The Great Unexpected

The Great Unexpected

Featured
 
3.5 (2)
 
0.0 (0)
2801   0
Write Review
The Great Unexpected
Author(s)
Publisher
Genre(s)
Age Range
8+
Release Date
September 04, 2012
ISBN
0061892327
Buy This Book
      
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. I felt I was turning a corner and that change was afoot.

In the little town of Blackbird Tree live two orphan girls: one Naomi Deane, brimming with curiosity, and her best friend, Lizzie Scatterding, who could talk the ears off a cornfield. Naomi has a knack for being around when trouble happens. For she knows all the peculiar people in town—like Crazy Cora and Witch Wiggins and Mr. Farley. But then, one day, a boy drops out of a tree. The strangely charming Finn boy. Then the Dingle Dangle man appears, asking all kinds of questions. Curious surprises are revealed—three locked trunks, a pair of rooks, a crooked bridge, and that boy. Soon Naomi and Lizzie find themselves zooming toward a future neither could ever have imagined. Meanwhile, on a grand estate across the ocean, an old lady whose heart has been deceived concocts a plan. . . .

As two very different worlds are woven together, Newbery Medal winner Sharon Creech celebrates the gossamer thread that connects us all, and the great and unexpected gifts of love, friendship, and forgiveness.

Editor reviews

2 reviews

Overall rating 
 
3.5
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
3.5  (2)
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A  (0)
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A

Quite the Middle Grade Treat

When I picked up The Great Unexpected, I certainly did not know what to expect. After just a few pages, however, I knew that I would love Naomi and her best friend, Lizzie, who enters into the scene with a silly "lar dee dar" warbly sing-song voice that left me completely charmed and giggling to myself--as I did in nearly every scene with Lizzie. The cast of characters in this short but enchanting story is a snapshot of what it is like to live in a small and poverty-ridden town. The abnormal things about Blackbird Tree are the very things that make it normal to these two tweens, and what make this story a unique, fun, and thoughtful read for just about any girl.

Right away we are introduced to a magical character, Finn, a sort of Peter-Pan-esque boy that literally drops into Naomi's life and is almost a catalyst to her beginning to experience the familiar emotions of vanity and jealousy in an entirely new way as she comes of age. Though he remained mysterious throughout the rest of the book, and I wished to know more about where he came from and what his purpose was--it became clear by the end of the book that he did, in fact, have a reason for being.

The series of events that happen over the course of this story were at times tragic, at times comical, and many times, both. I appreciated the statement it made about friendship and family, and the way it serves as a starting-off point for contemplating hope and destiny and the things that bring friends together and can bind them to one another for a lifetime. An endearing read.

Was this review helpful to you? 
(Updated: October 20, 2012)
Overall rating 
 
3.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
3.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A

The Great Unexpected

The town of Blackbird Tree has more than its fair share of orphans and old people. Naomi lives with Nula and Joe, her mother having passed away shortly after her birth, and her father dying of an infection after a dog attack that also disfigured Naomi's arm. Her friend Lizzie lives with a couple she hopes will adopt her. The two makes friends with Finn, an unusual boy who also has a mysterious past. While the children in Blackbird Tree are hanging out, helping the strange and elderly (Crazy Cora, Witch Wiggins, etc.), an older woman in Ireland is planning revenge. She sends her solicitor to spy on the residents of Blackbird Tree and report things back to her. This lady is somehow connected to Nula, and when Joe passes away, the solicitor has Nula, Naomi and Lizzie all come to Ireland, where all of the secrets of the past are revealed and come together for everyone's benefit.

Good Points
Creech has a writing style that incorporates all of the elements of stories that language arts teachers love. There's foreshadowing, character development, conflict, and good use of all sorts of figurative language, as well as symbolism. While some of the mysteries I had figured out early on, there were some surprises at the end.
Was this review helpful to you? 

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.
Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

Peppa in Space (Peppa Pig)
Get ready for a Peppa Pig story that's out of...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Stars We Steal
Engagement season is in the air. Eighteen-year-old Princess Leonie “Leo”...
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
Pete the Cat and the Itsy Bitsy Spirder
Pete the Cat’s cool adaptation of the classic children’s song...
 
3.5
 
0.0 (0)
Superlative Birds
Explore the fascinating world of superlative birds―from the bee hummingbird,...
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
In Another Life
Chloe was three years old when she became Chloe Holden,...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Even Monsters Go To School
What’s a school day like for you? ...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Can Cat and Bird Be Friends
In a sweet and clever picture book from debut author-illustrator...
 
3.5
 
0.0 (0)
Origami Bible Stories For Kids
Perfect for Sunday school lessons and youth group activities--paper figures...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Pig the Stinker
In this hilarious adventure, Pig the Pug STINKS! Pig likes...
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
Little Rabbit Lost
It is Little Rabbit’s birthday and his family surprises him...
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
Cece Loves Science and Adventure
Cece loves science and adventure! ...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Hannah Sparkles: Hooray For the First Day of School
Cheer along with Hannah Sparkles on her first day of...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Turtle and Tortoise Are Not Friends
This is Turtle. This is...
 
3.5
 
0.0 (0)
Trace
In a debut novel that's perfect for fans of Jason...
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
When Summer Ends
Three months Two changed fates One...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Mystery Club (Mr. Wolf's Class #2)
Mr. Wolf's students are settling into their new classroom, and...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)

Latest Member Reviews

A Thousand Sisters: The Heroic Airwomen of the Soviet Union in World War II
 
4.5
"This is a enthralling telling of the brave Soviet airwomen who flew missions during World War II. They fought in..."
Seven at Sea
 
4.0
"SEVEN AT SEA is told in alternating point of views between Erik and Emily Orton. After watching sailboats drifting on..."
Dear Ally, How Do You Write A Book?
 
5.0
"DEAR ALLY, HOW DO YOU WRITE A BOOK is perfect for anyone interested in writing. It doesn't matter if you're..."
What is Poetry? The Essential Guide to Reading and Writing Poems
 
4.0
"WHAT IS POETRY: THE ESSENTIAL GUIDE TO READING AND WRITING POEMS by Michael Rosen is a nonfiction, how-to book intended..."
Secret Soldiers: How the U.S. Twenty-Third Special Troops Fooled the Nazis
 
5.0
"During WWII, there were dozens and dozens of departments and units doing things that 95% of the population still has..."
Captured: An American Prisoner of War in North Vietnam
 
5.0
"Jeremiah Denton was a naval aviator who was shot down and captured by the North Koreans in 1965, and was..."
Colorblind
 
4.5
"While Colorblind won’t be shattering barriers, it opens the conversation in racism from a standpoint not yet explored. Colorblind,..."
Parkland Speaks: Survivors from Marjory Stoneman Douglas Share Their Stories
 
5.0
"The Parkland massacre took the lives of 17 students the day it happened and the very recent passings of two..."
Standing Up Against Hate: How Black Women in the Army Helped Change the Course of WWII
 
5.0
"Because of the enormous need for men to be at the front battle lines, or in one of the theaters..."
The Faithful Spy: Dietrich Bonhoeffer and the Plot to Kill Hitler
 
4.5
"While the author says in an end note that he excluded a lot of information, the average reader will be..."
A Thousand Sisters: The Heroic Airwomen of the Soviet Union in World War II
 
4.5
"A Thousand Sisters tells the story of Soviet Airwomen in great detail, drawing on the experiences of many women pilots,..."
Mend A Story of Divorce
 
3.0
"What worked: Explores one teen's experience of dealing with the divorce of her parents. For those going through a similar..."
Clink A Story of Cyberbullying
 
3.0
"This is a graphic novel adaptation of a real teen's experience of being bullied online. What worked: This is..."
Once A King (Clash of Kingdoms)
 
4.0
"\ Feedback If you’ve read my other reviews on the series thus far then you know how much I love..."
Poetry 101
 
4.0
"POETRY 101 by Susan Dalzell is a comprehensive introduction to poetry written in the English language. The book takes us..."
You/Poet: Learn the Art. Speak Your Truth. Share Your Voice.
 
5.0
"YOU/POET by Rayna Hutchison and Samuel Blake, the folks from HER HEART POETRY, is a tremendous gift to writers everywhere...."
Hey, Kiddo
 
5.0
"What worked: This is an amazing memoir told in graphic novel style of a teen that deals with family addiction...."
The Grand Escape: The Greatest Prison Breakout of the 20th Century
 
5.0
"World War I was a harrowing war, but is not covered as frequently as World War II. This is a..."
The Strange True Tale of Frankenstein's Creator Mary Shelley
 
4.5
"What worked: This is a fascinating insight into the life of the author of Frankenstein. The beginning paragraph, when Mary..."
In Harm's Way: JFK, World War II, and the Heroic Rescue of PT 109
 
4.5
"While many young readers have heard of President John F. Kennedy, few know about anything other than his assassination. While..."