The Secret Life of Sparrow Delaney, by Suzanne Harper
Sparrow Delaney is the seventh daughter of a seventh daughter. By all accounts, she should be a very powerful psychic. Her mother, her grandmother, and her sisters Oriole, Dove, Wren, Raven, Lark, and Linnet can all communicate with the dead, and they are baffled by her apparent lack of psychic ability. In truth, Sparrow has been seeing spirits since she was five and she even has three spirit guides, but she continues to maintain to her family that she has no psychic ability. Her mantra: “I do not want to be a medium.” Unfortunately for her, Sparrow is not only psychic, but she has all of the four kinds of psychic skills. She possesses clairvoyance (the ability to see spirits), clairaudience (the ability to hear spirits), clairsentience (the ability to feel or sense the presence of spirits), and clairgustance (the ability to sense smells or tastes associated with the spirit).
As Sparrow begins the tenth grade at a brand new school (translation – no more following in her older sisters’ footsteps) she has the usual first day concerns. Will she find her locker? Easy with the assistance of a spirit guide. Will she make friends? Even easier as Fiona Jones is new to the school as well. Who will be her assigned partner for her history project? Sparrow’s is Jack Dawson, “plus five points for being relatively good-looking, minus five points for being sarcastic and surly.” But it is Luke, the cute ghost boy in her first period class, who has the biggest effect on Sparrow. He manages to break through Sparrow’s spirit defenses–Rule One: Refuse to acknowledge the ghost’s presence. Rule Two: Think boring thoughts. Rule Three: Finally, never, ever talk to them. Luke convinces her to help him pass on a message, but how can she do that without revealing to her family that she has been keeping a secret from them, and without admitting to herself that she truly does have a calling?
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