September 3, 2013
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From Newbery Medal winner Sharon Creech comes a singular story that reminds us of the surprising connections that bloom when unconditional love and generosity prevail. For when a young couple finds a boy asleep on their porch, their lives take an unexpectedly joyous turn.Fifth grade me was in love with Sharon Creech's Chasing Redbird and Walk Two Moons and then oddly/stupidly didn't read any of her other books. The Boy on the Porch not only shows how right I was to love those books, but gave older me a book to love as well.
When John and Marta found the boy on the porch, they were curious, naturally, as to why he was there-and they didn't expect him to stay, not at first, but he did stay, day after day, until it seemed as if he belonged, running and smiling and laughing his silent laugh, tapping and patting on every surface as he made his music, and painting-with water, with paint, with mud-those swirly swirls and swings and trees.
One day a young couple wakes to find a boy asleep on their porch. Unable to speak, the boy cannot explain his history. What kind of person would leave their child with strangers? All they know is that they have been chosen to care for this boy. And as their connection to him grows, they embrace his exuberant spirit and talents. The three of them blossom into an unlikely family, and John and Marta and the boy begin to see the world in brand-new ways. Newbery Medal winner Sharon Creech delivers a poignant story of finding family when you least expect it.
While The Boy on the Porch is a middle grade novel, it is one that can very, very much appeal to readers of not just just that age, but just about any other, as well.
The boy and his appearance are the focus. Yet, through that, we really see so much more of the other characters and who they -- John and Marta and, even, the animals. The boy is a catalyst as much as, if not more than, he is an actual character.
The setting of The Boy on the Porch is fantastic, one that I love for certain stories. It's one of those stories that doesn't take place in any particular time or place, it's not necessarily now, but not necessarily not. The 'where' helps the 'when' to work in this instance, too.
As the ending was approaching, I worried at how little was left and how much I hoped was yet to happen. Yet, when everything concluded, I was pleased with how it wrapped up. The ending kept the focus on what the boy brought to John and Marta's lives. Who they became after his appearance.
It's short and oh so sweet. Subtly told; a tale that hits you before you realize it.
thank you to Harper for my review copy via Edelweiss