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Icy Sparks
Icy Sparks
Author: Gwyn Hyman Rubio
Eastern Kentucky, 1956. Life is hard and sweet for ten-year-old Icy Sparks. Orphaned as a baby but raised by adoring grandparents, she is a bright, curious child. Yet something strange is happening to her, something that she'd like to keep hidden. Try as she might, her secrets--those croaks, jerks, and spasms--keep slipping out. Her teachers thi...  more »
ISBN: 5125
Publication Date: 1998
  • Currently 1.5/5 Stars.

1.5 stars, based on 2 ratings
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover, Audio Cassette, Audio CD
Members Wishing: 0
Reviews: Member | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

CraftyTJ avatar reviewed Icy Sparks on + 381 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 16
As a first novel about growing up poor, orphaned, and prone to fits in a small Appalachian town, Icy Sparks tells a fascinating story. By the time the epilogue rolls around, Icy has prevailed over her disorder and become a therapist: "Children silent as stone sing for me. Children who cannot speak create music for me." For readers familiar with this particular brand of coming-of-age novel--affliction fiction?--Icy's triumph should come as no great surprise. That's one problem. Another is Rubio's tendency to lapse into overheated prose: this is a novel in which the characters would sooner yell, pout, whine, moan, or sass a sentence than simply say it. But the real drawback to Icy Sparks is that some of the characters--especially the bad ones--are drawn with very broad strokes indeed, and the moral principles tend to be equally elementary: embrace your difference, none of us is alone, and so on. When Icy gets saved at a tent revival, even Jesus takes on the accents of a self-help guru: "You must love yourself!" With insights like these, this is one Southern novel that's more Wally Lamb than Harper Lee.
reviewed Icy Sparks on + 113 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 12
Ick. I agree with a previous reviewer about my disappointment at her religious awakening at the end of the book. I got the feeling she knew what she wanted to end with all along and tried to make it fit. The ending overshadowed what was a fair book, but at times too cute and contrived. Would not read again nor recommend.
reviewed Icy Sparks on
Helpful Score: 10
This book was great until the last ten pages or so when the main character gets "saved" and all of her problems are solved because she accepts Jesus. It was a cheap ending to what was an otherwise an enjoyable book. The ending actually made me angry enough to throw the book in the trash which is something I would never usually do.
bhekadawn avatar reviewed Icy Sparks on + 9 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 6
This book was a great look into the misunderstanding of metal illness in decades past. Icy Sparks, the main character in this story, is one of the unfortune people to have to endure criticism, punishment, ridicule and the other personal tortures of mental illness.

This book is an easy read and worth your time for at least the education that can be reaped from the paged of this story.
reviewed Icy Sparks on + 15 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
This books is set in rural Kentucky in the 50's and is about a ten year old girl, Icy Sparks. She is an orphan who lives with her grandparents and has Toerette's Syndrome (spelling?) where one has the uncontrollable urge to curse aloud. Her childhood is filled with shame and humiliation...but Icy finds solace in Miss Emily, an obese woman who is also an outkast.

This is an unforgetable book overspilling with hope, the imperfections we all live with. I love books that are in the Southern female voice...this book will not disappoint!
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reviewed Icy Sparks on + 317 more book reviews
Icy Sparks, an orphan being raised by her grandparents, suffers from Tourette Syndrome, although that is not known until she is grown. She is mocked by children in school, a teacher and community members. Great description and exploration of emotions. Interesting story.
reviewed Icy Sparks on + 6 more book reviews
I really liked this book. You have to be in the right frame of mind to read it, it is very moving.
reviewed Icy Sparks on + 41 more book reviews
Story of a child suffering from Tourette Syndrome, a neurologic disorder that causes a person to jerk, croak, tic, shout profanities at innapropriate times. It is an excellent description of the disease, and a really well-written story of a child lost in the world of misunderstanding adults. Icy is a treat.
reviewed Icy Sparks on + 30 more book reviews
I read this one a long time ago but remember it being really good. It is the first story (fiction) that I have come across that discusses what it is like to have tourettes syndrome.
lovncats avatar reviewed Icy Sparks on + 14 more book reviews
Story was good and you really get to know the characters.
reviewed Icy Sparks on + 5 more book reviews
Love it!!
aprilrose avatar reviewed Icy Sparks on + 5 more book reviews
very cute book, enjoyed it, had its ups and downs as far as the story goes, but this book was great. I'm glad I found it.
reviewed Icy Sparks on
This book gives good insight into what it was like to grow up with a mental health disorder that no one understood.


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