Monday, January 2, 2012

The Unfinished Angel

I'm a longtime admirer of Sharon Creech. I love her deceptively simple stories and charming characters. When I saw The Unfinished Angel at the library, I snagged it for the weekend. I was instantly plunged into the story of an angel who lives in a tower in Switzerland. He spends his directionless days watching the people of the village, thinking, "I am also not having a special assignment. I think I did not get all the training."

When an American man and his eccentric daughter, Zola, move into the tower, the angel's life is disrupted. Zola constantly beseeches him to "do something", which makes the angel feel unfinished. Zola soon finds a project for him in the shape of a group of needy children hiding in a chicken shed.

This is where the story breaks down. The plot wraps up quickly, yet the novel continues for many more chapters. These can be confusing and made me wonder who the novel's intended audience is. I'm a skilled reader and I still had trouble tracking the story. The narrator does not have a firm grasp on English, so he often combines and invents words, which would be a challenge for Creech's regular readers.

This would be an excellent mentor text to teach the use of voice in writing, but I don't think the novel is a necessary addition to the classroom library. A few photocopies of choice pages would be sufficient.

1 comment:

  1. I always appreciate your reviews. I'm signing up for the Novels in Verse reading challenge over at BornBookish again for 2013 and I'm getting my sign up post ready. I'm rereading lots of your reviews as I make my reading wish list for the new year.


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