Diving Boy Books (2022)
Reviewed by Grady Darrell (Age 9) for Reader Views (8/10/22)
“Sparrow” is a captivating book about a boy named Timothy Sperling who loves birds. His mother has gone away to the White Sea to save the last Ocular Sparrows, so Timothy lives alone with his crabby uncle. It never snows in his hometown, so when Timothy spots a shooting star, he grabs the opportunity and wishes for it to snow. He can hardly believe his eyes when the next morning he awakens to a flurry of white! However, what seems like a blessing soon turns into a curse when the miraculous snowstorm is still there the next day and is showing no signs of letting up. Our bird-based hero must find a way to stop the never-ending snowstorm before the town is buried forever.
If Kindall’s goal is to create a fun bird-lover’s book packed with questions and suspense, then I believe he accomplished exactly what he envisioned. For example: Along the way, Timothy comes across a shadowy girl, who disappears as soon as she’s spotted. An example: on page 12: “That’s the very place from where Timothy Sperling sang his song. His voice joined with the gentle sound of the falling snow. He was used to no one taking notice, so he was surprised when he heard what sounded like an echo joining his song. He turned his head, cocking his ear to the sky. There it was. Who, or what, could it be?” In that passage alone, you get a feeling of suspense, a need for answers, that definitely makes you want to keep reading.
Kindall writes well, with descriptive sentences that paint a picture in your head, and with lines that make you feel like you are there, watching over the scene. For example: “A smell like no other escaped from the drawer – primitive, like a capsule of forgotten time, with a hint of the heavens mixed with dust.” I can feel my nose wrinkling just from reading that sentence. However, for all those ups, there are bound to be some downs. For example, this book has a great plot with a buildup to something big, but the climax feels like a bit of a letdown, as I was expecting to see more of the Ocular Sparrows. Also, the story raised a lot of questions, but it felt like many of them were not answered. For example, a question I’m sure I’m not the only one to ask is: “What’s Tim’s special connection with birds?” I think the story needs to be longer, because the ending seemed a bit like Thanos snapped his fingers and came up with a solution.
Other than that, I think “Sparrow” is a good book overall with descriptive sentences and a captivating plot. I would recommend this book to a bird-loving audience of 8-12 year olds.
One connection I can make is that Timothy loves sparrows, and I love falcons. Also, my Nana has many birds and I even got to hold a conure!
In conclusion, “Sparrow” is a good book with a suspenseful plot that ended before I wanted it to. If you’re looking for a good book about birds and mystery, this is on the top of my recommendation list!