There is such strong YA fiction being written in Australia at the moment, and Sparrow is right up there as being one of the best. I wasn’t sure what to expect from this book that was set along the coastal region of the Kimberley – a rugged remote Australian location, with deep gorges and mostly isolated coastline. It didn’t take me long to be impacted by this book which went deeper than I expected. Those very first chapters saw the characters become so ingrained within me that I didn’t want to close the book at the end. I wanted to continue to follow Sparrow on his journey.
Sparrow by Scot Gardner
Published by Allen & Unwin
Date: 26 July 2017
The characters have been so well written in this book, it is almost like the author Scot Gardner had known them for a long time. Sharky, seems rugged but is delightfully loving and endearing in his own way, someone that Sparrow can always rely on, that loves him. Sharky teaches Sparrow how to swim which is essentially one of the most important skills Sparrow learnt.
Iona, Geri & Elsa who owned or worked at Cafes, cared about Sparrow and made sure he had food, they accepted him for who he is and delighted in his helpful ways. Sparrow loved each of them and along with Sharky, they are his family.
Sparrow…brave and having a strength that few people know, with a sweetness that cannot be taught. He captured my heart at the first One two three breath one two three, watching him get over that first hurdle was a raw and emotional time. It was evident that Sparrow didn’t give up easily, conquering one silent step of adversity at a time.
I was not expecting the introduction of a new character, Abby, towards the end of the book. This was at a time where my hope for Sparrow was fading, but her presence meant silently knowing that the future for Sparrow would be less bleak. Before Abby, and a time in between, my heart literally had a slight ache to it wondering if Sparrow’s hope and strength would last. Would we see that cheeky, happy, smiling boy from his time at the village and lake? Would we see the boy of 12 who was broken but less so, where his smile was infectious, and even without pictures I could clearly see that brightness in him.
Sparrow faces so many emotions in this book which also had me feeling them right alongside him. Fear so deep, helplessness, a retreating quietness, empathy, sadness, love and friendship so amazingly deep. When he was happy I felt it beaming towards me, breathing in the happiness alongside him.
I believe without a doubt that this book will impact many and it is completely worth reading, you will not forget Sparrow. The book will challenge you but it will also show there is strength in all of us and HOPE!
Thank you to Allen & Unwin and Scot Gardner for the opportunity to read and review this book.