Monday, July 11, 2011

Review: Angel Creek by Sally Rippin

Book Description via Goodreads:

Paperback, 152 pages
February 28, 2011, Text Publishing Company

In her new falling-down home, in her new street, in her new suburb, Jelly waits for high school to begin. She can only feel happy up in the branches of the old apricot tree and by the creek at the back of the house. One night, Jelly and her cousins spot something in the creek’s dark waters. At first they think it’s a bird, but it isn’t…it’s a baby angel with a broken wing. And they decide to keep it.

But soon things start to go wrong, and Jelly discovers that you can’t just take something from where it belongs and expect that it won’t be missed.

Sally Rippin’s Angel Creek is a book about growing up: being brave and selfish and tough and scared. It’s a book about an angel. But not the sweet variety. It’s a book about the things that change and the things that always stay the same.

Source: Text Publishing and Sally Rippin (Thank you!)

My Thoughts:

This was my first Middle Grade book dealing with angels. It was refreshing to see angels in this light. I was used to reading about angels looking like human beings, talking and interacting with people as if they belonged in this world. The angel in Angel Creek was far from this version. It was less human, more animal.

Jelly and her two cousins disobeyed their parents and went to the creek one night. There, they found the most incredible thing: a baby angel. Fascinated at something so cute, otherworldly and weak, they decided to keep it. But keeping it came with responsibilities.  They needed to keep it safe from other humans and to feed and clean it.

Rippin’s writing was simple yet compelling. The themes of bullying, life and death, and family misunderstandings were tackled. The strengths and weaknesses of familial relationships were exposed and examined closely. I appreciate how Rippin made Jelly’s voice genuinely young with just the hint of maturity. Her development from a kid to someone who can handle responsibilities was very realistic. She made mistakes. Probably, a lot more than she would have liked but she learned from those mistakes.

Angel Creek is a breath of fresh air with its simplicity and juvenility. A quick, light read that anyone can enjoy. I recommend this to young and old readers. It’s something that will refresh your memories.



  1. Worth reading then? I've been circling around this one for a while now. I think I might give it a go now. Thanks for this great review!

  2. Great review. I haven't read books involving angels. This soudns like a fun read. This is something I would have wanted for my classroom library.

  3. I didn't realise this was middle-grade! But even so, I'm still so intrigued by this. It sounds like a great story and I like how you describe the angel as "It was less human, more animal. "

    Great review!