In The Great Unexpected, Newbery Award-winning author Sharon Creech weaves a magical and mysterious tale with different subplots spanning two continents that comes together, as the title suggests, in an unexpected way. This book could be described as realistic fiction, humor, or mystery, however there are many elements of fantasy and magic, such as fairies, Irish folk tales, and time travel. Creech has created a host of quirky and amusing characters, each with their own unique voice. The writing is excellent, and it is a good story with some positive messages. Themes of the book include coming of age, friendship, forgiveness, and the idea that we are all tied together--connected--in some way. Especially refreshing is the implied message to girls that no boy is worth it if he comes between you and a friend. Some of the elements of the story may be tricky for a younger reader. For example, the Irish dialogue might be hard to understand, and the switching between the stories may be confusing for some. The Great Unexpected would make a great read aloud for an elementary school classroom or at home. Girls would especially enjoy this well-crafted and fun read.