Icy Sparks (Oprah's Book Club) and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Icy Sparks Audio CD – Abridged, Audiobook


See all 19 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
Audio CD, Abridged, Audiobook
CDN$ 10.99 CDN$ 10.99

Black Friday Deals Week in Books
The Complete Gillian Flynn boxed set, which includes bestselling novel Gone Girl, is now 43% off as part of our Black Friday Deals. More Deals

Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought



Product Details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: HighBridge Company; Abridged,Slightly abridged; 7 hours on 6 CDs edition (April 4 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1565115139
  • ISBN-13: 978-1565115132
  • Product Dimensions: 14.3 x 2.5 x 12.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 263 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (196 customer reviews)

Product Description

From Amazon

The eponymous heroine of Gwyn Rubio's Icy Sparks is only 10 years old the first time it happens. The sudden itching, the pressure squeezing her skull, and the "little invisible rubber bands" attached to her eyelids are all symptoms of Tourette's syndrome. At this point, of course, Icy doesn't yet have a name for these unsettling impulses. But whenever they become too much to resist, she runs down to her grandparents' root cellar, and there she gives in, croaking, jerking, cursing, and popping her eyes. Nicknamed the "frog child" by her classmates, Icy soon becomes "a little girl who had to keep all of her compulsions inside." Only a brief confinement at the Bluegrass State Hospital persuades her that there are actually children more "different" than she.

As a first novel about growing up poor, orphaned, and prone to fits in a small Appalachian town, Icy Sparks tells a fascinating story. By the time the epilogue rolls around, Icy has prevailed over her disorder and become a therapist: "Children silent as stone sing for me. Children who cannot speak create music for me." For readers familiar with this particular brand of coming-of-age novel--affliction fiction?--Icy's triumph should come as no great surprise. That's one problem. Another is Rubio's tendency to lapse into overheated prose: this is a novel in which the characters would sooner yell, pout, whine, moan, or sass a sentence than simply say it. But the real drawback to Icy Sparks is that some of the characters--especially the bad ones--are drawn with very broad strokes indeed, and the moral principles tend to be equally elementary: embrace your difference, none of us is alone, and so on. When Icy gets saved at a tent revival, even Jesus takes on the accents of a self-help guru: "You must love yourself!" With insights like these, this is one Southern novel that's more Wally Lamb than Harper Lee. --Mary Park --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

The diagnosis of Tourette's Syndrome isn't mentioned until the last pages of Rubio's sensitive portrayal of a young girl with the disease. Instead, Rubio lets Icy Sparks tell her own story of growing up during the 1950s in a small Kentucky town where her uncontrollable outbursts make her an object of fright and scorn. "The Saturday after my [10th] birthday, the eye blinking and poppings began.... I could feel little invisible rubber bands fastened to my eyelids, pulled tight through my brain and attached to the back of my head," says Icy, who thinks of herself as the "frog child from Icy Creek." Orphaned and cared for by her loving grandparents, Icy weathers the taunts of a mean schoolteacher and, later, a crush on a boy that ends in disappointment. But she also finds real friendship with the enormously fat Miss Emily, who offers kindness and camaraderie. Rubio captures Icy's feelings of isolation and brings poignancy and drama to Icy's childhood experiences, to her temporary confinement in a mental institution and to her reluctant introduction?thanks to Miss Emily and Icy's grandmother?to the Pentecostal church through which she discovers her singing talent. If Rubio sometimes loses track of Icy's voice, indulges in unconvincing magical realism and takes unearned poetic license with the speech of her Appalachian grandparents ("'Your skin was as cold as fresh springwater, slippery and strangely soothing to touch'"), her first novel is remarkable for its often funny portrayal of a child's fears, loves and struggles with an affliction she doesn't know isn't her fault. Agent, Susan Golomb; editor, Jane von Mehren.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
Browse and search another edition of this book.
First Sentence
On June tenth, I turned ten. Read the first page
Explore More
Concordance
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Excerpt | Back Cover
Search inside this book:

Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

By Ali on April 22 2004
Format: Paperback
Icy Sparks is a girl who was raised by her grandparents because both her parents died when she was young. Along with growing up with no parents, Icy also has a disease called Tourette Syndrom, and doesn't find out she has this disease untill early adulthood. Her violent tics and verbal abuse, caused by Tourettes, isolates her from her peers and social life. This novel is about Icy's struggles and achievements in surviving the emotional and physical effects of tourrettes. And along the way Icy finds the meaning of love that looks beyond her disease, a love that last forever. The love her grandparents, and best friend (Emily), gave from the very beginning to the very end.
This book was hard to get into at first but soon I couldn't stop reading it. The author puts the reader in the mind set of Icy, which give the book a personality of its own. It's a real eye opener to what it's like to be mentally different but appear to be as normal as any other person. It can be confusing at times, so i reccomend it for ages 13 and older. (side note: to understand the story better read the section at the back of the book on Tourette Syndrom.)
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.
By John Sollami on Dec 11 2003
Format: Paperback
This novel is simply written and direct and tells the story of a girl growing up with a mysterious condition that makes her a social outcast. She suffers from bouts of tics, jerks, uncontrollable verbal outbursts, and all the social and psychological fallout such bizarre behavior brings. Icy Sparks makes her way through school in rural Kentucky in the 1950s, and meets up with an ignorant teacher and teasing classmates, which only make matters worse. Both of Icy's parents are dead, and she's being raised by caring and loving grandparents, but there is reference to a genetic link to her father for her condition.
Icy's life plays out realistically, which makes it clear that this story must be autobiographical.
What makes this story unique is the rarity of its telling in literature. I did find the ending a bit much, although the scenes at the end were rendered well. It's only in the last two pages that we discover Icy's condition to be that of Tourette's Syndrome, which makes the book all the more effective.
For anyone with this condition or who has children with this condition, this novel is must reading. For all others, it's also good to understand and empathize with those burdened with this genetic problem.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.
By Kay Mitchell on Aug. 27 2002
Format: Paperback
Icy Sparks, title character and charming little girl, will win your heart. She is bright and beautiful with "hair the color of goldenrod" and eyes of "yellow ochre," but she has a secret that all too soon is revealed to the public and not only peers but adults alike fear her. She has Tourette Syndrome, but in the 1950's, it was undiagnosed and she found no relief until her 20's.
Icy lives with her adoring grandparents in a small Kentucky mountain town. The book is full of folk wisdom and lovely description of flowers and the natural beauty of the area. Characters are well-drawn allowing the reader to attain an intimacy with them that is seldom found. A stay at the state mental hospital reveals characters so despicable that they are almost Dickensian in character, making the reader empathize with Icy all the more.
A sojourn at the end into the various churches of the town and their characteristics lends humor and authenticity to Icy's emergence from fear and shame into a world where she knows she will survive. Her lovely "voice like an angel" gives her confidence and the courage to know that she will make it. The only part that did not ring true to me was all the carrying on at the end with the pentacostal stuff. It seemed totally out of character for both the grandmother and Miss Emily to fall prey to such sensationalism and perfectly on point for Icy to refuse it.
All in all, this is a lovely book with wisdom and lessons for living. Icy's insights are both wise beyond her years and charming in their innocence. Despite some rather wordy passages that could have been shortened, this is a very good read.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.
By Kay Mitchell on Aug. 27 2002
Format: Paperback
Icy Sparks, title character and charming little girl, will win your heart. She is bright and beautiful with "hair the color of goldenrod" and eyes of "yellow ochre," but she has a secret that all too soon is revealed to the public and not only peers but adults alike fear her. She has Tourette Syndrome, but in the 1950's, it was undiagnosed and she found no relief until her 20's.
Icy lives with her adoring grandparents in a small Kentucky mountain town. The book is full of folk wisdom and lovely description of flowers and the natural beauty of the area. Characters are well-drawn allowing the reader to attain an intimacy with them that is seldom found. A stay at the state mental hospital reveals characters so despicable that they are almost Dickensian in character, making the reader empathize with Icy all the more.
A sojourn at the end into the various churches of the town and their characteristics lends humor and authenticity to Icy's emergence from fear and shame into a world where she knows she will survive. Her lovely "voice like an angel" gives her confidence and the courage to know that she will make it.
All in all, this is a lovely book with wisdom and lessons for living. Icy's insights are both wise beyond her years and charming in their innocence. Despite some rather wordy passages that could have been shortened, this is a very good read.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.

Most recent customer reviews



Feedback