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The Secret Life of Sparrow Delaney
The Secret Life of Sparrow Delaney
Author: Suzanne Harper
How do you ignore a ghost? Sparrow Delaney absolutely, positively does not want to be a medium like her six older sisters, her mother, and her grandmother. She does not want to see, hear, smell, or talk to ghosts. If she sticks to her rules and doesn't let anyone know that she can do all those things?everywhere, all the time?Sparrow jus...  more »
ISBN-13: 9780061131608
ISBN-10: 0061131601
Publication Date: 6/1/2008
Pages: 368
Reading Level: Young Adult
  • Currently 4.4/5 Stars.

4.4 stars, based on 6 ratings
Publisher: HarperTeen
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover
Members Wishing: 0
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

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whippoorwill avatar reviewed The Secret Life of Sparrow Delaney on
Helpful Score: 2
Sparrow Delaney, the 7th daughter of a 7th daughter can see, smell, and hear dead people, a fact she desperately tries to hide from her eager, psychic-filled family. Ignoring her gift reaches it's height of difficulty when she starts receiving messages from a very persistent ghost. Sparrow is forced to decide between protecting her secret or helping a friend in need.

The Secret Life of Sparrow Delaney is a fun book that combines mystery, a little romance, and a traditional coming of age tale. Sparrow is highly likable as a character and as narrator. She's well-developed and her portrayal is believable and honest. Other characters, mainly her 6 sisters, are not as well developed, and their personalities are basically dictated by their names (all 7 sisters are names after birds). This is a slight weakness, but does not distract from the many strengths of the novel. This is Sparrow's novel, and her immense likability is what I imagine will win most readers over.

I'd recommend The Secret Life of Sparrow Delaney even to those that do not enjoy paranormal plots, as there is much more to this novel than just ghost and seances.

Rating: 4 spirit guides out of 5.
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GeniusJen avatar reviewed The Secret Life of Sparrow Delaney on + 5322 more book reviews
Reviewed by Candace Cunard for

For Sparrow Delaney, having to switch schools before starting tenth grade isn't a curse--it's a blessing. All her life she's wanted to be normal, and now that she's found a chance to start over, she's not about to let anything ruin it. But it's hard to live a normal life when your sisters, mother, and grandmother are all mediums, in contact with the spirit world, and when you live in Lily Dale, New York, a town devoted to spiritualism where séances are regular activities and everyone you meet has some affinity for the dead. It only gets harder when you hear the dead, too.

As the seventh daughter of a seventh daughter, Sparrow is an exceptionally powerful medium. She's been seeing ghosts since she was five years old, and she knows her talents far surpass those of anyone else she's met. But Sparrow has always wanted more from life than being a medium, so from a young age, she's hidden her gifts, pretending that she cannot communicate with the dead at all. She sees her move to a new school as a chance to finally break away from the teasing that's always followed her, and the first step in becoming someone who has no need for annoying spirits who refuse to Move On.

Unfortunately for Sparrow, the spirits don't care too much about what she wants. On the first day of school, the spirit of a teen named Luke appears to her and urges her to help him solve the problems that are keeping him from Moving On. Sparrow ignores him at first, but Luke is more persistent than the other ghosts she's shrugged off over the years, and eventually she finds herself grudgingly listening to his story. Sparrow also has to deal with a history project partner, Will, who decides they should focus their local history report on Lily Dale and "those psychic quacks" who live there. Not to mention the continued worrying of her mother, grandmother, and sisters about her apparent lack of talents.

I came into this story less than thrilled by the premise, but I was quickly won over by Sparrow's first-person voice as she articulated all of the difficulties of being a teenage medium trying to hide her talents. The author does a good job of painting realistic--albeit quirky--relationships between Sparrow and her family members and new-found friends. The intricacies of her interactions with Luke and Will kept me wanting to know more about all of the characters involved. Even readers put off by the story's fantastic premise will be sucked into the drama of Sparrow's life and fly through the plot's twists and turns until they reach what I felt was a very satisfying conclusion.
AuntDi avatar reviewed The Secret Life of Sparrow Delaney on + 141 more book reviews
This is a really fun book about a 15 year old girl who can see and speaks to ghosts, but wants more than anything to be "normal". Really nice insights about helping others and being yourself. A quick and enjoyable read for adults, I would say that it targets the younger teen. No sex, drugs, etc. There is one four letter word and some kissing at the end. (As my niece would say - Ewwww, but I think she'll like this, so it's going on her summer reading list.) A nice transition book for kids who like Harry Potter, but are a little young for Twilight.