The Great Unexpected

Sharon Creech, Author
Sharon Creech. HarperCollins/Cotler, $15.99 (240p) ISBN 978-0-06-189232-5
Reviewed on: 07/16/2012
Release date: 09/01/2012
Book - 978-0-06-224406-2
Paperback - 226 pages - 978-0-06-189234-9
Book - 978-0-06-220190-4
Ebook - 256 pages - 978-0-06-219013-0
Library Binding - 226 pages - 978-0-06-189233-2
Hardcover - 221 pages - 978-1-84939-659-2
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In a story that is part folktale, part mystery, and part comedy, Newbery Medalist Creech (Walk Two Moons) traces a series of strange events, beginning with a boy’s fall from a tree, which is witnessed by an orphan named Naomi and her friend Lizzie. The boy, Finn, might be part of the Dimmens clan, who live up on Black Dog Night Hill, or his appearance might be more ethereal in nature. In alternating chapters, readers are whisked between two evocative locations: Naomi’s town of Blackbird Tree and an impressive Irish estate owned by an ailing mystery novel buff. Neighbors, strangers, and a collection of odd artifacts are all part of a puzzle Naomi tries to solve—and readers will be working just as hard to do so. The fun that drives the book forward derives from Naomi’s plainspoken narration (her barely concealed jealousy over Lizzie’s interactions with Finn is especially well-done), along with uncovering the surprising connections between characters and wondering whether magic is at the root of the baffling occurrences. Ages 8–12. Agent: Amy Berkower, Writers House. (Sept.)
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