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Binding: Hardcover
ISBN: 978-1-57131-701-8
Pages: 208
Publish Date: September 2012
Genre: Young Readers

Silhouette of a Sparrow

BY Molly Beth Griffin

Growing up in the 1920s, sixteen-year-old Garnet Richardson envies the birds outside her window. Her mother does not approve of Garnet climbing trees to peer into nests or any other such un-ladylike behavior. She has Garnet’s life all planned out: after finishing high school, she’ll marry and tend to the home. But when Garnet is sent away for the summer to stay with relatives in the lakeside resort town of Excelsior, Minnesota, she finds a chance to spread her wings. A newly built amusement park and roaring dance hall beckon, and her explorations land her where she least expects—in a growing relationship with a beautiful and daring flapper, Isabella.

So begins the most important summer of Garnet’s life. Caught between her family’s expectations and her own newfound passions, she must decide whose dreams to follow. Can she seize the freedom she so admires in birds?



• In this interview, Molly Beth Griffin talks about teenage love, childhood memories, and life during the Roaring Twenties.
• Also, see what she has to say about loving (and loathing) research.
• Silhouette of a Sparrow is full of lush descriptions of Minnesota’s flora and fauna. That’s because Molly Beth Griffin has strong feelings about nature in books for young readers.
• Reading Silhouette of a Sparrow for a book club or class? Keep the conversation lively with this Discussion Guide.
• Read about Molly Beth Griffin’s McKnight Artist Fellowship.




Silhouette of a Sparrow

A coming-of-age story about the search for wildness in a confining time . . . a tale of a young woman discovering both the art of rebellion and the power of unexpected love.
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Editorial ReviewGoodreads Review

“Silhouette of a Sparrow is an excellent example of an historical coming-of-age lesbian young adult novel. Written with a deft hand, based in the true history of its setting, and with characterizations that will ring true to any teenager, it is a worthy and enjoyable read for anyone. The writing style is straight-forward so the  plot turns, analogies, and descriptions stand out, adding vibrancy to the story.”

Lambda Literary

“Griffin’s first novel for teens is laced with evocative period details that give readers a taste of what it was like to come of age during the flapper era.”

Publishers Weekly

“Silhouette of a Sparrow is Molly Beth Griffin’s first novel, and fans of young adult fiction will enjoy its quiet drama.”

ForeWord Reviews

“Tight and purposeful . . . a positive breath of fresh air.”

Kirkus Reviews

“Garnet’s feminist and environmental concerns are relevant for a young contemporary audience without feeling anachronistic to the narrative.”

Star Tribune

“A lovely, bittersweet and quiet coming of age story. It brilliantly combines its vivid historical setting (which has been meticulously researched by the author) and Garnet's love for ornithology with a story about growth and about falling in love...a very enjoyable, gratifying read. I recommend it.”

The Book Smugglers

"An immensely charming short novel...Griffin perfectly captures the mood of America in the twenties — prohibition, first wave feminism, ongoing and virulent racism, the class war at one of its many peaks – and it is this that pushes Silhouette to be more than ‘just’ a coming of age romance novel, but an example of historical fiction at its most vivid."

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Molly Beth Griffin

Molly Beth Griffin's debut novel, Silhouette of a Sparrow, explores the intersection between adventure and restraint, youth and sexuality, and courage and conviction.

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