A student recently recommended I’ll be There by Holly Goldberg Sloan to me. And, like the other books he’s recommended, I couldn’t but it down.
The story is about the parental abduction of two boys, Sam and Riddle, by their unstable father. The boys are left to fend for themselves while their father steals things and drinks, until he gets close to being caught, which is fairly often, and they are on the road again in an old beat-up pick-up.
Things change for Sam, the eldest, when he meets Emily Bell and later her family. His father realizes that Sam is connecting with people. Because of his past and his mental illness he snatches the boys away from a family who loves them.
The author carefully, patiently reveals the stories of each of the characters and the delicate, hesitant relationships that develop are breathtaking.
It is a survival story and a love story. The voices are clear and true, staying with you long after you but the book down. You will arrive at the end of the book drained from the experience and, you will love then ending. Guaranteed.
Holly Goldberg Slone has a new book coming out in September 2013 called Counting by Sevens. Watch for it. Publishers Weekly recently named it a Buzz Book.
Holly has a website, http://hollygoldbergsloan.com and a Facebook page.
This would be a FANTASTIC book for a summer reading list for 8th grade and up.