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Spark

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4.16  ·  Rating details ·  568 ratings  ·  150 reviews
When a shy girl and her dragon-like companion discover their country’s idyllic weather comes at a steep—and secret—cost, they recruit fellow students to defy authority and attempt to spread the truth.

Storm beasts and their guardians create perfect weather every day, and Mina longs for a storm beast of her own. But when the gentle girl bonds with a lightning beast—a creatur
...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published May 14th 2019 by Clarion Books
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Emily Just received it today. (Two copies oddly. Both hardcover instead of ARC.)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 4.16  · 
Rating details
 ·  568 ratings  ·  150 reviews


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Mary
May 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mina is not destined for greatness, she is quiet, always does her best and what is right and a very deliberate person.  Her whole life has been spent preparing for the time when she gets her own weather beast and can contribute to society, but when her egg finally hatches, no one expected that she would be paired with a lightning beast.  Weather is planned in Aloria - a place of bountiful farms and there is no daily struggle with the elements since they are commanded only to be beneficial to soc ...more
Nadja
Easy middle grade fantasy book. Not much is happening overall but the message is good. I wasn't the biggest fan of Mina but Pixit was so adoring. The audio book is great, Eevin Hartsough did a wonderful job with the many voices. ...more
Wendi Lee
Mina has grown up in a family of storm guardians, and expects to hatch a beast and nurture skills to help out on the farm. When it turns out that her hatchling is a lightning beast, quiet Mina's life takes an unexpected turn. Lightning guardians train at a special school, and are expected to take bold risks. Mina's ability to listen and observe, however, allows her to learn troubling truths about her beloved country.

I loved this novel about quiet strengths and hidden leadership. I didn't realiz
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Bethany
Apr 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this one so much! Spark is a heartwarming middle grade fantasy novel about how even quiet kids can be brave and find their voice for change. It is a beautiful story about Mina, a shy girl with social anxiety and her lightning dragon as they show everyone who they really are and what they are capable of. It is about being who you really are, finding your voice (even if it looks different than others) and fighting for change in the world around you. It feels like a call for political activ ...more
Mary Lee
I love when fantasy authors help us think about the world around us in new ways. This book has a quiet character who finds her voice and makes a big difference. It is about the interconnectedness of everything on Earth, and how every selfish action has a consequence.
Fi's Journey
Spark is the second Middle Grade book I've read by Sarah Beth Durst. Funny enough I think I liked The Girl Who Could Not Dream a bit more even though 'Spark' has more Fantasy in it.

I really enjoyed this story. I thought the relationship between Mina and her lightning beast Pixit was beautiful and cute. They have a telepathic link and it affects them both in good and bad ways. If one of them worries it makes the other one worry but it can go the other way around, too. Both of them tend to encou
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Lara Lillibridge
Nov 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: middle-grade
Spark is a darling story that's filled with adventure but shouldn't be too scary for younger middle grader readers.

It's filled with beautiful descriptions and has one of the most fully developed worlds I've read.

"The wind beasts were silver dragons with white feathery wings and brilliant, sparkling antlers like deer." (11)

Spark is, at its heart, the story of a quiet girl who learns that she is enough just as she is. It's a middle child story — she has older brother, younger twins, Mina gets ov
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Melanie Dulaney
Dec 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Her family thinks Mina is quiet, steady, and reliable, and she is. But on the inside, Mina has a big voice and wants to do great things for the people of Alloria. When she hatches a lightning storm beast, a dragon-like creature with the ability to store and manipulate the power of lightning, she has her chance to show everyone that there is so much more to her than what they expect. However, when she arrives at school to learn how to work with her young hatchling, Pixit, she also learns that her ...more
Lizzie {Liz S.} Stone
I loved it! Mina loves books and so do I! I think it was wrong that in the beginning, her family didn't believe she was a lightining guardian and so she self-doubted herself. Pixit, I'm sure would be sooo adorable! I'm glad that Mina actually acted upon what she heard about the Ten-year storm and doing something about it. I'm also glad Jyx was by her side and helped her since she's more reckless. Mina's idea about making propaganda posters was great and got others to stand up for what's right. T ...more
Lana
Feb 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed reading Spark and think middle grade readers will too! Spark is an adventure story about dragons and their guardians. Mina is the guardian of the storm beast Pixit, and together they learn how to harness the energy from the storms. I found Mina’s character very likable, she is very shy and insecure in her new role but able to speak up when needed. This is a quick and easy read and will be fun for younger readers.
Thank you to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and NetGalley for this ARC i
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Madeline Nelson
May 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Quality of Writing: 9/10
Pace: 10/10
Plot Development: 7/10
Characters: 8/10
Enjoyability: 10/10
Insightfulness: 9/10
Ease of Reading: 10/10
Overall Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Hey y'all! I'm back with another review of Sarah Beth Durst's middle-grade fantasy. She did a great job, so I'm just going to swing right into my review.
Quality of Writing: Durst's worlds are always full of color and vivaciousness. Each book is set somewhere unique and this one is no different. Alloria was grand, Mytris Lightning Sc
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Jan farnworth
Apr 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am for one am a dragon lover and truly enjoy it when i find a unique stand along that all about dragons and their human companions. I especially enjoy when their a few nice nuggets of truth and wisdom to be found in the story. I have read a few of this author middle grade novels and I found them all to be enjoyable. The writing is smooth and al the characters have depth and definition.

In this one we have a shy quiet girl who is not quite certain that she is bonded to the correct storm beasts.
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Karissa
Apr 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I got a copy of this book to review through the Amazon Vine program. I have been reading so many amazing books lately I have really felt lucky. I have enjoyed a lot of Durst’s books in the past and was excited to see a new middle grade book from her. This ended up being an incredibly fun fantasy read.

Mina has been bonding with her storm beast egg for the last two years and is super excited when hatching time approaches. However when Pixit emerges as a lightening beast everyone is confused. How c
...more
William Bentrim
Mar 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Spark by Sarah Beth Durst
I’ve read several of Ms. Durst’s books which are listed below. I have enjoyed everyone of them. I particularly like this one as it is a youth focused book. Mina is quiet and has not found her voice. She and Pixit, her lightning dragon discover that their idyllic existence may be based on the suffering of others.
Durst does a super job expressing the unease and insecurities of a young girl. Many children feel inadequate or up to their tasks. Durst shows that reticence and
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Elaine
This book takes place in a country called Aloria. The weather is always perfect and people are prospering. Twelve year old Mina is excited that she will soon form a partnership with a storm beast she has been carefully tending as an egg. Through this partneship Mina will join a long line of Alorians and storm beast that make the prefect weather in Aloria possible. But until the birth she does not know if she will be working with a sun beast, a wind beast, a rain beast, or a lightning beast. Ever ...more
Laura Haske
My 8-year-old son is picking a book a month for me to read. This one set me back a bit because it dragged in the beginning. I understand what the author was trying to accomplish in presenting the main character the way she did, but I thought she hit the same note too many times. Mina is quiet. Mina is shy. It was a bit heavy on that without any action for too long to keep me engaged.

Once the action began though, I really liked it. I think it gives kids a new perspective on government and how po
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Sarah
Jan 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
Who doesn't love an original dragon story? I loved that dragons could control the weather and that to create a bond, it wasn't instantaneous as some stories but that each child had to invest their time, energy and love into an egg to create almost a soulmate. Pixit just shocked my heart into overdrive with his sweetness and Mina just makes you want to hug her. This book would be a great family read aloud or for an adventuring 9-12 year old to read on their own. There is also a hidden element of ...more
P.M.
Jul 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
After reading a couple of duds recently, I was looking for a good read. I found it in this book about a lightning dragon and his guardian who are learning to control the weather to keep their country perfect. Of course, there is a dark side to this perfection - the ten year storms. When Mina realizes what is going on, she enlists her friends and their lightning dragons to confront the problem and find a solution. Mina was a great character but my real favorite was Pixit. He was funny, brave, inn ...more
Yapha
Oct 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s, fantasy
Everyone assumes they know what is best for Mina, because she is so quiet. When her storm egg hatches into a Lightning Beast (the fiercest of all), she uses the opportunity to follow her dreams of becoming a hero like in the beginning days of Alorria. To do this though, she must learn to tame lightning and to speak up for herself and others. As she grows more confident in her abilities, she knows she must do whatever she can to lead her new classmates and save their neighbors. Highly recommended ...more
Hannah Belyea
Jun 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
No one, especially Mina, thought that she would be partnered with a lightning beast, not with her quiet nature, but as she heads out to school and begins to train - and learn some dark truths about the world beyond her country - she finds that it may just take a couple shocks to set her path. Durst will keep readers thoroughly entertained with this enchanting tale of friendship and the phenomenon of weather, magical or not. Will Mina be able to speak up in time to save the innocent?
The Library Lady
Predictable, with hints of Anne McCaffrey,JK Rowling of course, and other authors of fantasy for young and old. But it's well told and highly enjoyable, and there's a nice message hidden below the surface about doing the right thing for your neighbors that's extremely necessary in 2019 America. ...more
Kathy Heare Watts
I've passed this on to a granddaughter (age 12½) who is missing school and loves to read.

I won a copy of this book during a Goodreads giveaway. I am under no obligation to leave a review or rating and do so voluntarily. I am paying it forward by passing this book along to a family member who I think will enjoy it too.
Theresa Grissom
A huge thanks to Netgalley for an ARC of this book.

I simply adored this book! This is the 4th book I have read by Sarah Beth Durst and with each one, I have become a bigger and bigger fan. Lovable characters, both human and dragon alike. I love how this book encourages courage and speaking up for what you believe... even for the quietest people. Cannot wait to purchase this for my library!
Beth
Thank you to NetGally and the publisher for a copy of this book.

This is a cute story. It has a good message about being yourself and believing in yourself. I could see the author expanding this into a series.
Suzanne Maley
Jul 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
kazually ♡
~3.5 stars

such a cute middle school book! really good read, i liked the worldbuilding and idea of storm beasts so much
Hisgirl85
4 5 stars. This is a hopeful story about a quiet girl named Mina finding confidence in who she is as she strived to make her world a better place.
Dylan
Apr 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I thought this book was just AMAZING!! It’s super adventurous and fun!! I love the lightning!!
Lynette Smith
Jun 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book as a requirement for my book award review committee. I thought it was a great story with many life lessons played out. Perfect for middle school readers
Steff Pasciuti
| Reader Fox Blog |


In the time since I finished Spark by Sarah Beth Durst, I have felt thoroughly conflicted about my rating for it. I haven't quite been able to determine just what my final opinion of the novel is. There are quite a number of really good pieces to this book, but I just felt regularly that it was bogged down with an unnecessary exacerbation of a character who could not grow on her own until the very end. While the novel had an immense amount of potential, with a world both
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Sarah Beth Durst is the award-winning author of over twenty fantasy books for kids, teens, and adults, including Spark, Drink Slay Love, and The Queens of Renthia series. She won an ALA Alex Award and a Mythopoeic Fantasy Award and has been a finalist for SFWA's Andre Norton Award three times. She is a graduate of Princeton University, where she spent four years studying English, writing about dra ...more

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