Monday, February 16, 2015

The Unfinished Angel by Sharon Creech

Cover image for The unfinished angelIn a little town in the Swiss Alps lives an angel.  It (the book specifically says the angel is without gender)  has lived in the top floor of a tower in an old chalet for hundreds of years.  It helps people in the little town when it can, but mostly enjoys swooping around the nearby mountains and forests.  One day an American family moves into the chalet, and much to the angel's surprise, the little girl from the family, Zola, can see it.  Zola immediately demands that the angel do something about this or that injustice or conflict.  The angel doesn't like being bossed around, but soon discovers needs in the little town it had not been aware of.  Zola and the angel ultimately help some homeless children find a permanent home in the town.  This was an odd little book.  I like some of Sharon Creech's stuff, and not others. I loved Grandma Torrelli Makes Soup, and I liked her Newbery winner, Walk two Moons. This one isn't  as good as either of those, but it was good enough to keep me going as I did some cleaning around the house.  The plot line is a little confusing.  At first Zola tells the angle she is an orphan, but she seems to be living with her dad, and at the end of the book, her mother and little brother show up.  The little angel in the story is vaguely trying to do good, but feels that it is lacking instruction and direction about how to be a good angel. It never really does get help or direction, but in the end the reader senses the angel had become more confident in its responsibilities.  This is a gentle story, with no real conflict or struggle.  It would work for a younger child who is an advanced reader, but not emotionally ready to read something more intense.  (164 p.)

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