The Boy on the Porch

( 5 )

Overview

Fans of Newbery Medal winner Sharon Creech's Ruby Holler will love her latest tween novel about finding family when you least expect it. The Boy on the Porch is a singular story about opening your heart and discovering home in unexpected places. Extras in the paperback tell of Sharon Creech's inspiration for the book!

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...

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The Boy on the Porch

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Overview

Fans of Newbery Medal winner Sharon Creech's Ruby Holler will love her latest tween novel about finding family when you least expect it. The Boy on the Porch is a singular story about opening your heart and discovering home in unexpected places. Extras in the paperback tell of Sharon Creech's inspiration for the book!

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.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Newbery Medalist Creech’s slim, understated story about a young childless couple who find a small boy of indeterminate age asleep on their farmhouse porch one morning has a fablelike quality. Accompanied only by a note reading, “Plees taik kair of Jacob. He is a god good boy. Wil be bak wen we can,” the boy doesn’t speak, but he overflows with creative gifts and has an affinity for communicating with animals. The novel is set in a rural area, where town means a general store, a schoolhouse, and a sheriff’s office, and in an earlier era—telephones aren’t commonplace, but trucks, cars, and trailers are standard. Creech’s quiet tale movingly follows Marta and John’s evolution from puzzlement over Jacob’s mysterious appearance to a deepening love for him and a fear that somebody will return to claim him. While the target audience may not find the novel’s point of view, which is focused entirely on the adult couple, initially compelling, the suspense surrounding Jacob’s origins and his future makes it a page-turner for readers of any age. Ages 8–12. Agent: Amy Berkower, Writers House. (Sept.)
Children's Literature - Krisan Murphy
With pristine dialogue and vividly sketched characters, the Newbery Award winning author weaves yet another timeless tale full of wonder, family, and connection. What will a middle-aged childless couple do with a speechless boy who is left on their porch one morning? Every question John and Marta ask each other pulls the reader further into their hope and concern for the boy who is surrounded with mystery. The story has a healing rhythm like a slow ticking clock full of future and promise mixed with just enough fear to keep the tension taunt. Although the title includes "the boy" the protagonists are the couple who care for him, yet it is a story that will be loved by children—especially by children looking for a place to belong. Spoiler alert: this book is about foster children and the back-story of why a couple with no children would have the love and compassion to take in a steady stream of them. Reviewer: Krisan Murphy
School Library Journal
Gr 4–6—Creech draws readers into a brilliantly simple, sentimental, and adult-centered moral scenario. On a rural American farm, an isolated couple finds a mute, mysterious, and artistic boy (who could be six, seven, or eight) abandoned on their porch. The longer he stays with them, the more his various talents become apparent and the more attached they become. They dread the day someone might come back to claim him. Readers will fall for the boy along with the taciturn couple and will become utterly absorbed in the what-would-you-do element of this cleanly written narrative. Others, however, may be distracted by the overly idyllic portrayal of farm and rural life, one-dimensional characters, and the aura of righteousness. It is, after all, an far-fetched premise, no matter how well written by such a renowned and skillful author. As an excellent vehicle for exploring moral quandaries, schools and libraries seeking books around which to discuss values will definitely want this title. However, Creech's fans should be aware that this is a departure from her previous fare, more like her The Unfinished Angel (HarperCollins, 2009) than her titles featuring strong female narrators.—Rhona Campbell, Georgetown Day School, Washington, DC
Kirkus Reviews
In a book world crowded with overwrought shock-fluff stories, this quiet novel sings. Needing none of the gratuitous drama and exaggeration of voice so common in books for children and teens these days, Newbery Medalist Creech's latest novel is allegorical in feel as it quietly gets to the heart of the matter--which is, of course, the heart. When John and Marta, a contentedly childless young couple, find a boy sleeping on their porch, they are mystified. The boy, introduced to them only by a crude, misspelled note as Jacob, doesn't speak. But he does tap and paint and play music, and as John and Marta indulge his creative passions, they grow to love him. When Jacob's father, a rough man, turns up, the young couple must let Jacob go, but they are heartbroken and even go so far as to look for him afterward. In the end, their searching reveals an outlet for the love that Jacob has awoken in them. A deeply felt story sparely written in lyrical prose, this book stands out as a quiet contemplation on the connection that is the wellspring of love. A graceful, profound story for all ages that speaks well beyond its intended audience. (Fiction. 8 & up)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061892387
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/2/2014
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 176
  • Sales rank: 97,063
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 7.50 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Sharon Creech

Sharon Creech is the author of the Newbery Medal winner Walk Two Moons and the Newbery Honor Book The Wanderer. Her other work includes the novels The Great Unexpected, The Unfinished Angel, Hate That Cat, The Castle Corona, Replay, Heartbeat, Granny Torrelli Makes Soup, Ruby Holler, Love That Dog, Bloomability, Absolutely Normal Chaos, Chasing Redbird, and Pleasing the Ghost, as well as three picture books: A Fine, Fine School; Fishing in the Air; and Who's That Baby? Ms. Creech and her husband live in Maine.

Good To Know

In her interview with Barnes & Noble.com, Creech shared some fun facts about herself:

"One of my most interesting jobs was in graduate school, working with the Federal Theatre Project archives (a Library of Congress collection, then based at George Mason University). I catalogued original illustrations for set and costume designs, some by Orson Welles. It was fascinating work!"

"I once fell 20 feet from a tree, was knocked unconscious, and when I picked myself up and straggled home, my parents thought I was making it up. However, when my brother and I fabricated a story about an encounter with a bear, they believed that! So maybe I learned very early on that fiction was more interesting to listeners!"

"As readers can probably tell from my books, I love the outdoors. I love to hike, kayak, and swim. I also love to read (which is probably not a surprise) and I love the theater and art museums. I especially love all the instruments of art: inks, pens, paintbrushes, watercolors and oils, fine papers and canvases, and although I love to mess around with these tools and objects, I have minimal artistic skills."

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    1. Hometown:
      Pennington, New Jersey
    1. Date of Birth:
      July 29, 1945
    2. Place of Birth:
      Cleveland, Ohio
    1. Education:
      B.A., Hiram College, 1967; M.A., George Mason University, 1978

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 5 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 11, 2013

    Sharon Creech beautifully written use of language and Awe-inspir

    Sharon Creech beautifully written use of language and Awe-inspiring connection of emotions, Creates Story that celebrates the joy of having a child, the true meaning of care and love, and the miracle of life itself. Those who love art, animals, and nature will enjoy this story, for years to come.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 9, 2014

    This is a thoughtful and heartfelt story of a childless couple t

    This is a thoughtful and heartfelt story of a childless couple that discover an abandoned boy sleeping on their porch. His name is Jacob, and he doesn't speak. John and Marta learn to communicate with him in other ways and grow to love him as if he is their own son.

    Usually when a book is told from the perspective of an adult couple, it doesn't appeal to children. However, this book had both my kids listening intently while I read to them. My six year old has told me repeatedly what a good book it is, and that she wants me to read it to her again. She really connected with the silent boy that rides a cow and paints and plays guitar. When I read the last few lines to her, she gasped, and with a big smile, shouted, "Hooray!"

    As for me, this is the first book by Sharon Creech that I've connected to. It's simple, sweet, and beautifully told. It didn't knock my socks off, but I liked it a lot. The story is easy to follow and the vocabulary is right on cue for the target age group. I'm calling this a win.

    Content: clean

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2014

    The best

    I loved it every one should read it:):):):p

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 7, 2013

    Hmmmm..

    I love the way it starts and I really want this whole book not just the sample. BEWARE IF YOU GET THE SAMPLE! THERE IS A CLIFF HANGER!!!!!!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 3, 2013

    The Boy On The Porch

    I liked this book, although it is a bit predictable at parts.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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