The Great Unexpected: Book Review

September 10th, 2013 by

great-unexpected-sharon-creechI love realistic stories and I love fantasy worlds, but what I love most of all is a type of fiction called “magic realism.” Have you heard of it? It’s basically when the story takes place in our normal everyday world, but with some surprising magical elements. You don’t go into a totally different realm, like Narnia or Oz, for example. You’re still here, on Earth — but with little bits of fantasy swirling around.

The Great Unexpected by Sharon Creech is a great example of magic realism — not to mention just a great book in general. It’s about two orphans who are best friends, Naomi and Lizzie, growing up in the little town of Blackbird Tree. One day, a strange boy falls out of a tree right in front of them, and so starts a series of unusual events that twist and turn and eventually change their lives.

For example, who is the mysterious Dingle Dangle man who comes to town and pokes into everyone’s business? How is it that Finn (the boy from the tree) appears and disappears so suddenly? And what about all the coincidences that keep popping up?

Besides the intricate spiderweb of a story, I also loved the characters of Naomi and Lizzie. I totally understood Naomi’s point of view, and she seemed absolutely real to me. And Lizzie completely cracked me up, and I just loved her goofy and lively personality.

If you’re a Sharon Creech fan, you will not be disappointed by The Great Unexpected. I’d also recommend this book for fans of When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead and the Willow Falls books by Wendy Mass.

Have you read any of these books? Or any other magic realism stories? Leave a comment and let me know about your favorites!

— Karen

Part of The Great Unexpected takes place in Ireland, which Karen visited once many years ago. Time to plan a vacation!

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