent at writing.

Soon it's revealed that Raine's mother has brought her to the area because her father — who her mother has never spoken of — lives in the nearby town and wants to meet her. Raine must deal with the shock of this news, then with the range of emotions that surface as she meets her father. As Raine pieces together the history of the estate, she reassembles the history of her own life, its gaps and losses echoed by the orphans' same.

Author Shelia O'Connor offers a beautifully-written, middle-grade novel with a smart, loveable heroine. All of her characters are well developed, varied and readers are easily drawn into the world of "Sparrow Road." Raine has a hard decision to make that will affect her "good life" as she knew it, but O'Connor leaves you with a satisfying feeling of hope. CV

Special Sections


Big Green Umbrella Media, Inc. • 414 61st Street • Des Moines, Iowa 50312 • 515-953-4822 • 515.953.1394 (fax)
©2012 Copyright Big Green Umbrella Media

Sponsored by
Sponsored Ad

Sponsored Ad