Will Sparrow's Road

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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2012 - Juvenile Fiction - 216 pages
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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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Contents

1 introducing will sparrow not yet thirteen but alone and on the road to nowhere
1
2 of how will mourned a lost button a blanket and a mother
8
3 in which will earns but is cheated of a supper
20
4 concerning wills attempts to fill his empty belly
34
5 of how will acquires a magic egg a partner and a full belly at last
41
6 encountering oddities and prodigies and various objects of wonder
54
7 gobsmacked by a pig and a monster
66
8 in which will is displaced restored and on the road again
75
14 concerning samuels distress wills new charge and thoughts about ham
130
15 regarding graces trouble and wills reluctance
144
16 about a reluctant return to thievery and a surprising discovery
154
17 in which will grieves a little and learns much
163
18 considering wills decision and its consequences
174
19 how will hatches an entertainment deliverance and trouble
189
20 of master tidballs head and will sparrows feet
198
Back Matter
209

9 accompanying the oddities
82
10 of an alarm given a nose bloodied and hurtful words spoken
94
11 fetching a juggler and finding him unlikely but true
101
12 encountering latin the fen country and frightful things in the night
108
13 of the creature greymalkin and the girl grace wyse
120
Back Flap
217
Back Cover
218
Spine
219
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About the author (2012)

Karen Cushman's acclaimed historical novels include Catherine, Called Birdy, a Newbery Honor winner, and The Midwife's Apprentice , which received the Newbery Medal. She lives on Vashon Island in Washington State. Her website is www.karencushmanbooks.com.