Spider Sparrow

Shortly after a compassionate shepherd and his wife adopt an abandoned and feeble newborn, they begin to see their son “Spider” is physically and mentally different from other children. The townspeople are quick to cast the odd boy aside -until his unique talents surface. His unusual ways transform attitudes and hearts, and land him the important job of “crowstarver”.

The story is set in 20th century rural England, at the start of WWII. The regional dialect, simple talk, and farmer’s customs give the story believability and depth, and the characters credibility. (You may want to be aware early in the book the author uses a crude word to describe spider’s assumed illegitimacy.)

Young readers will admire the humble and heroic Spider Sparrow; though will be saddened by the ending. This bittersweet story is told with such grace and dignity; kids will likely understand, and accept Spider’s story as simply a real part of life.

Dick King-Smith has written many wonderful books for children, with Babe being his most recognized.

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