Written by Ally Kennen
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The Lovereading4Kids comment
The best kind of headlong, page turning adventure, Sparks races along at breakneck speed as three children set abut the audacious task of fulfilling their grandfather’s dreams by giving him a Viking funeral! Hilariously funny and also full of deeply felt emotions around the death of a much loved grandparent. How Carla organises her young siblings and a gang of friends whom she hijacks from the local carnival so that she can carry out the outrageous plot and set her grandfather’s body out to sea is a fantastical and fantastic story.
Sparks by Ally Kennen
When Carla's beloved Grandpa dies, she is inconsolable. Then she finds a secret letter, and decides to give him the end he always wanted. A Viking funeral, in a burning boat heading out to sea. Carla and her siblings set out on a crazy and dangerous race against time to achieve the impossible. Sparks is a dark, funny and moving story about love, death, sailing and coffin-stealing from a very popular, original and award-winning children's writer. Ally Kennan is the acclaimed author of teen novels Beast , Berserk , and Bedlam . Sparks is her first book for readers of 9 and up.
'Kennen is a natural for this age group, creating characters that feel like flesh and blood people (even the corpse has a personality) and seasoning the story with a pitch-perfect blend of humour, adventure and emotion.' The Telegraph
Review of ‘Sparks’ by Books for Keeps [5 stars]
This quirky little gem of a book, with its intriguing subtitle ‘How to give Grandpa a Viking funeral’ perfectly illustrates the maxim that anything is possible with sufficient determination and resourcefulness. The most powerful motivation behind this particular triumph is Carla’s love for her Grandpa Magnus, who left her a letter telling her of his secret dream of a Viking funeral and made her feel she could do ‘this amazing thing, but not on her own’. The odds seem stacked against her – she’s only a child, she must break the law, she must work in secret as her mother, ragged with grief, is determined to organise a conventional, staid funeral for her father.
What follows is a touching story, rooted in realism, fraught with moral dilemmas and physical hardship, but one which gradually brings together all those who loved and respected Magnus and were determined that his send-off should have nothing to do with sterile convention but everything to do with honouring a man’s last and deepest desire. Carla is guided by her Grandpa’s voice, which never leaves her and the final chapter unites Grandpa’s friends and family in an act of homage and a knowledge that ultimately, what really matters is the connection between people, not the laws which seek to manage them.
About the Author
More books by Ally Kennen
Scholastic Press an imprint of Scholastic
7th May 2015
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