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Priests in Space

SparrowFor my reviewing class at Simmons, I’m having the students read and review an adult book chosen by their classmates after each made a dark confession:

Student: I hate chicklit!

Class: you’re reading Sophie Kinsella!

A bit sadistic, I guess, but the idea was to get us all out of our comfort zones and also to try and recreate a bit what it’s like for a child reader to confront something new. After I confessed my reluctance to read most science fiction, I was given Mary Doria Russell’s The Sparrow, about a Jesuit who meets a new (to him) species on another planet. I’m hoping it will be something like Black Robe, one of my favorite movies.  That’s my weekend; what’s yours?

Roger Sutton About Roger Sutton

Roger Sutton has been the editor in chief of The Horn Book, Inc, since 1996. He was previously editor of The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books and a children's and young adult librarian. He received his M.A. in library science from the University of Chicago in 1982 and a B.A. from Pitzer College in 1978. Follow him on Twitter: @RogerReads.



  1. This assignment is such a brilliant idea. Kudos for creative teaching methods and out-of-the-box thinking!

  2. This is one of my favorite books! If you are intrigued after the first one, the sequel (Children of God) really brings the story arc to completion in a powerful way.

  3. I’m eager to hear your thoughts. That’s kind of a harrowing book.

  4. JudiAnne Reppucci says:

    Remember reading it and thinking that it was a retelling in the future of events involving Jesuits in pre-colonial NY with the Iroquois but couldn’t think of the name of the saint involved. Anybody know?

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