Reviews for Sparrow

by Moon, Sarah

Kirkus
Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

In a world where everyone else seems to know how to get along, Sparrow Cooke, an eighth-grade black girl in Brooklyn, finds solace in flying like a bird whenever she's uncomfortable, until the day comes when that's no longer an option.When Sparrow is found on a rooftop, everyone assumes it's a suicide attempt, and she's suddenly thrust into the experience of hospitals, therapy, and a mom who doesn't understand. But Sparrow wasn't trying to kill herself. She was escaping her feelings of awkwardness by imagining she was high in the sky, soaring with a flock of birds. This is her main coping mechanism for dealing with her friendlessness and the death of one of her trusted adults, the librarian Mrs. Wexler. Can she learn how to stay on Earth and deal with the things that scare her? An extremely diverse cast of characters, including people of different races, gender, and sexual orientation, drives the strong, delicate narrative of Moon's debut novel. Sparrow deals with different emotional issues against a backdrop of lyrical language and touching images, with a healthy dose of musical connections that beg to be added to a playlist and a bibliography of favorite books that is as consciously diverse as the cast. Sparrow is a character to learn from. Both inspiring and useful for anyone who's ever felt like they don't belong. (Fiction. 12-14) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

When eighth-grader Sparrow wakes up in the hospital, she can't convince the doctors or her mother that she wasn't attempting suicide on the roof of her school. Once she starts seeing her therapist, she reveals that when she experiences anxiety, she becomes a real sparrow and flies with other birds. Moon's debut novel deftly normalizes therapy and prioritizing one's mental health. In lyrical, minimalist prose that resounds with authenticity, Moon tracks Sparrow's relatable experience with trauma and anxiety. The recurring therapy sessions never come across as manufactured or heavy-handed, nor do they present a singular, correct way to cope with anxiety. After opening up to her therapist, Sparrow takes a brave step and enrolls in a month-long music camp. There she finds unexpected validation and a community of women who build her up. An elegantly told and important novel about learning to cope, live, and be happy with depression and anxiety.--Kling, Caitlin Copyright 2017 Booklist


Horn Book
(c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

African American eighth grader Sparrow suffers from crippling shyness and anxiety made worse by the tragic loss of her beloved school librarian. Sparrow copes by imagining herself flying with the birds; she's put in therapy (which includes attending rock-band camp) after she's found on the school rooftop. Despite an uneven plot, likable Sparrow elevates this sensitive depiction of mental illness and the transformative power of music. (c) Copyright 2018. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


School Library Journal
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Gr 7 Up-Fourteen-year-old Sparrow Cooke is believed to have nearly taken her own life on her school's roof. She begins to see a therapist. The teen refuses to open up during her initial sessions with Dr. Katz, but the therapist slowly gets through to Sparrow by introducing her to rock music. However, Sparrow wants to fly away from dealing with issues, such as the death of her favorite school librarian Mrs. Wexler, the loss of her kindergarten best friend Chocolate, popular mean girls like Monique, nearly flunking the eighth grade, her inability to socialize with other kids, and her distance from her mom. Their relationship becomes more strained after a parent-teacher conference with Sparrow's teachers. With Dr. Katz's help, the girl's world is opened up and she gets the opportunity to attend the Gertrude Nix Rock Camp for Girls for the summer. She reluctantly leaves her comfort zone and befriends three unlikely dorm mates. Readers will quickly identify with this protagonist; Sparrow speaks to those who may have difficulty dealing with loss, making friends, and feeling alienated. Librarians will appreciate the nod to the Brooklyn Public Library and the significant role Mrs. Wexler played in Sparrow's life. Moon brilliantly weaves the intersections of race, class, sexual orientation, body image and women's contributions to rock and pop music histories into the narrative. Rock music fans will love the homage to the diverse artists, musicians, and bands within the genre. VERDICT This novel will inspire readers to find their own voices through literary and musical expression. A good choice for most YA collections.-Donald Peebles, Brooklyn Public Library Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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