HarperCollins, 2009. 978-0-06-143095-4
Synopsis: In a tiny village high in the Swiss Alps, there is an Angel who is unsure of what he/she is doing on Earth…or rather, supposed to be doing. Then the Angel meets Zola, an American with a peculiar fashion sense and a desire to make everyone in the tiny village happy. Suddenly, the Angel is helping everyone left and right, much to its chagrin, but perhaps it has finally found a mission, a reason for its residence on Earth.
Why I picked it up: I was looking for Eragon in a friend’s library and found this under a stack of J.D. Robb books. Plus, I have loved Sharon Creech ever since I read Walk Two Moons in elementary school.
Why I finished it: Creech is a prolific author and this book is another wonderful addition to her large and well-known body of work. The Angel as a narrator is simultaneously curious and disgusted with humanity, commenting on how people can have such a large capacity to care and yet they worry so much about time. Zola jolts the Angel out of its comfort zone and inadvertently forces the Angel to become more involved in the lives of the villagers, which gives the Angel a new perspective. The language Creech uses is unique in that the Angel’s voice is often broken and it misuses or can’t think of the right word, reminiscent of an English language learner. It’s an endearing characteristic that bonds us to the Angel – for me, it reminds me of some of the students I went to college with whose first language was not English. It plays on the notion of being uncomfortable with formal communications and trying to learn to command one’s first language (I am a native American English speaker, and honestly, I’m probably never going to have a firm grasp on the English language). The Unfinished Angel is a sweet and endearing story about finding our place, learning to see the good in people, and banding together for a common cause.
Other related materials: Heartbeat by Sharon Creech; Love That Dog by Sharon Creech; Hate That Cat by Sharon Creech; The Great Unexpected by Sharon Creech; Absolutely Normal Chaos by Sharon Creech; Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech; Ruby Holler by Sharon Creech; Bloomability by Sharon Creech; Chasing Redbird by Sharon Creech; Replay by Sharon Creech; The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate; Another NASTYbook: The Curse of the Tweeties by Barry Yourgrau and Robert DeJesus; A Mango-Shaped Space by Wendy Mass; A Recipe for Robbery by Marybeth Kelsey; Mountain Pose by Nancy Hope Wilson; The Talent Thief by Alex Williams