Monday, July 11, 2011

Marvelous Middle Grade (Minnesota) Monday: Sparrow Road

Sparrow Road, by Sheila O'Connor, continues my middle grade spotlight on authors from my home state. Ms. O'Connor has two adult novels published, but this is her first for middle graders. This novel (published in 2011), which my kids and I read aloud together, has a gentle tone and is beautifully written. It centers on secrets, revealing those secrets, discovering family, and finding forgiveness.

The premise: Raine O'Rourke spent her whole life in Milwaukee, with her mom and her grandfather. But the summer before seventh grade, Raine's mom takes a new job and moves Raine to the country, far from Milwaukee and Raine's grandfather. They move to Sparrow Road, a strange, creepy old mansion and summer home for artists. Raine resists but soon discovers new friendships, someone who has waited years to spend time with her, and secrets that need unraveling.

What keeps readers reading: Mysteries amid mysterious characters. Sheila O'Connor unravels the story of Sparrow Road bit by bit, tantalizing readers with the 'what will happen?' and 'where will this story end up?' She introduces a cast of characters, some of whom are from times past, and reveals them piece by piece, just like the plot, but she does so with an elegance and well-written beauty. Her mix of mystery, secrets, and truth keeps readers engaged from first words to final ones.

Other MMGMers and their reviews:
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Happy middle grade reading!


  1. Sounds like a great read and I love the cover. Another TBR for sure.

  2. What got me was the mention of "mystery" and "secrets". This sounds like a great read.

  3. This sounds like an interesting story. I love books that generate a lot of those "what will happen" questions in my mind.

  4. Sounds like a great book. And Casey did a great interview of Sheila. That's awesome you read it aloud.

  5. This is a superb story! Natalie, I remembered seeing the SPARROW ROAD cover on someone's website a few months ago (and remember reading the interview) but couldn't remember which site it was. I'm glad you mentioned it!


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