Review Detail

Kids Fiction 2968
Quite the Middle Grade Treat
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A
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.
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