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The Absence of Sparrows

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3.70  ·  Rating details ·  27 ratings  ·  13 reviews
Advance Readers Copy

Stranger Things meets Alfred Hitchcock in this haunting coming-of-age novel about a plague that brings the world to a halt, and one boy's belief that his town's missing sparrows can save his family.

In the small town of Griever's Mill, eleven-year-old Ben Cameron is expecting to finish off his summer of relaxing and bird-watching without a hitch. But eve
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Hardcover, 384 pages
Published May 7th 2019 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
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3.70  · 
Rating details
 ·  27 ratings  ·  13 reviews


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Stefanie
Jan 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A thrilling story that will grab you from the very first page! The story begins with Ben and his brother , climbing onto the roof of their uncle’s garage for their regular seedpod tossing competition. Their game gets interrupted when unusually dark storm clouds roll in. When they climb down, they realize the clouds have caused their neighbor to turn to glass. They soon realize this glass plague has hit countries all around the world. Ben and his family try to carry on with their life, all while ...more
Kristin Crouch
Feb 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thank you to the author for providing Collabookation a copy of The Absence of Sparrows to review.
Wow! This book gets right to the action, and stays steady all the way through. Ben and his brother are busy doing the things kids in the country do, coming up with new contests and keeping out of trouble. One day, when they're on the roof of their uncles auto repair shop, the sky darkens and a local community member turns to glass. Yup.
We soon find out this is a global phenomenon~ glassification. An
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Gracie
Jan 20, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I don't like this at all.
Serena Powell
*I won this book through a Goodreads Giveaway, but all thoughts and opinions are my own.)

What started out as a rather interesting book, very quickly became a horrible car crash that there wasn't any recovering from.

The synopsis of the book promised something new, exciting, and mysterious. A blackness in the sky that's turning people into "glass"? Sounds super intriguing, and it was, well for the first 100 or so pages. I had a multitude of various issues with this book, but I'm choosing to focus
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Barbra
Apr 18, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
When strange dark clouds roll into Griever’s Mill, Ben and his family think it is just a summer storm. However the clouds begin to darken the earth and in it’s wake people are randomly turning into glass statues. As everyone struggles to find answers Ben’s own family starts to divide. The beginning of this story was great, lots of questions, and anticipation as to what would happen next. However the end was greatly disappointing. Nothing was answered, why did it happen, what was it? Basically th ...more
Kerry Johnson
May 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
(Review from my son)

I'm 14, and I enjoy stories that deal with an ordinary person suddenly uprooted and throw into an extraordinary situation. An Absence of Sparrows not only accomplishes this in an exciting and realistic way, but it also does so originally, avoiding all of the clichés found in many stories. Similar to Kenneth Oppel's The Nest in terms of a brilliantly unique pot, An Absence of Sparrows deals with a desperate world frantically searching for a way to stop mysterious and deadly ev
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Juliefrick
I received an ARC of this book to read. What an interesting premise! Actually, the premise seemed even more interesting as pitched to me: that adults were turning into "glass" and kids were suddenly feeling an inexplicable urge to smash things... Part of this isn't actually true in the book and maybe the disappointment I feel with it stems from that. It just ended up feeling like nothing was satisfactory in this book--none of the intriguing premises really amounted to anything substantial or log ...more
Emily
May 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was a weird book. I like that the glass plague was never explained; the language was lovely to read, and I feel like having a concrete explanation would have ruined the dream-like feel. I still can't quite put my finger on why this didn't feel like a kids' book. It's appropriate for kids, but I just feel like it works for an adult audience. Reminded me of The Dreamers or The Ocean at the End of the Lane.
Mike
May 14, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not sure this is young adult fiction. And I can accept the vagueness of the ending; though I do not enjoy it.

Maybe I'm missing the Christian allegories in it (being decidedly not Christian); but even if there were, the message seems to be one of giving up, not 'let go and let god,' but 'nothing we do matters, so just accept the madness of the masses.'

The writing is good and the characters are all compelling, if a touch one dimensional. Then the end comes and does not give any real closure to any
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Mrs. Branscome
May 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As I still process this book, I enjoy the concept and know my students will be frustrated with a fuzzy ending. Sometimes they need a fuzzy ending. This is one of those books that when you apply your own experiences to the story, it changes meaning. You feel for Ben, Pete, Mom, and Dad. A solid middle grade read with clean language and kids being kids.
Alexis
I am a huge fan of dystopian literature and I was so glad to pick up a new middle grade book in that genre. I was immediately drawn into this book with the mystery of the birds and what was happening. This book had a great balance of heart break and hope.

I received this ARC as part of my Lit Review Crew.
Tatiana
Apr 02, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This did not feel or read like a children's book. In fact, I probably will not let my child read it when she's 12 years old. I had to go back and edit my review because I consider each book a work of art that someone poured themselves into, but I cannot in good conscience leave a good review for this book. The ending just makes me angry. It’s honestly like the author just gave up. There was no ending. No explanation. Nothing. All the built up that lead to nothing.
Laura
Mar 23, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019-mt-bookpile
When a really dark cloud covers your town and suddenly some people are turned to a glassy stone... and later shatter... what would you do? How would you protect your family or yourself? How obsessed would you be with listening to the radio, and would you follow along with some bizarre plan to solve this global problem? That's the tension Ben deals with when his summer plans are upended by the glassification plague. There were several plot lines that weren't wrapped up as well as they could have ...more
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