The title is so apt, as you imagine reading this book sprinkled in orange sparkles. The book is written through the eyes of a Megan, an eleven-year-old girl and tells the story of her family moving from America to Israel. Megan has a brother, Noah, who is eight and a younger sister, Elise, who’s four-and-a-half and was born with Cerebral Palsy. The family are moving to Israel as dad has a new promotion and also a modern research facility is opening that might help Elise.
Although I appreciate the background story of how Megan felt about leaving her friends, learning the language and accepting the change, I would have preferred it if they had already moved and then maybe written the backstory when relevant. I felt the story lacked pace, and it wasn’t until they discovered the real Orange Sparkles that the story started.
Once the sparkles appeared, the book released its magic and it was a pleasure to read. The concept of being able to help Elise to communicate was beautifully introduced and it must be so frustrating for people with Cerebral Palsy to not be able to express themselves and make themselves understood. I loved the way Megan and Noah used their wishes in various ways – not understanding but trusting that things would be done as the magic messages told them.
The ending of the book was quite abrupt, but then there is already Blue Sparkles waiting just around the corner to shower more sparkles from the wonderful world and imagination of Rachel Inbar. There is also an Orange Sparkles workbook available to accompany the book so that children can think more about what they are reading about and learn more about Israel, Cerebral Palsy through puzzles, word games and pictures, which is a lovely idea.
I awarded Orange Sparkles four stars as it was well-written with a positive message about disability and the ability to do things beyond our means.