Will Sparrow's Road by Karen Cushman.
Publication Date: November 2012
List Price: $16.99
Review: Will Sparrow's Road, written by Karen Cushman, is the story of a boy by the name Will Sparrow who tries to survive life on the road. Alongside him, a few oddities take him in and help him realize that there is still hope in the world. Can Will, a liar and thief, learn to love and feel loved again after all he had experienced before?
In the beginning, Will belonged to an innkeeper. He has no family. Originally, he had a family, but his ale-sodden father sold him for ale. You might wonder about his mother. His father always told him that she ran away because of Will, but Will never believed him. As the plot moves on, Will decides to run away. When nighttime comes, he leaves, soundlessly, and hurriedly runs down the bumpy road. After a few days, Will finds a man who needs help, help to get money. However, after Will assists the man, he gets cheated! Will realizes that he must never trust anyone. Then he finds a fair that can support a house for him. Soon after, he meets a magician who offers to pay him for the work that he does for him once a day. After the fair ends, the magician, Master Tidball, leaves Will with an old, broken down man, who offers Will a dinner and two sixpence a day. When Will meets the man's co-workers, he wishes he that he had never made this agreement. A small man, who looked like a dwarf, and a half cat half girl creature are Will's companions. Can these hideous creatures become Will's family?
In Will Sparrow's Road, I liked it when the author included Latin such as, "Valete- farewell, ab imo pectore- from my heart, and suum cuique pulchritudine- to each his own beauty." This language made the story come alive because the setting is in England, somewhere around 1599. Also, in the beginning, the first couple chapters were slow moving, but as the book gradually went on, the story recovered. I enjoyed how the author used words like, "Nay and Ne'er," but I also got a little confused by the dialect sometimes. Will Sparrow's Road helped me realize how hard life was in the 1500s but also showed me that a wee little liar and thief, after all he has been through, can still learn how to love. All in all, I think this book deserves five stars.
Review written by Monica (6th grade student).
We would like to thank Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for providing a copy of Will Sparrow's Road for this review.
Have you read Will Sparrow's Road? How would you rate it?