Song of the Sparrow by Lisa Ann Sandell

Song of the Sparrow by Lisa Ann Sandell was the second of two books we were challenged to read for the YA Book Bloggers best Overlooked Book Battle 2011.  This is my review of the story – but stay tuned for  Evie at The Book Fiend and my evaluation of this and our first book, Keeping Corner by Kashmira Sheth to decide which moves onto the next round.

Another fabulous book and written in verse.  I’ve read a number of these types of books and find that I really enjoy them!  They flow so easily and a point can be made simply by changing the form or appearance of the verse.  Song of the Sparrow is a story about Elaine of Ascolat.  Sorry…  but I didn’t know who she was until I read the book.  Now I know most of you have heard about Arthur and his Round Table – well…  this is a beautiful version of the battle that Arthur led the Brits to – well….  it’s really about Elaine and her role in the battle.

This is another area of folklore that I really enjoy!  The notion of whether or not Arthur and his Round Table of Knights existed… how they lived…  the role of women in their lives – it was great!  I lived through the whole ordeal with Elaine – got to know her intimately, her love for her brothers and father, her “puppy love” for Lancelot and her instant dislike for Gwynivere and later admiration.  How well-respected Elaine was amongst hundreds of men, and yet how she struggled with who she really was – fantastic writing!

Without reading the book, one might wonder where the title came from – really we’re talking about King Arthur here not some love story….  But throughout the story there was a theme of the sparrow – the way I interpreted its appearance was that it  was a testament of Elaine’s courage and her fear!  Wonderful!  I admire authors who have this ability to weave imagery into their stories!

Highly recommended

Ages: 14 and up

Here’s a great Youtube video of Lisa Ann Sandell talking about her book Song of the Sparrow



Favourite quote:

“But now, now I am happy to enjoy
whatever granule of ease or freedom
I may find,
after all that has happened.
The freedom of childhood innocence.
The freedom of the sparrow.”           p. 359

Sandell, Lisa Ann. (2007). Song of the Sparrow. New York, NY: Scholastic Press.

Author website:


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