Tuesday, July 20, 2010

55. Eleven - Patricia Reilly Giff

Audio read by Staci Snell
Random House Audio, 2008
5:30, 5 unabridged cds
Rating: 4.4
176 pgs.

While looking in the attic for hidden gifts for his 11th birthday, Sam comes across a locked box with a newspaper article sticking out of it. Hampered by an enormous reading disability, he needs someone to help him decipher what the papers in the box say, so he makes friends with the new girl in his fifth grade class. Caroline warns him that she will not be in the town long, her father is an artist that moves the family many times each year. However, they become great friends and solve Sam's story together.

Sam has been raised by his grandfather, Mack, in a three-apartment complex that sits above three stores. These are Sam's family, the people who have raised him. After he starts thinking about his past he begins to have nightmares about a boat, a children's home, a storm, a mean lady. He begins to wonder whether he IS Mack's grandson. His reading disability makes him feel stupid, but his exceptional gift of woodworking, so like his grandfather's, helps him feel better about himself.....as do the things facts he discovers about his background.

There are many layers to this story. They work together beautifully. I'm glad I discovered this book. The narrator was excellent, and I was sorry when it ended.

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