Sometimes doing the right thing means risking it all.
After her mother’s arranged marriage to her recently deceased father’s bitter brother, thirteen-year-old Susanna Stutzman faces a crisis of faith. Everything seems to be going wrong in her life.
As if her new father’s nasty temper isn’t enough, her cousin Mary, now her stepsister, hates her, as does her new teacher.
When Susanna’s discovery of a strange nighttime visitor at her mysterious neighbor’s home leads to the unveiling of secrets, Susanna is forced to make a choice between her conscience and her Mennonite community.
|File size:||7 MB|
|Age Range:||5 - 11 Years|
About the Author
Diana has been a voracious reader since age nine when she discovered The Chronicles of Narnia after a librarian handed her the first book in the series. She credits hay fever for her interest in writing stories. Unable to play outside without misery from the age of ten, she spent half of every summer vacation inside reading and writing stories until the pollen count dwindled. Diana serves as a high school English teacher and academic support coordinator. She originally chose to teach older students because she thought they would be able to manage their own bodily fluids better than little kids would. She’s discovered she was mostly right about that, and as a bonus, she finds teenagers a blast to spend her days with. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband Alan and youngest son Isaac. Her adult son Mitchell lives only a four-hour drive away, but Diana wishes it was four minutes instead. She has two cats. Her Maine Coon named Mister Mistoffelees weighs twenty pounds. He is as sweet as he is huge. The other is a feisty Siamese-mix named Sabrina.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Blackstone draws the readers into the world of pre-Civil War, Virginian Mennonites. Thirteen year-old Susanna Stutzman’s father was killed in a wagon accident while moving back to the family farm, and now her mother is married to Susanna’s bitter and abusive uncle through an arranged marriage. In a faith-centered community, Susanna (or ‘Sanna as her baby sister calls her) doubts God, “I used to feel so close to God when I lived in Pennsylvania. He must have stayed behind.” Over the year-span of the book, Susanna faces her doubts and wrestles with following cultural religion over doing the right that she knows God would want her to do. My blood pressure didn’t like the tension in When Sparrows Fall, but my reader-self loved it. Susanna works through the trauma of her father’s gruesome death, the anger of an abusive step-father and an unloving step-sister, and the curiosity of her forbidden neighbor’s midnight rendezvous. Because of Blackstone’s authentic writing style, I wasn’t sure if things would end happily or not - and I liked that. (And FYI, I’m a happy book reader. I can appreciate the beauty and artistry of tragic books, but they are not how I choose to spend my comfy reading days.) When Sparrows Fall combines authentic faith-evaluation and a glimpse into Mennonite life while watching the tension of pre-Civil War morality seep into the Mennonite “in the world but not of it” culture. I want to tell you more about both the characters and the interesting way Blackstone weaves culture and events together, but I don’t want to ruin the mystery or suspense. :) P.S. As an English teacher, I loved how Blackstone included discussion questions at the end of the book. Also, because When Sparrows Fall is set in a Mennonite community where some spoke in Pennsylvania Dutch, Blackstone included a glossary for the Pennsylvania Dutch words laced through the book.