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Download Will Sparrow's Road Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Will Sparrows Road Audiobook, by Karen Cushman Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (221 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Karen Cushman Narrator: Katherine Kellgren Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: November 2012 ISBN: 9780449014691
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Will Sparrow, liar and thief, is running away—from the father who sold him for beer, from the innkeeper who threatened to sell him as a chimney sweep, from his whole sorry life. Barefoot and penniless, without family, friends, or boots, Will is determined to avoid capture and, of course, to find something to eat.

Some of the travelers he meets on the road have a kind word for him and a promise of better things to come, such as coins and juicy beef ribs. Eager to go along, Will repeatedly finds himself tricked by older and wiser tricksters. Each time, he resolves afresh to trust no one and care for no one. But luckily for Will, he can’t keep his guard
up forever.

The lively goings-on behind the scenes of Elizabethan market fairs provide a colorful, earthy backdrop for Karen Cushman’s wise and funny story of a runaway who finally, and unexpectedly, stops running. Download and start listening now!


Quotes & Awards

  • “Lively and amusing…Cushman’s details have the surprising aptness of an Elizabeth Enright story—or, to step outside children’s books, a Raymond Chandler novel.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Offering action, humor, and heart in equal doses, Cushman’s story is, at its core, about creating and claiming a family of one’s own.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Fascinating, sometimes seemingly preposterous, details are solidly corroborated in the informative author’s note that reflects Cushman’s extensive research.”

    School Library Journal

  • “A compelling coming-of-age road trip.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • A 2012 Publishers Weekly Best Book: Children's Fiction
  • Selected for the Winter 2012 Kids' Indie Next List

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Abby Johnson | 2/18/2014

    " Another hit from narrator Katherine Kellgren. She brings this audiobook to life and greatly contributed to my enjoyment of the story. Of particular delight to me is Ms. Kellgren's singing throughout the book (even when she's portraying some of the more tone-deaf characters) because I think singing the songs helps bring the time period to life in a way that reading the lyrics does not. The audiobook is fully voiced, expertly as you'd expect from this seasoned reader. I'd recommend this tale to fans of Karen Cushman's previous historical novels or anyone interested in Renaissance England. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lauren | 2/16/2014

    " Another good book from Karen Cushman. No surprise! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Susan | 2/12/2014

    " Very detailed history. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Linda | 2/10/2014

    " Great historical fiction with memorable characters. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Beth | 1/20/2014

    " Good adventure story for middle grade readers, especially boys. Set in Elizabethan England, 13 year old Will Sparrow runs away when learning he is to be sold as a climbing boy (chimney sweep) where he would be sure to die an early death. He has been abandoned by both mother and father, tricked and stolen from. He has learned to trust no one and care only for himself as he sets out to keep his "belly full and be warm and dry". It is not always easy to tell who is a friend and who is a foe and Will must be careful who he aligns himself with. Plenty of interesting characters, quick escapes, and fist fights to keep a young reader's interests. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Edward Sullivan | 1/10/2014

    " A lively, colorful adventure with lots of wonderful characters set in Elizabethan England. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Autumn | 12/22/2013

    " High quality, interesting historical fiction with show biz, freaks and a friendless orphan. Thanks, Karen Cushman! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Erin (as a children's librarian, just professional | 11/24/2013

    " Why didn't I like this? I thought it was boring and poorly structured. . . the feelings were unrealistic. . . ugh. I might have had an off day though, I know a lot of other people have enjoyed it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Josie | 8/11/2013

    " I couldn't find much to fault but I can't find much to gush about either. Good recommendation for boys for those historical fiction assignments. World was drawn clearly and vividly drawn, plot was so-so for me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Elizabeth | 7/16/2013

    " Great story about finding your place in the world - interesting setting too. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jennifer Holovack | 7/5/2013

    " It's well written, but historical fiction just isn't my favorite. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Marcia | 5/3/2013

    " Full immersion in a noisy, dusty 1500s England. Young boy out on his own hits the road and encounters amazing characters. I was reminded of Crispin, and while this was wonderful historical fiction, there was nothing fresh and new for me. (But lukewarm Karen Cushman is still a treat!) "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ms.Patterson | 3/13/2013

    " It was ok - Renaissance era historical fiction, boy runs away and joins up with a troupe of 'oddities' that travel from fair to fair. It was a pretty good book, and fairly quick read, but it didn't wow me in any way. "

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About the Author
Author Karen Cushman

Karen Cushman is the author of many acclaimed historical novels including Catherine, Called Birdy, a Newbery Honor winner, and The Midwife’s Apprentice, which received the Newbery Medal.

About the Narrator

Katherine Kellgren (1969–2018), narrator and actress, appeared onstage in London, New York, and Frankfurt, including in the role of Laura in a regional production of The Glass Menagerie and appearances on Comedy Central. In recognition of her mastery of audiobook narration, she received many honors, including the prestigious Audie Awards, with four for best female narrator; the Odyssey Award; Publishers Weekly Listen Up Award; dozens of AudioFile magazine Earphones Awards; an AudioFile Golden Voice Award; Booklist Voice of Choice award; and acclaim from press and listener reviews.