Sparrow: The Story of Joan of Arc
Seventeen-year-old Eloise Hardy is delighted when her father tells her that the family is moving to Orleans because she has always been fascinated by the life of Joan of Arc. A picture of Joan hung in her house, and from an early age, she had dressed up as Joan and tried to imagine her life.
In Orleans, there is a procession every year to remember Joan of Arc, leading the French soldiers to free the town's people from the English in the fifteenth century. Eloise desperately wants to win the competition to be Joan in the procession, but although she writes the best essay about Joan, another girl wins the competition because she was born in Orleans. Eloise is so upset that she spends the day by the river instead of going to school, and she drifts off to sleep and dreams the story of Joan's life.
The story becomes the life story of a peasant girl who heard voices telling her that she must crown the Dauphin of France and lead the French army to drive the English out of France. In the dream, Joan has a white sparrow as her constant friend, which is how the book gets its name. The sparrow follows Joan through France and manages to fly in through a hole in the roof, even when she is a prisoner. He is with her when she has been betrayed by the Burgundians and sold to the English, who tried and burnt her as a witch!
Join us as we read this beautifully written book exploring the life of Joan of Arc. We will look at the themes of loneliness., fitting into a new school, and the various problems teenagers face as they grow towards adulthood. We will learn more about Joan of Arc, an incredible role model, soldier and heroine who was willing to give the greatest sacrifice for her beliefs… her life!
This is a must-read book for all young people. It is a book that explores what it is to be human in the face of adversity. I promise you will find it both fascinating and a book that you cannot wait to discover what happens next.
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