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The Great Unexpected

by Sharon Creech

Published by Joanna Cotler Books / HarperCollins, 2012
226 pages
ISBN: 978𢠢61892325

Ages 810

Naomi and her friend Lizzie are both orphans, living with separate families in a small American town called Blackbird Tree. Lizzie dreams of being adopted by her foster parents, while Naomi has no doubt she is loved by Nula and Joe, the couple who抳e cared for her since she was a small child. The arrival of an unusual boy named Finn梙e appears in a tree which he promptly falls out of梒reates a bit of tension between the two girls, but they carry on their friendship and their volunteer work with the 損oor, unfortunate elderly, a host of colorful characters in town. Meanwhile, in Ireland, two old women are making plans that are gradually revealed to be connected to the lives of some of the residents of Blackbird Tree. Moving back and forth between events in Blackbird Tree and in Ireland, author Sharon Creech tightens the threads that weave the two stories into one modern fairy tale with a wholly satisfying, happily-ever-after ending. There is wonderful, quirky humor in Creech抯 storytelling, and also abundant heart, with the mysterious boy Finn, who spans both parts of the tale, adding a welcome edge to the sweetness of the story.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

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