The Boy on the Porch

by Sharon Creech

One morning John and Marta wake up and find a boy on their porch with a note: "Please... read more

One morning John and Marta wake up and find a boy on their porch with a note: "Please take kair of Jacob ... Wil be bak wen we can." Jacob doesn't talk but he taps, and draws and paints and drums. They guess he is about six. As days pass into weeks and then into months, John and Marta think often about telling the sheriff-they know they should. When they finally do, they are far past the point of no return in loving Jacob, and he loves them. The sheriff is willing to look the other way, until the boy's father returns. In the aftermath of losing Jacob, John and Marta realize they have a lot of love to give, and become foster parents to a series of children across the years. Sharon Creech's short, sweet, satisfying story requires suspension of disbelief, but the lack of specificity regarding the exact period when it's set (most likely sometime in the last half of the twentieth century) works in the novel's favor, as does the lovely simplicity at the center of a story that would be full of complexities were it happening in the real world: it's about the lasting power of love. The appeal of John and Marta and moments of quirkiness and humor all add to the charm. (Ages 7-10)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2014

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