Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Truth about Sparrows” as Want to Read:
The Truth about Sparrows
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Truth about Sparrows

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  424 Ratings  ·  112 Reviews
"The Wynns are an unforgettable family. The details of their struggle to survive the Great Depression will linger long after the last page has been read."-Ann M. Martin, winner of the Newbery Honor for A Corner of the Universe

A stunning debut novel about
the true meaning of home

Sadie Wynn doesn't want a new life; her old one suits her just fine. But times are hard in droug
Paperback, 280 pages
Published October 16th 2007 by Square Fish (first published September 1st 2004)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Truth about Sparrows, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Truth about Sparrows

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Jul 28, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another book I picked up because it was next to Shannon Hale in the library!
This is a wonderful book about a young girl in the depression, leaving her nice home to live in a shack on the coast. She discovers some uncomfortable truths about herself, and becomes a better person and friend because of it.
A very believable story with likable characters.
Really enjoyed this book. About a family in the depression who lost a lot but never their dignity. Also about a young girl coming to terms with the changing circumstances of her family. Loved it -thanks Kristi
L11-Sharri Moses
Twelve year old Sadie Wynn and her family have to leave their home in Missouri because her father has lost his job and they will have to look for a job elsewhere. They decide to look for a job in Texas. Many people have been affected by the drought and Depression. Sadie’s best friend Wilma and her family lost their home and had to go live with relatives in California. Wilma begs Sadie to never forget they are best friends and they promise to write to each other every day. Sadie is resentful abou ...more
I thought the prose was really nice. I loved the descriptions of the landscape, their new home and everything they had to do to make it home. The setting is very unique and living near the ocean my whole life, I found it strange to experience someone smelling the salt air and eating shrimp for the first time. The author really excelled at the details of Depression era life in that area. The plot took awhile to be interesting but 3/4 of the way through, I couldn't put it down.

Sadie is very real.
Apr 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Truth About Sparrows by Marian Hale was a wonderful read to take a look at the depression through the eyes of a child. The book takes place in the year of 1933 right in the heart of the Great Depression, and twevle year old Sadie doesnt want to leave her old life in Missouri but times are tough and Sadie and her family, including her pregnant mother, disabled father, and many siblings, decide to move down south to Texas to build a boat and become fishers. Sadie meets new people and new place ...more
Oct 14, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reveiwed
This book shows poverty and struggle,throughout the story you see the main character Sadie become more and more deppressd. She had to leave her home amd everything she loved to go to a far away place.She must make new freinds,and a new life.The setting is during the great deppression.Sadie and her family live happily ever after.If you like storys about struggle and hope read this book you wont regret it.

The author wants the reader to understand what this girl had to go through, The strugges she
This is a book that will make you count your blessings. Sadie's family is one of the thousands who fled the dustbowl during the depression years, and they struggle to build a new life far from everything familiar. Sadie resists everything about her new life, almost especially her new friends. There is a strong undercurrent of Christian faith in this book, which is handled in my opinion with authenticity. I found Sadie's story very moving and uplifting. I was only a bit troubled by the subplot (w ...more
Jun 30, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
I loved this book. It was one of those beautifully written stories that makes you feel happy even when it is breaking your heart. It made me feel young again, in the way that the main character always feels too many emotions and with a limited range of life experience has no way of knowing how to deal with them. (Can you tell I like coming of age stories?)

It is the author's first novel, and I wish I could tell her that it was a job well done.
Mar 04, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love this book! Taking place during the Great Depression, The Truth About Sparrows creates a whole new world where if you can't make do with what you have, you don't survive. It teaches you that you can be happy with very little. As long as you have your family and friends, you'll be okay.
Aug 29, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I got this book since it was next to Shannon Hale in the library. The only reason why I like it is because it's exactly like the Little House books.
Apr 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great book for middle schoolers. It portrays families who are drifting through America during the Great Depression trying to find places where they can start a new life. Kids will learn that sometimes what they think can only be happening to them is actually happening to all those around them. While the protagonist is a girl boys should get a message out of this book as well.
Oct 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great children's book. Well written. A great story. A lot of meaning and good thoughts in this book. I read it for book club.
May 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: depression-era
A keeper to share.
Olivia I
The book, The Truth About Sparrows, by Marian Hale is a first person narrative of a thirteen year old girl and her family’s struggles during the Great Depression. Set in 1933, Sadie Wynn, the main character, experiences a difficult move from their home in Missouri to the southeastern coast of Texas. Her parents feel that it is the best for the family of five; with another child on the way, as it was difficult for them to find work. In the beginning of the book, Sadie is angry with her parents be ...more
Jean D
Mar 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mp3
The book The Truth About Sparrows by Marian Hale was published in 2004, a book based on the great depression, a tragic event that occurred the in 1930s. When I first took a glance at the book's cover I didn't think it would be that good, but this book is outstanding. The book The Truth About Sparrows, captured all the essences of life during the great depression through the narrator, a young girl named Sadie Wynn and her family. This book showed the daily life of the Wynn family and all the str ...more
Madison Niksich
Hale, M. (2004). The truth about sparrows. New York, New York: Henry Holt.

Sadie is a twelve-year-old who is forced to leave her beloved home in Missouri to a shack-style house in Texas with her family, due to the Great Depression that happened in the 1930’s. She made a promise to her best friend Wilma to never forget each other. Sadie took to that promise very strong, not letting anyone else take Wilma’s spot as her best friend, even though her neighbor Dollie was a very loyal friend. She is for
Ash Wilkins
Apr 28, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone
The Truth About Sparrows by Marian Hale is a historical fiction novel about a young girl named Sadie Wynn who has to move out to Texas with her parents and four siblings (with one on the way) during the Great Depression because of the dust bowl. She family struggles with trying to make a living and dealing with the challenges of having a disabled father. At first, Sadie is upset because her best friend Wilma had left for California not long before and even though a new girl named Dollie was tryi ...more
Eva D
Apr 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Marian Hale tells the story about a young girl named Sadie Wynn and her family in her historical fiction novel “The Truth about Sparrows”. The year is 1933 when Sadie and her family pack up their things to move to Texas. They are forced to leave behind some of their most prized possessions such as the wooden table that her daddy made for them. “Mama said there’d be no cake this year. She said I was getting a whole new life for my birthday instead.” (Pg.1) Sadie also has to leave her best friend, ...more
Sep 29, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: hardcore fans of Depression-era historical fiction
I finished this book in a few days. It was very easy to read, but at the same time, my mind wandered every time I picked it up so I had to reread parts of it over and over. It just didn't really catch my attention and hold it.
I liked the main characters, the friends and the family, especially the father. The atmosphere of the book was well done, as was the settings and the times. I liked the descriptions of all the seaside life, since it's something I haven't read about in a Depression-era book
Sadie is a girl living in Missouri when the Great Depression affects her family and they are forced to move to Texas so her father can begin his new career as a fisherman. Sadie doesn't want to leave her life in Missouri; she loves her house, her school, and her best friend Mary. Sadie meets Dolly at her new house which is now a shack, but Sadie can never fully appreciate what Dolly is doing for her because she is faithful to her friendship with Mary. Once Sadie realizes that she needs to be app ...more
Barb Terpstra
Feb 16, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I got this book at the dollar store, for, you guessed it, $1. I liked it so it was a dollar well spent.

As a girl who moved multiple times during her growing up years, I could understand Sadie's angst about leaving her home, best friend, and having to start somewhere new. Her struggle with her angry feelings and her desire to be a good person also resonated with me.

The author did a good job of describing Sadie's feelings as she transitioned from one type of life to another. I would recommend thi
Brenda Lambert
This book was very moving, at times I felt happy and other times I felt sad. When I felt sad it was because the family had to leave everything behind except for what they could put in their car. Which happened twice, the first time the family drove for several days looking for a new place to call home and the second time they were heading for shelter for the huge storm coming in from the sea that could destroy their home. Anytime the main character was sad I felt it because her sorrow was expres ...more
Kelly Bryson
Sep 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sadie Wynn is devastated when the dustbowl dries up her family's livelihood and they have to leave Missouri in the hopes that her dad will find a job on the coast of Texas. Her dad is a hard worker and a skilled carpenter, but it takes a while for people to stop staring at his polio-withered legs and see him as a person. As they rebuild their lives, Sadie must come to terms with the loss that her family--and the community of displaced persons that she's relucttantly become a part of--have endure ...more
Emily A
Apr 08, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Truth About Sparrows by Marian Hale takes you through a young girls life as she struggles during the depression in 1933. Sadie had to move from her home in Missouri to the southern coast of Texas with her handicapped father, pregnant mother and her siblings. She leaves her best friend Wilma but on the coast of Texas meets Dollie, who she finds weird at first but soon learns to like her and they become good friends. Although resistant to change from her old life at first, Sadie has to learn t ...more
The Truth About Sparrows by Marian Hale was a very good book. This book described the hardships of the Great Depression accurately through the eyes of a young girl. This book was educational but it was also a very entertaining read. It included facts about the Great Depression while still managing to make the book interesting and no just a boatload of facts. The characters such as Sadie and her family were easy to understand and become attached to. Sadie suffers losing her best friend, relocatin ...more
Apr 02, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book "The Truth About Sparrows" was a really good book. It showed in great detail what life was like during the Great Depression and how worse it was for people in the Mid-East of America because of droughts. Not only did the author; Marian Hale, portray how hard it was during this time but used a great character like Sadie to express what life was really like for her and her family who were affected by the Depression and forced to move because of it. Sadie, along with her parents and her t ...more
Jan 15, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: middle-grade
I thought it was beautifully written and the characters were well-developed. I didn't give it a higher rating because I still really don't get the title (there was only one little passage about sparrows and then an occasional mention of a man Sadie calls Mr. Sparrow, from whom she learns some lessons, so maybe that's where it comes from?). Also there was a couple of instances where the syntax didn't fit with the rest of the writing. Most of the time the speech style was normal and then once in a ...more
Apr 08, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Truth About Sparrows is a very good book. It is about a 12 year old girl named Sadie. The book takes place during the Great Depression. She and her family have to leave their home in Missouri because of the great dust bowl. They move to Texas where they start their new life. Sadie misses her best friend Wilma and her old life in Missouri. She becomes friends with a girl named Dollie, but she unappreciated her. This jeopardizes their friendship. Sadie is also upset that the people in Texas ar ...more
Jan 10, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Marian Hale seems to be starting a career writing pseudo-historical fiction. The Truth about Sparrows could have been better and could have been worse. Sadie, the narrator, makes mistakes, feels horrible about them, uses the bible to interpret things one way, then realizes that she was completely wrong and finds her way again. Now repeat this several times and you have a novel! I felt that some of the realistic or historical details smoothed things out a bit. For example, Sadie and her friend he ...more
Taylor Geare
Sep 05, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The main character, a 12 year old girl by the name of Sadie Wynn struggles to find her place in the weavings of a new life, the cause of the Great Depression which lead her family to promptly move from Missouri to a bay in Texas. This story is heart warming and I think that the description is right, the personality and diversity of the Wynn family is unforgettable. Though some parts were slow, the way Marian Hail constantly gives us Sadie's thoughts and emotions is wonderful. I love the way it's ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • A House of Tailors
  • The Crow-Girl: The Children of Crow Cove
  • Worth
  • Counting on Grace
  • Into the Firestorm: A Novel of San Francisco, 1906
  • Gentle's Holler
  • Dancing in Cadillac Light
  • Every Day After
  • Journey to Nowhere (Remembrance "Mem" Nye #1)
  • The Not-Just-Anybody Family (Blossom Family, #1)
  • Stop the Train! (Cissy Sissney, #1)
  • Weedflower
  • The Trouble with May Amelia (May Amelia, #2)
  • Keeping Score
  • How I Found the Strong
  • The Search for Belle Prater
  • Cold in Summer
  • Fish
MARIAN HALE lives with her husband, daughter, and grandbabies on the Texas Coast.
More about Marian Hale

Fiction Deals

  • Mercy Among the Children
    $14.99 $1.99
  • Darkness There: Selected Tales by Edgar Allan Poe [Kindle in Motion]
    $1.99 $0.99
  • An Empty Cup
    $3.99 $1.99
  • I Like You Just Fine When You're Not Around
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Abby's Journey
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Underground River
    $12.99 $2.99
  • The Word Game
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Fraulein M.
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Lost Girls of Camp Forevermore
    $11.99 $2.99
  • Sister of Mine
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Bury What We Cannot Take
    $5.99 $2.99
  • Chomp
    $6.99 $1.99
  • Searching for Grace Kelly
    $15.99 $1.99
  • Bricking It
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Fifth of March: A Story of the Boston Massacre (Great Episodes)
    $8.99 $2.99
  • Starfish
    $10.99 $1.99
  • Thunder and Rain
    $9.99 $2.99
  • All Grown Up
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Light of Hidden Flowers
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Olive's Ocean
    $6.99 $1.99
  • Ecstasy
    $13.99 $1.99
  • The Elephant Keeper's Daughter
    $5.99 $2.99
  • The Virtues of Oxygen
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Home to Harmony (Harmony #1)
    $11.14 $1.99
  • Dog Crazy
    $7.99 $1.99
  • The Towers of Tuscany
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Noticer: Sometimes, all a person needs is a little perspective
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Who We Were Before
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Reluctant Midwife (Hope River, #2)
    $10.49 $1.99
  • Sin No More (Reverend Curtis Black)
    $10.39 $1.99
  • The List
    $7.99 $2.99
  • Lost & Found
    $5.74 $1.99
  • A Watershed Year
    $3.99 $0.99
  • Savage
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Designer
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Novice: A Story of True Love
    $10.74 $1.99
  • Stray City
    $12.99 $1.99
  • Go Away Home
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Leaving of Things
    $4.49 $1.99
  • That Kind of Mother
    $12.99 $1.99
  • Train I Ride
    $6.99 $1.99
  • The Weight of Ink
    $10.99 $2.99
  • We'll Always Have Paris: Stories
    $9.99 $1.99
  • The Hidden Flower
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Greyhound
    $3.99 $0.99
  • Take Two (Above the Line, #2)
    $7.99 $1.99
  • The Heart Mender: A Story of Second Chances
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Lisette's List
    $11.99 $1.99
  • This Burns My Heart
    $10.99 $1.99
  • The Journeys of Socrates
    $10.99 $1.99
  • Annie on My Mind
    $9.99 $1.99
  • An Absent Mind
    $4.49 $1.99
  • Send Down the Rain
    $9.99 $1.99
  • The Book of Ruth
    $18.99 $1.99
  • I Want to Show You More: Stories
    $14.99 $1.99
  • Katherine
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Revenge of the Lawn / The Abortion / So the Wind Won't Blow It All Away
    $17.99 $1.99
  • Smoke
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Where We Belong
    $5.99 $1.49
  • Cashelmara
    $14.99 $1.99
  • Digging In
    $5.99 $2.99
  • The Traveling Vampire Show
    $3.99 $0.99
  • The Long Way Home
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Going Home
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Girl in the Glass
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Prayers and Lies
    $14.99 $1.99
  • Go the F**k to Sleep
    $8.99 $1.99
  • Fat Chance
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Just a Couple of Days
    $17.99 $1.99
  • The Boleyn Inheritance (The Tudor Court, #3)
    $12.99 $2.99
  • The Daughter of Union County
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Fighting Ground
    $6.49 $1.99
  • The Sugar Men
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Vengeance Road
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Ungifted
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Julie of the Wolves
    $6.99 $1.99
  • Mrs. Saint and the Defectives
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Stiltsville: A Novel
    $10.99 $1.99
  • To the Bright Edge of the World
    $11.99 $2.99
  • The Flicker of Old Dreams
    $9.99 $1.99
  • All the Good Parts
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Food of Love
    $3.99 $1.99
  • A Scattered Life
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Every Ugly Word
    $3.99 $1.99
  • A Memory of Violets: A Novel of London's Flower Sellers
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Desert God (Ancient Egypt, #5)
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Bloody Jack: Being an Account of the Curious Adventures of Mary "Jacky" Faber, Ship's Boy (Bloody Jack, #1)
    $8.99 $2.99
  • The Woman Who Breathed Two Worlds (Malayan #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • An Amish Buggy Ride
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Old Yeller
    $6.99 $1.99
  • The Secret Healer (The Secret Healer #1)
    $3.49 $0.99
  • Elizabeth Street
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Unkillable Kitty O'Kane
    $4.99 $1.99
  • It Is Well
    $4.99 $1.99
  • A Sinful Calling (Reverend Curtis Black #13)
    $9.99 $2.99
  • On a Cold Dark Sea
    $4.99 $1.99
  • My Lady Viper (Tales from the Tudor Court #1)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Kings of Broken Things
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Edward Adrift
    $4.49 $1.99
  • The Restaurant Critic's Wife
    $3.99 $1.99