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The Great Unexpected Hardcover – September 4, 2012
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Top Customer Reviews
While best for ages 8 to 12 (and the younger readers may not make all the marvelous connections at first), this is one of those rare books that readers of all ages will treasure, not only for its engaging story, but its enduring message of hope.
I read this book in one sitting, and it was a complete delight. I say this as a 21-year-old college senior unaccustomed to reading Middle Grade. It releases September 4, 2012.
The twelve-year-old, neurotic Naomi has a violent past and a childlike perspective, but a refreshingly sophisticated voice. Her sarcasm and levelheadedness contrast her friend Lizzie Scatterdinghead's innocent, tactful chatterboxing in one of the best foils I've ever witnessed.
When a little Irishman falls out of a tree and knocks her over, he becomes her first crush. Duh dun SHHH.
As the opening chapters suggest - Naomi and Lizzie refer to Finn as "a body" and as "it" - he's mysterious enough to make you wonder, for some time, whether he's paranormal. Meanwhile, a couple of women casually plot "murders" across the ocean, and many dots link Naomi's and Lizzie's little country town of Blackbird Tree, and the dots demand explanation.
What I learned about storytelling: I've got a countdown this time.
3. Interactive character description is incredibly vivid. When the book comes out, I will be copying a passage about Joe from chapter 7.
2. I remember this trick from Walk Two Moons. Creech adds some distance to the love stories woven into these middle grade books, maybe to tone down the romance for younger kids, maybe to add poignance and mystery, maybe both. The most intimate scene in the book is told in two parts, with a brief intermission, in past perfect tense.
1. There's a saying about writing: "Don't leave the gun on the mantle." If a character puts a gun above the fireplace, that gun better fire before the story's over.Read more ›
Naomi Deane and Lizzie Scatterding are two best friends in the small town of Blackbird Tree. Both are wounded orphans living daily with their fears. Naomi is an old soul, wise beyond her years and terrified of dogs. A vicious attack by one as a child left her maimed and took the life of her father. Lizzie is a scattered chatterbox with the inability to lie and the fear of being homeless. Her one hope is that her foster parents will adopt her and give her a sense of permanency.
The tale begins when a mysterious boy named Finn drops out of a tree, literally at the feet of Naomi. His presence in their lives has an effect on their friendship in the same manner that another boy named Finn in another lifetime came between Naomi's guardian Nula and her sister.
Across the pond in Ireland Mrs. Kavanaugh plots at her estate of Rook Orchard to set a plan in motion that will right past wrongs. She sends the mysterious solicitor Mr. Dinkle to the town of Blackbird Tree and the lives of Naomi and Lizzie are changed forever.
As Naomi muses.... "I had big thoughts to match the big wind. I wondered if we find the people we need when we need them. I wondered if we attract our future by some sort of invisible force, or if we are drawn to it by a similar force.Read more ›
Finn seems to be unknowingly accompanied by an older man who is asking too many questions in the small town. Meanwhile, on the other side of the ocean in Ireland, two women seem to talk a bunch of crazy talk that only makes sense towards the end. Aside from the odd vague plot, the book was actually pretty amazing. It kept me guessing what the purpose of the story was and there would be times where characters would say something that would connect to another character saying something previously. I actually spent two hours or so in bed putting little things together and figuring out the big picture.
The characters for a start were superb. Lizzie, the main characters best friend, has a very theatrical aura in her written character. From the way she speaks and by her actions it's as if she's an actress overacting her part and its fantastic! Others, such as Witch Wiggins and Crazy Cora, were also interesting and even though half of the time it was false, the rumors we hear about hem are entertaining.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Sharon Creech made this book intresting again by her creativity and I love how she connects two complete unknown worlds are woven into one big word!Published 14 days ago by Peng
“If you have never had a body fall out of a tree and knock you over, let me tell you what a surprising thing it is. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Amanda Hogue-Lavallee
Sharon Creech is wonderful. I'll start with that. But this book ... really, it was all smoke and mirrors. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Will in Seattle
Not as interesting as some of her other very fine novels. She does always have a very important story to tell that evokes empathy from the reader. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Rick Arscott
This book was fantastic loved reading it, i have already read ruby holler chasing redbird walk two moons and the boy on the porch great books read them! (:Published 11 months ago by CARMEN ARGERSINGER
This was a great book I must say. There was mystery there was discovery and there was a lesson of friendship.Published 12 months ago by Robert T Falls
Brimming with folklore, dreams, twists, magic and unlikely coincidences, this refreshing story was exactly that – The Great Unexpected - like a treasure box full of surprises!Published 14 months ago by Sue Holmes @Crushingcinders