Sillhouette of a Sparrow
Sillhouette of a Sparrow (back cover)
Young Readers

Silhouette of a Sparrow

A Finalist for the Lambda Literary Award
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A Finalist for the Lambda Literary Award

Growing up in the 1920s, sixteen-year-old Garnet Richardson watches the birds outside her window, admiring their freedom and beauty. Her mother, on the other hand, does not approve of Garnet climbing trees to peer into nests. She has Garnet’s life all planned out: after finishing high school, she’ll marry and tend to the home.

When Garnet is sent away for the summer to stay with relatives in the lakeside resort town of Excelsior, Minnesota, she discovers a chance to spread her wings. There she finds herself under the supervision of oppressive guardians and her father’s wealthy cousin. But an amusement park and roaring dance hall beckon, and her explorations land her where she least expects—enthralled with a beautiful and daring flapper, Isabella. Caught between her family’s expectations and her own newfound passions, Garnet must decide whose dreams to follow.

Tender and moving, Silhouette of a Sparrow is the tale of a young woman’s discovery of the science of risk, the art of rebellion, and, of course, the power of unexpected love.

Publish Date
5.25 × 8 × 0.5 in
8.5 oz

Molly Beth Griffin

Molly Beth Griffin is the author of Silhouette of a Sparrow, which received the Milkweed Prize for Children’s Literature and was a Lambda Literary Awards Finalist, and several picture books, including Loon Baby and Rhoda’s Rock Hunt.

Praise and Prizes

  • “Rich with emotion and loaded with fascinating details of the flapper era, Silhouette of a Sparrow is a wonderful novel about independence and first love.”

    Marsha Qualey
    author of Just Like That
  • “A sweet, quiet coming-of-age story … Garnet’s narration reveals a girl on the cusp of modernity, one whose desire for something more and something else feels both alluring and terrifying… . A positive breath of fresh air.”

  • “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.”

    Lambda Literary
  • “Tenderly and touchingly realized.”

  • “An immensely charming short novel … Molly Beth 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… . Well-researched and beautifully lyrical.”

    Vada Magazine
  • Lambda Literary Awards Finalist
    ALA Rainbow List
    Amelia Bloomer Project List
    Milkweed Prize for Children’s Literature
    Minnesota Book Award Finalist