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Spider Sparrow

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  86 ratings  ·  11 reviews
Spider Sparrow has always been different. Abandoned as an infant in a lambing pen and adopted by a kindly shepherd and his wife, Spider’s life is unusual from the start. As he grows, it becomes clear that he is not like other children: he can't walk, talk, or learn like them. But Spider has a gift: he can imitate perfectly the sounds of animals. The animals–and his communi ...more
Paperback, 176 pages
Published July 10th 2001 by Yearling (first published 2000)
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Average rating 3.93  · 
Rating details
 ·  86 ratings  ·  11 reviews

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Jun 26, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
More literary than most of the author's stories about fantastic animals. No 'magic' but, rather, a magical fable. Reads as if the author heard tell of this boy who lived in the olden days and interviewed some descendants of the characters for details, and then worked up the story.

Lovely. Sentimental, but not at all saccharine.

Not sure who the audience is. Shelved as Juvenile, but to me it seems more like a novella for adults. Readers of any age who want to stretch their brain muscles a bit sho
Jan 18, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well-written and well-done. I really enjoyed reading about a *real* working farm in war-era England. The characters are all realistic, and I listened to the audio version and loved all the different voices.

This book turned out to be a little different from what I was expecting--although now that I think about it, I'm not sure what I *was* expecting :-) I think maybe I thought it would be more light-hearted, without any serious issues. I don't mean to imply that it is gloom-and-doomy
Tyler Wong
Sep 14, 2016 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Laurie Gardner
Feb 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An exceptional, lovely story!
Miss Amanda
gr 4-6 162pgs

1926-1942 England. As a baby Spider Sparrow was left in a barn. He was taken in and raised by the Sparrows. As he grew, everyone realized that Spider was different. He couldn't talk like all the other children, but he had a special way of communicating with animals. All animals, even wild ones, trusted him. As he got older, his parents decided he needed a job. When he's asked to be "soljur" and protect the crops from the bad crows that want to eat it, Spider can't
Apr 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Great story about a boy who can bond with animals, despite an inability to talk and being very slow and clumsy in his movements.

Spider is a foundling, taken in by a shepherd and his wife. He finds his own place in the tiny community of a World War II era English farm.

It's a gentle simple tale, and despite the use of local dialect, it's easy to read and follow.

Some books, even when a tale is sad, take you away to another place, a peaceful place, and this is one of those stories. ...more
Cynthia Egbert
Oct 19, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: library
This one is a departure from what Mr. King-Smith usually writes. At the beginning it felt like a cross between Silas Marner and An Incident at Hawk Hill so I thought I would love it. It also has a fairy tale feel about it which is always a bonus with me. But the ending was not what I wanted and that put me off the book quite a bit. I did love the descriptions of life in a small English village during WWII and the characters contained in that village.
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
Nov 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kids-1001
A foundling, Spider Sparrow isn’t like others; he doesn’t speak much and he shuffles along. But in spite of his infirmities, Spider has a special affinity for animals.

And that’s the story. The story of a boy who seems handicapped but who uses his strengths to make a lovely life for himself.
Juli Anna
Jan 06, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: kidlit
Lovely quiet story of rural 1940's England. Not terribly plot-driven, but the characters make up for it. Great for animal lovers. Ending was a bit strange, and somewhat poorly explained, or else I would have given it four stars.
Jun 28, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent, just excellent. About a boy with a handicap, but with other gifts. Loved it. My kids were very impressed and still talk about it.
Sep 16, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Young readers
Shelves: fiction, youth
this is a new story with that old fashion fairy tail feel.
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Dick King-Smith was born and raised in Gloucestershire, England, surrounded by pet animals. After twenty years as a farmer, he turned to teaching and then to writing children's books.

Dick writes mostly about animals: farmyard fantasy, as he likes to call it, often about pigs, his special favorites. He enjoys writing for children, meeting the children who read his books, and knowing that they get
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