Sparrow Road (Paperback)

By Sheila O'Connor

Puffin Books, 9780142421369, 272pp.

Publication Date: May 10, 2012

Other Editions of This Title:
Hardcover (5/12/2011)

List Price: 7.99*
* Individual store prices may vary.

Summer 2011 Kids' Next List

“Twelve-year-old Raine's mom takes a summer job as cook at a small artist's colony, and they leave the safety and security of Grandpa's loving home. The first part of the book has an aura of foreboding as they try to settle in to this new and seemingly creepy place, but as they get to know the residents, that creepiness disappears. Raine begins to put hopes and dreams on paper, and learns that with art it's not just about being 'good.' As Diego tells her, 'Do not think about being good. Good will goof you up from the beginning. Art just has to be. Dream your dreams. Trust the words that come.'”
— Sue Carita, The Toadstool Bookshop, Milford, NH
View the List


A perfect summer read set in a mysterious artists' estate in the idyllic Midwestern countryside

It's the summer before seventh grade, and twelve-year-old Raine O'Rourke's mother takes a sudden job at Sparrow Road--a dilapidated mansion that houses a group of eccentric artists. While Raine's mother works as the cook and housekeeper, Raine is left to figure out why she and her mother have really come to Sparrow Road. Secrets seem to be everywhere, but it's an unexpected secret from Raine's own life--the reason she's come to Sparrow Road--that changes her forever.

An affecting and beautifully written story of family and forgiveness, Sparrow Road is a perfect pick for the middle-grade set.

About the Author

Sheila O'Connor lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Sparrow Road is her debut work for children.

Praise For Sparrow Road

Praise for Sparrow Road:
International Reading Association Award 
Midwest Booksellers Choice Awards Finalist
A VOYA Best Book
A Booklist Best Book
A Chicago Public Library Best of the Best Book
A Bank Street Best Book
★ “Readers finding themselves in this quiet world will find plenty of space to imagine and dream for themselves.” - Kirkus Reviews, starred review
★ "[A] timeless piece of middle-grade fiction. . . . A special book." - Booklist, starred review

“[T]he strength of even imperfect human connections is celebrated through the relationships among a multitude of vivid and varied characters.” BCCB
"Lyrical writing in this first-person narrative, good character development, and a sympathetic heroine will keep readers absorbed." - School Library Journal
"Sparrow Road is a book that strikes—and gentles—with Truth. Here is a world of Sorrow and Comfort, crafted by an artist who dares to suggest, without sentimentality but with a hard-nosed realism, that a broken world can be renewed through love and daring and community and art. What a sweet and hopeful and engaging story." - Gary D. Schmidt, Newbery Honor-winning author of Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy and The Wednesday Wars
"Sparrow Road is a place for wishing long and dreaming, and so is this terrific novelSparrow Road is quite wonderful and I recommend it highly." - Karen Cushman author of the Newbery Medal-winning, The Midwife’s Apprentice, and the Newbery Honor-winning Catherine, Called Birdy
"Sparrow Road has everything I could ask for in a novel – mysteries, secrets, a creepy mansion with a haunting past, a cast of unforgettable characters, and a twisting tale of self-discovery." - Ann Martin, Newbery Honor-winning author of A Corner of the Universe