Saturday, October 12, 2013

Review: The Boy on the Porch by Sharon Creech

The Boy on the Porch
BWAAAAHHHHHHHH! Sniffle. Sob. Choke. Sniffle.
Okay, now that I (sniff) have that out of the way...
When a young couple finds a boy asleep on their porch, their lives take a surprising turn. Unable to speak, the boy Jacob can't explain his history. All John and Marta know is that they have been chosen to care for him.
And, as their connection and friendship with Jacob grow, they embrace his exuberant spirit and talents. The three of them blossom into an unlikely family and begin to see the world in brand-new ways.
I received a review copy of this book yesterday, said, "Ooh, Sharon Creech", and read the jacket cover. My next words were, "Okay, I'm gonna cry at this one." And I put it on the top of my TBR pile.
Then I read the publisher's insert, which gave away the ending (Really, people? Really???) But, this being Sharon Creech, it didn't matter that I knew exACTly what was coming, I still bawled at the end. In a good way, of course.
The fact that I was a foster parent for many years and still miss all my babies no doubt factored into a tear or two, but you would have to be pretty hard-hearted not to be warmed by this simple story of love and family and just being there for someone who needs you.
It's a quick read, with short chapters - if I was still teaching, I might choose to read to my class, bit by bit. Even at 3-4 pages apiece, I found statements or conversations in each chapter that I was reading aloud to someone near me, or which would have made great discussion/journal starters. This should have an appeal for a wide age range, both genders, any socioeconomic background. Just be warned, if you are an adult reading it, that you may want to have the number for the local CYFD on hand.
*Side note - I just went and looked at some other reviews, which I don't do until I have finished writing mine. I got a good chuckle out of School Library Journal "warning" readers that this book is a departure from Creech's usual themes, much like Unfinished Angel. Since I happen to think Unfinished Angel is her best book until now, I'm not sure that the word "warning" is apt. To each his own!

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