Icy Sparks is a novel by Gwyn Hyman Rubio, and was chosen as an Oprah's Book Club Selection.
A young girl struggling with accusations of Tourette's Syndrome lives in Eastern Kentucky in 1956.
Icy Sparks is a young girl living in Eastern Kentucky with her grandparents in the 1950s/1960s. She doesn't get along well with her peers and suddenly starts having tics and croaks. Icy goes down into the root cellar to let out her tics, hiding the condition from her grandparents. Finally she tells her friend, Miss Emily Tanner, a local store owner who is also an outcast from society at 300 pounds. Her teacher tries putting her in a solitary classroom but even that doesn't work. Her grandparents have Icy admitted to a mental institution for observation.
Even in the institution, Icy is an outcast. She sees herself as not as mentally ill as her peers there, and is tormented by one of the hospital workers. She befriends a second worker, but really just wants to go home. When she is allowed to go home, she stays in her house or on the surrounding property, but does not venture out in public.
After her return home, the atmosphere is tense even there. Icy stays in the house and does not socialize.