Synopses & Reviews
Growing up in the 1920s, sixteen-year-old Garnet Richardson envies the birds outside her window. Her mother does not approve of Garnet climbing trees to peer into nests or any other such un-ladylike behavior. She has Garnet's life all planned out: after finishing high school, she'll marry and tend to the home. But when Garnet is sent away for the summer to stay with relatives in the lakeside resort town of Excelsior, Minnesota, she finds a chance to spread her wings. A newly built amusement park and roaring dance hall beckon, and her explorations land her where she least expects in a growing relationship with a beautiful and daring flapper, Isabella.
So begins the most important summer of Garnet's life. Caught between her family's expectations and her own newfound passions, she must decide whose dreams to follow. Can she seize the freedom she so admires in birds?
"Silhouette of a Sparrow is an excellent example of an historical coming-of-age lesbian young adult novel. Written with a deft hand, based in the true history of its setting, and with characterizations that will ring true to any teenager, it is a worthy and enjoyable read for anyone. The writing style is straight-forward so the plot turns, analogies, and descriptions stand out, adding vibrancy to the story."
"Griffin's first novel for teens is laced with evocative period details that give readers a taste of what it was like to come of age during the flapper era."
"Silhouette of a Sparrow is Molly Beth Griffin's first novel, and fans of young adult fiction will enjoy its quiet drama."
"Tight and purposeful...a positive breath of fresh air."
"Garnet's feminist and environmental concerns are relevant for a young contemporary audience without feeling anachronistic to the narrative."
"A lovely, bittersweet and quiet coming of age story. It brilliantly combines its vivid historical setting (which has been meticulously researched by the author) and Garnet's love for ornithology with a story about growth and about falling in love...a very enjoyable, gratifying read. I recommend it."
The Book Smugglers
"An immensely charming short novel....Griffin perfectly captures the mood of America in the twenties — prohibition, first wave feminism, ongoing and virulent racism, the class war at one of its many peaks — and it is this that pushes Silhouette to be more than 'just' a coming of age romance novel, but an example of historical fiction at its most vivid."
Winner of the Milkweed Prize For Children's Literature
Winner Of The 2013 Paterson Prize for Books for Young Readers
ALA Rainbow List Recommended Book
Amelia Bloomer Project List Recommended Book
Lambda Literary Award Finalist
Minnesota Book Award Finalist
Foreward Reviews Book of the Year Honorable Mention
In the summer of 1926, sixteen-year-old Garnet Richardson is sent to a lake resort to escape the polio epidemic in the city. She dreams of indulging in ornithology and a visit to an amusement park a summer of fun before she returns to a last year of high school, marriage, and middle-class homemaking. But in the country, Garnet finds herself under supervision of oppressive guardians, her father's wealthy cousin and the matron's stuck-up daughter. Only a job in a hat shop, an intense, secret relationship with a beautiful flapper, and a deep faith in her own heart can save her from the suffocation of traditional femininity in this coming-of-age story about a search for both wildness and security in an era full of unrest. It is the tale of a young woman's discovery of the science of risk and the art of rebellion, and, of course, the power of unexpected love.
About the Author
Molly Beth Griffin is a graduate of Hamline University's MFA program in Writing for Children and Young Adults, and a writing teacher at the Loft Literary Center in the Twin Cities. Her first picture book, Loon Baby, came out with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in 2011. Silhouette of a Sparrow is her first novel.