Book Review: Sparrow

20 Sep

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The story opens in a white hospital room after Sparrow’s apparent suicide attempt. The custodian found Sarah on the edge of the school’s roof, but no one will believe that she wasn’t up there to jump. She was up there to fly. When the world on the ground gets to be too much Sparrow checks out and pictures herself turning into a bird and flying away.

Sparrow keeps to herself, gets good grades, doesn’t cause trouble for her mom, but is lonely and searching for something. And she finds it when she “flies away” with the birds in the neighborhood. With the help of a therapist, Sparrow begins to see that life on the ground isn’t all bad and with help and she can feel like flying through the power of music.

I was hesitant to read this story because I expected it to be about suicide and I read middle grade books for a reason (I need that underlying hope). But, in the end I am so glad I got a chance to read this book and enter into Sparrow’s world. Sparrow sees a therapist once a week and this story brings the stigma of mental illness to the forefront. The story works through Sparrow’s thought that she is crazy and the idea her therapist will through her in a padded cell when she hears about Sparrow’s crazy. It works through Sparrow’s idea of what her mom thinks of her and how she can’t be the perfect daughter she thinks her mom wants and needs. It’s a story of receiving help and taking chances to make your own life better and I think it’s a story that so many people need to read.

There’s a stigma in this country that makes people believe that receiving medication, seeing a therapist or doing something about your mental health should be hidden away, but I think that if more people accepted mental health in the way they see staying fit and active, eating healthy and getting a physical, we’d be a lot healthier overall. Definitely take the time to pick this book up, it’s a must read.

Twitter Booktalk (140 characters or less): Sparrow can’t seem to convince her mom that she isn’t crazy, but with the help of a therapist and rock’n’roll, Sparrow finds a way to fly.

Title: Sparrow
Author: Sarah Moon
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books
Publication Date: October 10, 2017
Page Number: 272 pgs.

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