Publishing Info: September 3, 2013 by Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: September 25, 2013
Related Posts: Walk Two Moons
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.
I fell in love with Sharon Creech’s book WALK TWO MOONS back when I was kid but then somehow never ended up picking up another one of her books. I still need to re-read it someday to relive that experience, but in the meantime, I came across THE BOY ON THE PORCH, both on Edelweiss and then was fortunate enough to pick up a physical ARC at BEA.
THE BOY ON THE PORCH is the story of two adults, John and Marta, and how their lives change infinitely after finding a young boy around six or seven years old left on their porch. The only thing they knew of him was from the note that he was left there and whoever had left him would eventually come back for him. With nothing else to do, they decide to take him in and care for him until his family (or so they assume) comes back for him. Days turn into weeks, weeks into months, and John and Marta wonder if anyone really will come back for the boy. He also does not speak and does not write, but instead communicates through tapping, through music, and through painting. John and Marta grow incredibly fond of him and secretly worry that someone really will come back for him one day.
THE BOY ON THE PORCH was such a curious little story. The quirks of the boy — the fact that he does talk, is very artistic, and seems to be communicating with the animals on John and Marta’s farm — just fascinated me. My brain was racing a mile a minute trying to figure out what had happened to him. Why couldn’t he talk? Did he have some kind of special power that helped him talk to animals? Was he autistic? Was his development stunted from neglect? What did the tapping mean? And then I had all of the questions that surrounded his relationship with John and Marta. Was he meant to come to them? Was his family — or whoever left him — coming back for him? Would John and Marta get punished for keeping a child that isn’t theirs?
Above all, this book had my brain thinking and wondering. I was really intrigued with the plot and all of the characters really just warmed my heart. I loved the small town/farm feel and how well Sharon Creech described all of the settings. I felt like I could really picture it and I got an amazing over all feel for the book. The only thing I wasn’t totally sold on was the ending, just because I was hoping for a few more answers. I had so many questions about the boy and some were answered, some weren’t — but then again, maybe I was also overthinking things! For all you fans of WALK TWO MOONS, it’s definitely a bit of a younger feel so you can’t really compare there, but I loved reading Sharon Creech’s work all the same!
Kept Me Hooked On: Children’s & Middle Grade. This was probably somewhere in between children’s and middle grade and I don’t often read those… Usually they’re re-reads of books I read as a kid myself so to pick up a new one was interesting! It was nice for a quick read and I was glad to see that it still evokes a lot of feelings even as an adult.
Left Me Wanting More: Answers. I had a LOT of questions about this boy and where he came from. The end of the book wrapped up nicely and had a nice, heartwarming conclusion, but I still had so many things on my brain after I finished!
I know a lot of people probably won’t buy this since we’re mostly YA readers so I’ll recommend a hearty “borrow it from the library”! I think any age can pick this one up and enjoy it. The story tugs at your heart and I think it would actually be great for parents due to the really special story of John and Marta or great for parents to read or read to their kids.