Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Sparrows in the Scullery Audio

Sparrows in the Scullery Audio

Barbara Brooks Wallace
For ages 8 to 12
Unabridged audiobook (CD)
Performed/read by: Steven Crossley
Recorded Books, 1999   ISBN: 978-0788746512

Eleven-year-old Colley has a very comfortable life living in his large family home outside London. Then quite suddenly his life is turned upside down when his parents are tragically killed in a carriage accident. Most of the servants in the house are sent away until there are only a few people left in the house to take care of Colley. Things get infinitely worse however when he is kidnapped and taken to the Broggin Home for Boys in London. Here Colley is fed poorly, clothed in little more than rags, and he is made to work in the glass works.

At first the other boys in the home seem to hate him and make his life miserable but after Colley takes the blame for another boy’s wrongdoing, the boys become his friends. The boys do all they can to help Colley, recognizing that he is not a street lad like themselves who is used to hardship.

As he struggles to survive Colley continuously wonders why he was brought to the Broggin Home for Boys. Is he to be ransomed and why were Mr. and Mrs. Broggin paid to take him in?

This poignant tale about a boy who is the victim of greedy relatives manages to be both horrifying and funny. Readers will be hard pressed not to cheer when the boys at the Broggin Home find ways to thwart their cruel captors. The author perfectly captures the essence of the boyishness of Colley and his friends, and at the same time she shows us that when push comes to shove, boys are boys, not matter what their background is.