The Bluebird and the Sparrow Paperback – Large Print, Apr 1995
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From School Library Journal
Grade 7 Up-A richly detailed inspirational novel from a prolific writer of Christian fiction. Set in the early 1900s on the Canadian prairie, the story centers on Berta, the older, plain, dependable sister of cheerful, beautiful, affectionate Glenna. From childhood on, Berta feels ignored as pretty Glenna receives most of the attention from family, friends, and especially young men. She develops a protective shell so as not to compete with her sister's limelight. Circumstances and the stress of not revealing her true feelings finally cause the young woman to seek the advice of her minister. Both sisters eventually discuss their feelings and Berta discovers her "true self." Oke presents believable characters in a well-paced story full of insight and common sense. It will be especially appealing to any young adult who feels like a "sparrow" in comparison to the "bluebirds." The religious message does not appear until the later half of the book and could be overpowering to some readers, but the universal message of acceptance of self is this book's strong point.
Judy R. Johnston, Auburn High School, WA
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
JANETTE OKE is the beloved, bestselling author of more than sixty books. Her writing has earned her the Christy Award for excellence in Christian Fiction, a number of Gold Medallion Awards, and two honorary awards for her significant contribution to the Christian book industry. Janette and her husband, Edward, live in Calgary, Alberta. For more information visit janetteoke.com. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
Top Customer Reviews
Poor Berta can never let her grudges go long enough to enjoy life. When Glenna marries and moves to another town, Berta closes herself off from everyone. When their father dies, Berta withers in resentment.
Things change for the better when Glenna returns for a visit with her then 2-year-old son James in tow. The family reconnects, the sisters, mother and their maternal grandmother. Berta Rose (Rosie) was born, some 4 years after James. Unlike Berta, he embraces his new role as a brother and delights in Rosie.
In time, tragedy strikes. James, then 4 falls from a tree and dies from a closed head injury. Glenna's third child, Anna is born shortly thereafter. In time, Glenna and Berta have a heart-to-heart. Glenna says she prays to God daily to help her feel compassion instead of envy; she is not the naturally sunny personality people think she is. Slowly, Berta's emotional armor is chipped away. Once she accepts herself and lets go of her past resentments and allows herself to love Glenna unconditionally, then she is receptive to the love of a persistent suitor.
I think this is a wonderful story about love and redemption and prayer. I like the way God is mentioned throughout the book and the reminders of how important God is to those who believe in and serve Him.Read more ›
Berta Berdette has never been able to get over her resentment of her beautiful younger sister with the "charmed" life and handsome husband. All-or-nothing negative Berta is so angry that she wasn't born beautiful too, that she refuses to even try to be "just pretty", shunning lovely hairstyles and clothing and dressing in the primmest, plainest manner possible.
But God shows Berta that her attempts to spite the people around her hurt no one more than herself, and ultimately helps her to open her heart to love: His, hers, and that of a good man.
What worked for me:
The story starts early in Berta's life, and the deft description of a young child adjusting to a new baby was excellent and right on target.
I always enjoy stories which invoke warm memories of some of my favorite childhood reads like the "Little House" and "Anne of Green Gables" series.
Size-wise there are no descriptions given to Berta or her sister. We only know that one is "plain" and the other is "lovely".
What didn't work for me:
I understand what the moral of the story is, but it seems like this book just hammered it home a few times too many. Berta's bitterness and self-pity became harder and harder to take as the years rolled by.
Fans of Western Historical Christian novels should enjoy this one.
I did NOT like the characters in this particular book. Two sisters are compared throughout the entire book, one very sweet and popular, the other not as pretty, and very bitter about the fact that baby sis gets all the attention. I found myself wanting to slap the whiney sister. No wonder no one wanted to be her beau. I think that it had way more to do with ugliness of personality (whiney, grating, irritating.... I really did NOT like this woman) than of physical appearance. I got really really tired of listening to her little pity parties. (WOW! I sound so harsh!) Finally, too near the end of the book, she finds happiness. By then, I didn't care. I was too sick of her.
Frankly, I could not WAIT to get through this one, and although I will continue to read Oke's other books over and over again, this is one to which I will never again subject myself.
Most recent customer reviews
The are hard to find and was glad to see that I could finish adding to my series.......Published 12 months ago by Tanya Larose
I was so excited when I checked this book out at my local library because I normally love Mrs. Oke's books. But this one just got on my nerves something terrible. Read morePublished on June 14 2003 by Vicki Williamson
I think that The Bluebird and The Sparrow is wonderfully true about certain families. I tells the reader that Berta cannot stand to be around Glenna. Read morePublished on Oct. 8 2001 by Monica
Berta is 2 years old, and life so far seems great. She has great parents, and is learning new things every day. Then, one day, her mother has a baby, Glenna. Read morePublished on Oct. 3 2000 by Jessie
This book seemed to dwell on the issue being presented more than most of her other books, but I have to admit that maybe it took that for the reader to realize how stubborn we... Read morePublished on July 28 2000 by M. Spano
I felt so into it at the begining and at the end I felt wonderful, spiritlifted! I can never describe how wonderful this book was and how wonderful it will make anyone feel! Read morePublished on March 10 1998
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