The boy on the porch

Sharon Creech

Book - 2013

Discovering a speech-disabled boy asleep on their porch, young couple John and Marta forge a loving bond with the child and come to think of him as their own while wondering about his mysterious past and enjoying the world through his eyes.

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jFICTION/Creech Sharon
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Children's Room jFICTION/Creech Sharon Due Sep 7, 2023
New York, NY : Joanna Cotler Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers [2013]
First edition
Physical Description
151 pages ; 20 cm
Main Author
Sharon Creech (author)
Review by Booklist Review

John and Marta, a young couple living on an out-of-the-way farm, find a young boy deposited on their porch. He does not speak, seems unafraid, and has only a crumpled note to indicate his identity: Plees taik kair of Jacob. He is a good boy. Wil be bak wen we can. The uncertain couple open their home and their hearts to this silent boy with a talent for music and art and love. It is a fragile happiness, lived moment to moment as Marta and John dare not make long-term plans. The brief chapters of this slender novel reinforce the idea of time stolen, as the days unfold in the shadow of the inevitable return of the boy's family. What could be a melodrama is crafted into a richer and more gracious story in Creech's masterful hands. The outcome of Jacob's time with John and Marta is long lasting and solid and pays forward in a completely believable and satisfying manner.--Dean, Kara Copyright 2010 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission. Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

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.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved Review by Horn Book Review

Young married couple Marta and John live a quiet life together on their farm until one day a sleeping boy (age six? seven? eight? They're not sure) appears on the front porch. In his pocket is a note: "Plees taik kair of Jacob. He is a god good boy. Wil be bak wen we can." Jacob doesn't speak, but he appears to understand Marta and John, and is able to communicate well with animals. The grownups do a little investigating to try to figure out where he came from, but they are tentative about it; truth be told, as they grow closer to Jacob, they begin to think of him more and more as their own. Creech's novella is very much the adults' story. It is from their perspective, and it is leisurely paced and contemplative. The setting has an old-fashioned feel; time and place aren't identified. The story's events are bittersweet, with a satisfying resolution. It's the sort of book that a grownup in a wistful mood might want to read in one sitting, but there is also some child appeal: short chapters (most are just two pages) are well suited for reading aloud, and the mysteries of Jacob's talents and his past could provoke discussion. elissa gershowitz (c) Copyright 2013. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. Review by Kirkus Book Review

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)]] Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.