Kirkus Reviews QR Code
THE GREAT UNEXPECTED by Sharon Creech Kirkus Star


by Sharon Creech

Age Range: 8 - 12

Pub Date: Sept. 4th, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-06-189232-5
Publisher: Joanna Cotler/HarperCollins

When Finn falls out of a tree and into the life of Naomi, he brings more than a touch of Ireland’s magic.

Naomi and her friend, Lizzie Scatterding, are both foster children living in the quiet town of Blackbird Tree. Life takes on a mysterious air when Finn boy and the Dangle Doodle man show up in a town that's already inhabited by such characters as Witch Wiggins and Crazy Cora. Naomi carries the terrible scars, internal and on her arm, of her father’s death and a dog’s attack. Her guardian parents each share their hearts; Nula remembers privation and her estranged family in Ireland, and Joe teaches Naomi to dream and fly high into the clouds for inner peace. In a parallel story across the sea in Ireland, two women talk of times past, lost families and setting things right. Creech, a Newbery Award–winning author, deftly weaves a multi-layered story in which past and present thread their way around Naomi the romantic and Lizzie the singer. With a Finn boy for each generation, there’s joy in the air and in the reading.

An enchanting tale to treasure in which ordinary folk find fairies’ gold, run across crooked bridges and mend their broken hearts. (Fiction. 8-12)