I received an advanced reader copy of Brian Kindall’s Sparrow in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley and the publishers, for which I am grateful. Timothy Sperling, or Sparrow as one might come to know him, is one of Candela’s citizens. Left behind by his parents, who underwent a mission to prevent an environmental crisis, Sparrow finds himself terribly missing his mother and father; however, when he has the opportunity to wish to be reunited with them he feels too selfish, so, instead, he wishes for snow. The novel follows the adventures he embarks on trying to save Candela from a blizzard that buried the city in mountains of snow.
Sparrow is a beautifully written middle-grade fiction novel that depicts the story with short, but meaningful sentences and realistic and detailed descriptions of the surroundings that convey a certain lyrical feeling to it. I found the writing style particularly outstanding not for how fast paced it makes the book, but for how gracefully the author manages to approach subjects often considered delicate: conserving nature, childhood, environmental crisis and ornithology. If I’m frank, I don’t think I’ve ever read a book so original in terms of the plot, an aspect that most certainly weighed in on my appreciation for it. Another literary device that Kindall uses is imagery that, considering the target audience, is beneficial in building up a vivid story one cannot help but be present in. Not only the writing style, but the characters contribute to its value as well. I found them quite relatable and well rounded: the author reassures through Sparrow that there is always hope and magic, you just have to really believe in it. More than that, the readers finding themselves in the same position as Sparrow are to a certain degree reassured that they’re not alone.
Although it was an exceptional read, I had a personal “issue” with the ending. While the story was exceptionally written, with carefully chosen words that matched the tone and it entailed subjects that are rarely approached in middle-grade novels, I found the ending a little abrupt, leaving the reader with unanswered questions. However, there is an epilogue that allows the reader to fill in the blank spaces, which, on a second thought, is a clever way of promoting imagination. Regardless, I recommend Sparrow to children that enjoy books revolving around nature, especially birds, but not only as I believe older children (some might call them adults) would enjoy it as well.
Author: Brian Kindall
Publication Date: 2022
Publisher: Diving Boy Books
Format: Kindle Edition|228