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Download Will Sparrow’s Road Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Will Sparrow’s 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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In his thirteenth year, Will Sparrow, liar and thief, becomes a runaway. On the road, he encounters a series of con artists: a pickpocket, a tooth puller, a pig trainer, a conjurer, and learns that others are more adept than he at lying and thieving. Then he reluctantly joins a traveling troupe of “oddities,” including a dwarf and a cat-faced girl, holding himself apart from the “monsters” and resolving to be on guard against further deceptions. At last Will is forced to understand that appearances are misleading and that  he has been his own worst deceiver. The rowdy world of market fairs in Elizabethan England is the colorful backdrop for Newbery medalist Cushman’s new comic masterpiece.

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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 CushmanKaren Cushman is the author of the Newbery Medal book The Midwife’s Apprentice, the Newbery Honor book Catherine, Called Birdy, and Matilda Bone, all set in medieval England and available on audio from Listening Library. Francine Green is the third Cushman protagonist whose story is set in the USA, joining Rodzina and Lucy Whipple.
About the Narrator

Katherine Kellgren has appeared onstage in London, New York, and Frankfurt. Her work includes the role of Laura in a regional production of The Glass Menagerie and appearances on Comedy Central. She is an Audie Award and AudioFile Earphones Award–winning narrator of audiobooks and has also received the Peabody Award.