Sunday, June 20, 2010

The unfinished Angel by Sharon Creech

This is one of those very illusive books. What I mean by this is I am not sure if I loved it or if it has just left me puzzled. I am glad I went on this reading journey with Sharon Creech and even now days later I am still thinking about this book and wondering at the message (if there was one) and wondering about this angel (she is a lovely character) and most of all wondering about Zola a girl with wisdom beyond her tender years. Zola is a little bit like Stargirl (Jerry Spinelli) with her multilayered colourful clothes and thoughtful view of the world.

I am a huge fan of Sharon Creech and so I was excited to begin The unfinished angel. Unlike the other books by Sharon Creech in my blog – Love that dog, Hate that cat, The unfinished angel is not a verse novel. The print size and white space make it look like a book for middle primary but it is such a sophisticated story I think it is better placed with senior primary students.

I do plan to re-read this special book because I am sure it like the skin on an onion and as I read it again I expect more layers of meaning will be revealed.

If you enjoy the books of David Almond then look for The unfinished Angel. The feelings I had reading this book were just like the ones I had reading Skellig.

Angel has lived in this Swiss village for centuries. The village is near the border with Italy hence most of the influences and language are Italian. Angel looks over the town and tries to take care of these disparate inhabitants but it only through the arrival of Zola and her father that she is able to really make a difference to the daily lives of these people and especially to the lives of one special group of lost and homeless children. You can read more about the plot here.

One of the lovely features of this book is the unique language of Angel. Sharon Creech is such a skillful writer we always know what Angel means even though the words are unfamiliar.

“The casa is pink … but the stone tower that rises more than three stories above it is the colour of its stone – how do you call it? Tan? The colour of straw in winter? Of coffee with very much milk? …So maybe you think it is nothing specialful, this tower, but to me it is the finest of all towers in all the world.”

1 comment:

Mister K said...

Momo, I know what you mean about being unsure how to feel after reading the book. I've been a Creech fan for years, cutting my teeth on Chasing Redbird, but haven't been as excited with where she's gone lately. For instance, I enjoyed Granny Torreli's Soup, but the accent threw many of my students for a loop. She's a great writer, though, and it's nice to see such breadth in her writing, even if I don't like all of it. That just opens her up to a wider range of readers in a way, though I've had to urge many students to just try another of her books, and you may like it! My favorite: The Wanderer.