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THE SECRET LIFE OF SPARROW DELANEY by Suzanne Harper

THE SECRET LIFE OF SPARROW DELANEY

By Suzanne Harper

Age Range: 12 - 16

Pub Date: July 1st, 2007
ISBN: 978-0-06-113158-5
Publisher: Greenwillow/HarperCollins

What high-school kid wants to be a freak, especially the kind who talks to dead people? Not Sparrow Delaney, which is why she’s keeping the secret from her family of seven women, all skilled mediums, that she can see and talk to ghosts. Evidently, as the seventh daughter of a seventh daughter, she has a special psychic gift, but when the ghost of a teenage boy appears to her in her classroom and pleads for her help, she can’t ignore him. The current abundance of supernatural and occult books usually have historical settings, but the clever twist in this offering casts Sparrow’s family in contemporary time in Lily Dale, N.Y., a Spiritualist community. Early references to thrift stores and computers clue the reader as modern trappings enhance the confrontations and dilemmas between the dearly departed and the visionary living. Idiosyncratic sisters (all named for birds by their ornithologist father who’s now missing), budding romance, a mysterious fatal accident and a live-wire grandmother all test Sparrow’s own spirit as she faces her destiny. Sparrow’s plight gives new meaning to “not a ghost of a chance”—an entertaining one. (Fiction. 12-16)