Icy Sparks

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Icy Sparks

by Gwyn Hyman Rubio
Read by Kate Miller

Highbridge Company | April 4, 2001 | Audio Book (CD)

3.4737 out of 5 rating. 19 Reviews
An Oprah''s Book Club selection

Set in Appalachia during the late 1950s, this acclaimed first novel chronicles a young girl''s heartbreaking battle with Tourette''s syndrome.

Ten-year-old Icy Sparks already has one strike against her: She''s an orphan. Life becomes even more difficult when Icy develops strange symptoms: violent tics, inexplicable convulsions, sudden outbursts, and uncontrollable cursing that accompany her rare neurological disorder. Her affliction goes undiagnosed until adulthood, but the all-too-visible signs are the source of endless mystery and hilarity as everyone around offers an opinion about what''s troubling the girl. Eventually Icy finds solace in the company of Miss Emily, who knows what it''s like to be an outcast in this tightly knit community.

Narrated by a now-grown Icy, this novel shimmers with warmth and humor as it recounts a young girl''s painful journey to womanhood. A funny, sad, and transcendent story, Icy Sparks introduces a fresh new Southern voice.

Format: Audio Book (CD)

Dimensions: 1 Pages, 4.72 × 5.51 × 0.79 in

Published: April 4, 2001

Publisher: Highbridge Company

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 1565115139

ISBN - 13: 9781565115132

Found in: Fiction and Literature

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– More About This Product –

Icy Sparks

Icy Sparks

by Gwyn Hyman Rubio
Read by Kate Miller

Format: Audio Book (CD)

Dimensions: 1 Pages, 4.72 × 5.51 × 0.79 in

Published: April 4, 2001

Publisher: Highbridge Company

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 1565115139

ISBN - 13: 9781565115132

From the Publisher

An Oprah''s Book Club selection

Set in Appalachia during the late 1950s, this acclaimed first novel chronicles a young girl''s heartbreaking battle with Tourette''s syndrome.

Ten-year-old Icy Sparks already has one strike against her: She''s an orphan. Life becomes even more difficult when Icy develops strange symptoms: violent tics, inexplicable convulsions, sudden outbursts, and uncontrollable cursing that accompany her rare neurological disorder. Her affliction goes undiagnosed until adulthood, but the all-too-visible signs are the source of endless mystery and hilarity as everyone around offers an opinion about what''s troubling the girl. Eventually Icy finds solace in the company of Miss Emily, who knows what it''s like to be an outcast in this tightly knit community.

Narrated by a now-grown Icy, this novel shimmers with warmth and humor as it recounts a young girl''s painful journey to womanhood. A funny, sad, and transcendent story, Icy Sparks introduces a fresh new Southern voice.

About the Author

GWYN HYMAN RUBIO has been nominated for a Pushcart Press Editors'' Book Award and is a winner of the Cecil Hackney Award as well as a recipient of grants from the Kentucky Arts Council and the Kentucky Foundation for Women.

Kate Miller is a stage, film, television and voice-over actress. She is perhaps best known as the voice of "Debbie DuPree" in the cartoon parody, Sealab 2021. She is also the voice of Grace Ryan in the Adult Swim show, Frisky Dingo. She has also appeared on Law & Order, Friends, Third Watch, Sex & the City, All My Children, Guiding Light, As the World Turns and numerous commercials, including Pepsi, AFLAC and The Olive Garden. She has also appeared on Broadway in Moon Over Buffalo with Carol Burnett and Amadeus with Michael Sheen. Movies include "Entropy" and "Chump Change". On the DVD documentary behind the production of Moon Over Buffalo, she is seen complaining that the publicity photo of her does not reflect how "attractive" she is, on the DVD commentary, the director thus calls her "narcisstic." 

Editorial Reviews

The diagnosis of Tourette''s Syndrome isn''t mentioned until the last pages of Rubio''s sensitive portrayal of a young girl with the disease. Instead, Rubio lets Icy Sparks tell her own story of growing up during the 1950s in a small Kentucky town where her uncontrollable outbursts make her an object of fright and scorn. "The Saturday after my [10th] birthday, the eye blinking and poppings began.... I could feel little invisible rubber bands fastened to my eyelids, pulled tight through my brain and attached to the back of my head," says Icy, who thinks of herself as the "frog child from Icy Creek." Orphaned and cared for by her loving grandparents, Icy weathers the taunts of a mean schoolteacher and, later, a crush on a boy that ends in disappointment. But she also finds real friendship with the enormously fat Miss Emily, who offers kindness and camaraderie. Rubio captures Icy''s feelings of isolation and brings poignancy and drama to Icy''s childhood experiences, to her temporary confinement in a mental institution and to her reluctant introduction?thanks to Miss Emily and Icy''s grandmother?to the Pentecostal church through which she discovers her singing talent. If Rubio sometimes loses track of Icy''s voice, indulges in unconvincing magical realism and takes unearned poetic license with the speech of her Appalachian grandparents ("''Your skin was as cold as fresh springwater, slippery and strangely soothing to touch''"), her first novel is remarkable for its often funny p
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