The Great Unexpected

by Sharon Creech

Naomi and her friend Lizzie are both orphans, living with separate families in a... read more

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’ve cared for her since she was a small child. The arrival of an unusual boy named Finn—he appears in a tree which he promptly falls out of—creates a bit of tension between the two girls, but they carry on their friendship and their volunteer work with the “poor, 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’s 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. (Ages 8–10)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2013

show less