Hank O’Sullivan, a 65-year-old widower, lives a routine life, nursing his loneliness with cocktails at his favorite local bar in Austin, Texas, until a brawl with an acerbic barfly lands him in jail. The judge pities the old codger and sentences him to do community service, picking up trash beside the interstate highway alongside a 16-year-old troublemaker, Luis Delgado. Luis lives with his stern, single father in a small apartment and has remarkable artistic abilities, but his penchant for sneaking out and trespassing onto rooftops late at night lands him in community service.
These loners form an unlikely friendship in an inhospitable setting. When Hank tells Luis about his desire to drive to Houston, Texas, to reconnect with an old flame, Luis asks to tag along. Luis’s estranged mother also lives in Houston, and he has been saving money for a trip, dreaming of reconnecting with her. Hank agrees, setting in motion a raucous road trip in a hot pink 1970 Plymouth Barracuda. With humor and a bit of grace, The Codger and the Sparrow is a rambunctious story about an unusual friendship stretching across the generations.
Author Scott Semegran lives in Austin, Texas with his wife. They have four kids, two cats, and a dog. His novels The Benevolent Lords of Sometimes Island won Writer's Digest Self-Published Book Awards for YA fiction and To Squeeze a Prairie Dog won the IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award gold medal for Humor.
“Scott Semegran’s The Codger and the Sparrow is a wondrous novel of the road, where two unlikely people seek out the larger world, and in their uncertainty, help each other navigate the way toward something like home. Told with such an abundance of both humor and tenderness, this is a novel of discovery, of searching for answers, and I could not think of two people I’d rather ride alongside than Hank and Luis.”
– Kevin Wilson, New York Times bestselling author of Nothing to See Here and The Family Fang
“Semegran deftly blends humor with heart in a road trip romp that crosses generational divides. A coming-of-age for one, a coming-to-terms for the other, Semegran’s characters are deeply drawn in a way that envelopes readers from the start of their journey to its unexpected end. The Codger and the Sparrow is a fun, fresh meditation on friendship, loss, and new beginnings.”
– James Wade, Spur Award-winning author of All Things Left Wild and River, Sing Out
“Scott Semegran’s characters capture the essential human contradiction: that deep flaws and bad decisions exist right alongside our beautiful capacity for kindness and compassion. With equal parts heart and humor, The Codger and the Sparrow is an ode to the strange, messy, and transformative power of friendship.”
– Stacey Swann, author of Olympus, Texas
“The Codger and the Sparrow is a wide-open heart of a novel, filled with empathy and populated by flawed but loveable characters. A tender, funny ode to families—the ones we’ve lost, the ones we imagine, and the ones that come along when we least expect it.”
– C. Matthew Smith, author of Twentymile
“Author Scott Semegran delivers a moving and humorous story of two strangers who bond while doing community service for the Austin judicial system. Hank, a lonely old man haunted by the past, and Luis, a Puerto Rican teen broken by his parents’ separation, begin a journey of self-discovery and friendship in a 1970 Plymouth Barracuda as they travel the highways of Texas in search of forgiveness and family. The Codger and the Sparrow, like many of Semegran’s novels, shines in its loveable characters and authentic sense of place.”
– Johnnie Bernhard, award-winning author of Sisters of the Undertow and Hannah and Ariela