Wednesday, May 08, 2013

MG Review: The Great Unexpected by Sharon Creech

The Great Unexpected by Sharon Creech
Release Date: September 4, 2012 
Publisher: HarperCollins
Source: Publisher for Review
I had big thoughts to match the big wind. I wondered if we find the people we need when we need them. I wondered if we attract our future by some sort of invisible force, or if we are drawn to it by a similar force. I felt I was turning a corner and that change was afoot.

In the little town of Blackbird Tree live two orphan girls: one Naomi Deane, brimming with curiosity, and her best friend, Lizzie Scatterding, who could talk the ears off a cornfield. Naomi has a knack for being around when trouble happens. For she knows all the peculiar people in town--like Crazy Cora and Witch Wiggins and Mr. Farley. But then, one day, a boy drops out of a tree. The strangely charming Finn boy. Then the Dingle Dangle man appears, asking all kinds of questions. Curious surprises are revealed--three locked trunks, a pair of rooks, a crooked bridge, and that boy. Soon Naomi and Lizzie find themselves zooming toward a future neither could ever have imagined. Meanwhile, on a grand estate across the ocean, an old lady whose heart has been deceived concocts a plan. . . .

As two very different worlds are woven together, Newbery Medal winner Sharon Creech celebrates the gossamer thread that connects us all, and the great and unexpected gifts of love, friendship, and forgiveness.

Currently listening to: Animal by Neon Trees

Sharon Creech is one of my favorite author's. She wrote both Walk Two Moons and Ruby Holler, two books that have been on my favorites list since elementary school. I was beyond excited to read her newest, The Great Unexpected, and I'm guessing HarperCollins heard my plea. The Great Unexpected was everything I had hoped it would be: fun and light but emotional and deep at the same time. While I didn't love all of the characters, I would recommend this book to anyone, especially people with young children in elementary school.

Right away, Naomi, our primary protagonist stole my heart. She's young, of course, but there was this sense of maturity about her that made me love her even more. Even though she's an orphan, she tried to make the best of what (and who) she had. Lizzie, he best friend, on the other hand bugged me. She was the character i most disliked simply because she seemed to serve no purpose to Naomi or the other characters. She was Naomi's foil in a way but I'm guessing I haven't been around younger kids in a long time so that's probably why I couldn't stand her.

If you've ever read a Sharon Creech book, you know that she is amazing at weaving more than one story together. While it may seem that the two distinct stories and characters have nothing in common with the others, in the end, it all makes sense. In a way though, I feel like The Great Unexpected faltered to truly engage me. I knew that the characters would be connected in some way, I didn't find myself truly invested in their stories.

Overall, I enjoyed The Great Unexpected. Maybe it's because I'm a huge fan of Sharon Creech but I'd recommend this book to pretty much any middle grade reader, though on the younger spectrum. The plot structure for this book actually reminded me of Code Name Verity: nothing seems to make sense in the beginning and everything is random but in the end, all the little things come together.
Cover Comments: 
LOVE it. If anyone hasn't noticed, middle grade novels have some of the best covers I've ever seen! Besides the bright colors being gorgeous, it represents the book perfectly!