Sharon Creech is one of those authors that can write anything and I will want to read it. That being said, when I saw John Schu tweet many weeks ago that he was reading her fall release, The Great Unexpected, I was jealous. Good things come to those who wait and I was thrilled to find a copy of the ARC in my mail last week. Today being a lazy Sunday, I settled down to read it.
This was a unusual reading experience for me in that I had no knowledge what this book was about. I didn’t even read the back since I was so eager to dive in. Interestingly, there are two different story lines: one in America where Naomi and her friend Lizzie live in Blackbird Tree, a small town with many quirky characters. The other story line takes place across the ocean in Ireland where an older women lives and is bent on revenge.
I was conscious of the questions in my mind as I read – how were all of these characters connected? When would the story lines intersect? I think that would be a great discussion point for my students – are they aware that when you have two different stories occurring in the book they will connect? Are you questioning in your mind to see if you can discover why? I think this will be a conversation in my reading camp this week.
While I enjoyed all of the characters I was especially drawn to Naomi. I felt a lot like her as a kid – sometimes like the problems of the world were too big. I loved how she tried to escape to the moon like her friend Lizzie and see how insignificant we were but was unable to. I loved her feelings of jealousy regarding Finn (and Lizzie’s cluelessness). I think this is a story many children will enjoy.
Two quotes I loved….
Did a delicate cobweb link us all, silky lines trailing through the air?
I had big thoughts to match the big wind. I wondered if we find the people we need when we need them. I wondered if we attract our future by some sort of invisible force, or if we are drawn to it by a similar force. I felt I was turning a corner and that change was afoot.
The Great Unexpected is a book that falls into many different categories, much of it deals with realistic issues: friendship, love, family, death. Parts are in the fantasy world – ghosts. There is some mystery interwoven throughout. This will make an excellent addition to your middle grade classroom library and, lucky you, I have one ARC to giveaway.
1. The giveaway will run from July 15, 2012 to midnight on July 18, 2012.
2. This contest is open to people living in the continental United States.
3. You must be at least 13 to enter.
4. If you can, please pay it forward. Thanks!
Copy provided by Harper Collins