Icy Sparks

Abridged Audiobook

Written By: Gwyn Hyman Rubio

Narrated By: Kate Miller

Publisher: HighBridge Company

Date: October 2002

Duration: 7 hours 6 minutes


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.


  • Uqlady

    Loved this book, loved the reader such a good book.

  • KP

    The only reason I am giving this 4 stars instead of 5 is because it was the abridged version. I could tell parts were missing and I would have liked to have heard the unabridged version. However, this was a really good book. It's not a book about Tourette's Syndrome, it's a book about a girl who has Tourette's Syndrome. Keep that in mind as I can tell some previous readers did not. And, the accent of the narrator was spot on!! Some previous readers made comments that I'll have to disagree with because I live in WV, the neigboring state of KY. I know for a fact that even today that accent still lives in parts of KY, WV and VA.

  • Heather

    I've always been partial to anything involving Tourette's Syndrome as I've had a friend since 1st grade with Tourette's. This was a very interesting point of view but the accent and reading voice was a little wierd.

  • Anonymous

    Good story. A tad slow at times but entertaining.

  • Nikkie

    I barely made it through the book, and this is only because my ride to and from work is very long and I had no other audiobook available. Icy Sparks may be a loveable character, but the story itself is dry and uneventful, with no true plot. The singing parts really turned me off and I kept fast forwarding. I expected more from this story and was deeply disappointed.

  • marguax

    This was a great book. Icy is such a great characters to make Tourettes relatable.

  • Anonymous

    This story kept me laughing and crying. I adored everyone in this book. What a great read!

  • TMorrell

    Being originally from the region this story takes place, I can vouch for the accent being used in the recording. It's quite authentic and unique among Southern accents. Having said that, by the end and all of the song lyrics woven into the story, I was close to fast forwarding. In many ways though this is a weakness in the writing. A period story about Tourette's is a great story base but the ending doesn't really deliver. Too tidy, a bit too preachy, a little too "Disney" to satisfy.

  • Anonymous

    I'm from the South and can tell you that the narrators accent was not "perfect" and her voice was so irritating that I almost couldn't get through it. The story was good -- over the top, but good. The characters were very pleasant. I don't mind an unrealistic story if that's the writer's intention, but this one was just too abrupt. Apparently, listeners either love the narrator or find it grinding -- I'm at the furthest end toward the latter. See if you can get a short clip of it before listening to the whole thing.

  • Jeanne Peterson

    I loved the book when I read it. I don't do well with the abridged versions though. Kind of a disappointment.

Icy Sparks

by Gwyn Hyman Rubio

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Icy Sparks, Gwyn Hyman Rubio