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.
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Happy middle grade reading!