Synopses & Reviews
In high school, the last thing you want is for people to think you talk to ghosts.
When Sparrow begins tenth grade at a huge new school full of strangers, she thinks her dreams of anonymity and a fresh start are finally coming true. No more following in her six older sisters' footsteps. No more going to class with kids who've seen her grandma doing jujitsu in the front yard next to the headstones of her four dead husbands. And no more worrying about keeping her deep, dark secret hidden.
Sparrow makes a new best friend and has her eye on an irritatingly appealing guy in her history class. She feels like she's well on her way to a normal life. But it's another boy—a dead one—who wants Sparrow's attention, and he won't let her be till she's helped him Move On.
You see, Sparrow Delaney's secret is that she's a psychic. And there's one very persistent ghost who won't let her forget it.
"'Harper's (Boitano's Edge) polished debut novel couches an unexpectedly poignant meditation on loss in a quick-moving plot about ghosts and the spiritual mediums who communicate with them. Fifteen-year-old Sparrow Delaney is the seventh daughter of a seventh daughter and therefore highly gifted in the psychic arts. The only problem: she wants nothing to do with her talent. She trains herself to ignore the ghosts that compete for her attention, at least in the presence of her family and fellow citizens of Lily Dale, N.Y., a (real-life) town that attracts tourists with its famous spiritualists and Spirit meetings. But how can Sparrow shake off the teenage ghost who refuses to stop haunting her unless she helps him, and what does he have to do with the cute boy in the new school she's transferred to in hopes of escaping the Lily Dale weirdness? A steady stream of wit refreshes familiar-seeming story elements. Harper serves up pitch-perfect dialogue from high school athletes and teachers; squabbling mediums; and such clever flourishes as the grandfatherly baker, the 19th-century young Indian gentleman and the exacting female professor who serve as Sparrow's spirit guides. Surprise turns add to the plot's pleasures, but what makes this book stand out most is Harper's attention to the pockets of sorrow in her characters' histories, each of them handled with care. For all of the imagination the author displays in inventing a spirit world, she shows equal skill in probing the nuances of tender emotions, too. Ages 12-up. (July)' Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)"
Sparrow Delaney is the most talented psychic in a family of skilled mediums, but she absolutely refuses to let her so-called gift keep her from being normal. But with three ghosts regularly haunting her, Sparrow must face her destiny--and 10th grade--head on.
About the Author
Suzanne Harper is the author of The Secret Life of Sparrow Delaney. She has also written four nonfiction books, numerous newspaper and magazine articles, and several plays. She earned degrees in English and journalism from the University of Texas at Austin and a master's degree in writing from the University of Southern California. As part of her research for The Juliet Club, she studied Shakespeare, stage sword fighting, Elizabethan dance, and Italian. She also visited Juliet's House in Verona, Italy, and spoke to volunteers at the real-life Juliet Club. Suzanne Harper lives in New York City.