Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “An Invisible Thread: The True Story of an 11-Year-Old Panhandler, a Busy Sales Executive, and an Unlikely Meeting with Destiny” as Want to Read:
An Invisible Thread: The True Story of an 11-Year-Old Panhandler, a Busy Sales Executive, and an Unlikely Meeting with Destiny
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

An Invisible Thread: The True Story of an 11-Year-Old Panhandler, a Busy Sales Executive, and an Unlikely Meeting with Destiny

3.98  ·  Rating Details ·  21,657 Ratings  ·  3,245 Reviews
This inspirational New York Times bestseller chronicles the lifelong friendship between a busy sales executive and a disadvantaged young boy, and how both of their lives were changed by what began as one small gesture of kindness. A straightforward tale of kindness and paying it forward in 1980s New York….an uplifting reminder that small gestures matter-Kirkus Reviews.

Kindle Edition, 274 pages
Published by Howard Books (first published November 1st 2010)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Oct 14, 2011 Lynda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
I just finished this wonderful book, that I won through Goodreads First Reads giveaway. It's a very inspirational story, that left me in tears many times. I loved the relationship that grew with Laura and Maurice. As a native New Yorker, I know how easy it is to just ignore most of the panhandlers that wander the streets of the city. Reading this touching memoir opened my eyes, that it's just not adults out there but kids also. Her story telling flowed with ease, and never not once did I feel I ...more
Jul 16, 2014 Heidi rated it it was ok
It bothers me that Laura Schroff and a co author with nothing to do with this story wrote the book and not Maurice and Laura writing it together. I didn't care much for Laura's backstory particularly how she writes throughout the book how much her troubles made her relate to Maurice, but then admits in the end that her troubles were really nothing on the scale of what Maurice went thru. In fact, I didn't think they were anything alike at all which is why I think Laura's backstory is just filler ...more
"To all the children like Maurice whose lives are harder than we can imagine. Never lose hope that you can break the cycle and change your life. And never stop dreaming, because the power of dreams can lift you."

Laura Schroff's forward dedication sums up perfectly the heart and purpose of her poignantly heartfelt memoir. I'm humbly awed by her selflessness, generosity, honesty, and her triumph-over-adversity tenacious, gentle spirit. For it's not just Maurice who had much to overcome - namely dr
Leslie R
Sep 09, 2012 Leslie R rated it it was ok
The story itself is really a 3 star is heart warming and commendable and I admire and respect Laura for bringing joy and hope into Maurice's life. And while others may criticize how she could simply bring this child into her home, I suppose sometimes people make decisions without knowing why they are making them. But while it becomes clear later in that the system would not have helped this boy, Laura seems to have had NO knowledge of what was happening deep within this family. Would ...more
One day Laura Schroff, a busy ad exec, was walking down a street and barely registered a small boy ask her "Excuse me, lady, do you have any spare change?" But for some reason, a reason she couldn't name then or now, she turned around half way across the street, nearly getting hit by the impatient Manhattan drivers, went back to the boy and offered to take him to lunch at McDonalds. In that moment a friendship was born that changed both of their lives forever. They began an unlikely friendship t ...more
Dec 02, 2012 Judy rated it it was ok
A rich white woman befriends a homeless sweet black boy. As he passes her on the sidewalk, an "Invisible Thread" seems to have pulled her back to him and she takes him to lunch. I thought the book was going to be more about their friendship and less about her life. I found their friendship very interesting. Parts of it I really loved. Especially how protective Maurice, the child, was of her and loved her so openly. I was disappointed in the way she let Maurice down on many occasions.

Near the end
Feb 23, 2012 Leslie rated it did not like it
I love the story upon which this memoir was based. I just wish it had been written by someone with talent.

For weeks, perhaps even months, I have been trying to teach my 3rd graders how to "show" what's happening in the stories they write, not "tell." I wish someone would teach Laura Schroff the same thing. There was so much "telling" in this book that I wanted to pull my hair out.

Furthermore, the second half of the book was completely ruined by the author's codependent behavior with her 2nd hu
Feb 16, 2013 Ann rated it it was amazing
I laughed and I cried and I read it in one day.

I often read the reviews after I finish a book just to compare my opinion with others. This time, it was very interesting. Many people complained about self-centered and naive Laura was. But, I loved that part of the book. Someone less naive would never have taken a homeless, dirty, black kid to lunch on a whim. Yes, she made some mistakes and bad choices. But, this was the story of her life and she was brutally honest about it.

I am more likely to
Aug 01, 2012 Sam rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have never read a book that had me crying after the first few pages and then smiling after the last page was read. Just as the title says it's about a busy executive and a small boy out on the streets begging for money. She walks by him as if he doesn't exist but then for some unknown reason goes back and there starts this beautiful relationship between the two. I read this book in not even a day because I simply could not put it down. The bond and the love just jumps off the pages. I am so th ...more
Stella Fouts
Jan 05, 2013 Stella Fouts rated it it was amazing
Can ONE PERSON make a difference in another person's life? Laura Schroff lives just two blocks away from Maurice Maczyk in downtown Manhattan in a brand-new penthouse apartment. Maurice lives in a one-room apartment(yes, one room)in the projects with eleven other people who come and go (when his mother isn't in jail and they still have a roof over their head).

Laura is a highly successful executive at USA Today. Maurice is an eleven-year-old boy begging on the streets. Two people, and two differ
This book will really make you stop and think about what kind of person you are. I don't believe many people are like Laura Schroff. I don't think many people would have stopped to help a young boy asking for money on the street. But I would like to believe this book would help us consider being that kind of person. Laura is the type of person I strive to be. Kind, thoughtful, giving. Her relationship with Maurice indeed did save his life. Anyone who reads this book can see that. But the fact is ...more
Alisha Marie
I'm just going to preface this by writing: read In a Heartbeat: Sharing the Power of Cheerful Giving instead. I just felt like the Tuohy's story was much more captivating with the fact that they completely took Michael Oher in...they clothed him, fed him, made sure he attended school and got good grades. Now, I'm not trying to diminish the good that Laura Schroff did because what she did for Maurice was pretty amazing as well. I guess I just can't get over the fact that she allowed her husband t ...more
Mar 29, 2012 Aubrey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It was just another day working at the library receiving new books, when I came across this one. The title "An Invisible Thread," along side the image of the woman and boy, immediately caught my attention. After reading the subtitle I had seen enough and checked out the book.

My library "to read" books piled up and this one sat amongst them for a few weeks. So yesterday, after finishing a book, I turned to that "to read" pile and grabbed this one. I wasn't even in the mood for non-fiction and ye
Jan 12, 2012 Kristine rated it liked it
A good story. Uplifting which seems such a rare thing these days. Readable, and by that I mean somewhat simple. When I read memoirs I always feel the protagonist is whining. I know this isn’t a fair statement. They are writing about their lives and if they didn’t have things to whine about, it wouldn’t be much of a story. I understand why Laura compared Maurice’s life to her own but the harsh reality of Maurice’s made her complaints (serious though they were) seem frivolous. I almost think in th ...more
Aug 09, 2012 Kim rated it really liked it
when i finished reading this book i was all set to get on goodreads and bash it. then i thought about it. while i understand that delving into her past brought the reader on the journey and why she did the things she did, when i picked up the book i was expecting to learn all about the unlikely friendship. most of the book was spent in the way past, her past, her fathers abuse, that sorta thing. to me, her life, while dramatic and rough with the abuse, she lived a privledged life compaired to ma ...more
First off, I don’t care for the subtitle as it doesn’t do justice to the two major characters - it grossly mislabels Maurice and Laura - they are both so much more than an 11-year-old panhandler and a busy sales executive. So, I like that the audio edition, which I went with, dropped the subtitle. Now, that I’ve taken care of that gripe…it was a wonderful book about the deep understanding and relationship between two individuals that came about by mere chance - or was it that fate brought them ...more
Dick Hamilton
Mar 11, 2012 Dick Hamilton rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
Overall, I think the story is better than the writing itself, which makes it hard to accurately evaluate with only a single rating. The story itself is compelling and inspirational. The link between Laura and Maurice seems very real at every point, and the elements she presents as part of the story draw you in, you feel you are there with her. I also enjoy the way the story is presented, Laura's own story of growing up is interspersed with Maurice's so you easily see why the two of them connecte ...more
Apr 01, 2013 Judy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
In a recent discussion on Goodreads, people were telling how they rated the books they read. Someone said that they only give five stars to books that make a dramatic change in their life. I gave this book five stars, not because it is so well written, but because of the spirit and message of the book. It's a moving story of how a woman, Laura Schroff, an advertising sales executive, makes a connection with an 11-year-old panhandler on a New York street and both their lives are changed.

Maybe yo
This story was not a full 4 stars for me, but was definitely stronger than a 3. This book is summed up for me on page 231 "...An Invisible Thread is about an unusual friendship between two different people, but I think it is about much more than that. It is about a mother longing for a child and a child longing for a mother. That longing had nothing to do with umbilical chords or DNA. It had to do with two people who needed each other and who were destined to meet on the corner of 56th and Broad ...more
Jan 29, 2013 Lynn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sometimes the spur-of-the-moment choices we make change our lives forever. This is the story of just such a choice. Laura was a busy sales exec who walked right by a eleven year old panhandler on a New York City street one day and then, inexplicably, she turned back, bought Maurice some lunch at McDonald's and changed her life - and his. The situation Maurice was born into pretty much assured him a life of drugs, crime and the strong possibility of an early death. Laura had an active, exciting l ...more
Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews
Maurice had never met anyone like Laura and Laura had never met anyone like Maurice. They were from two different worlds. Laura doesn't know why she stopped and turned back after Maurice asked her for some money, but she is glad she did.

Through Maurice, Laura learned about the life he and thousands of others were living on a daily basis....not a pleasant life at all. Laura was helping Maurice to live a better life at least one day a week, and it seemed to be paying off since she could see a cha
Jan 27, 2014 Katies_Faves rated it liked it
Shelves: memoir
Interesting read. I was expecting it to be mostly about this unlikely friendship between a young homeless black kid from the projects and this rich, white ad exec in NYC. Instead it delved a lot into Laurie's life and how her abusive father helped shape who she became. I left reading this still wanting more... More understanding of why she'd marry a controlling husband who forbid her from the greatest joy in her life...more details about Maurice and where he's at today.

I'm glad Ms Schroff told
Aug 01, 2013 Theresa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh my gosh!! If I you can only read one book this year, and you want it to be something that makes you feel good at the end and be a better person...A book that makes you feel like the world can be a better place, like YOU can make a difference in someone's life...THIS is your book. This was such a touching story of an AMAZING woman and her choice to make an impact/start a friendship with a young man who was struggling. Laurie, she did something VERY few of us do, and that's just give of herself ...more
Susan Henn
Jul 30, 2015 Susan Henn rated it liked it
11/2012 The subtitle of the book “The True Story of an 11-Year-Old Panhandler, a Busy Sales Executive, and an Unlikely Meeting with Destiny” hints at the story. The book describes the episode when a young boy of color asks a rich white woman if she has any change. She walks by, then stops, returns to the boy and takes him out for dinner. The story follows their relationship for the next twenty (or so) years. The story provides a glimpse into generational poverty that has its roots in drug use. T ...more
Jun 02, 2012 Jane rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoir
More like 3.5 stars but I want to be generous to the author!
I found her story to be interesting and inspiring. When reading a memoir though I have to remind myself that these are not characters in a fictional book. Being real people they have flaws and I appreciate an authors honesty in telling it like it is. The only negatives I had were that there seemed to be some gaps in the story and I had mixed feelings about the author writing about her own childhood experiences. I see why she would want
Apr 23, 2012 Cailean rated it liked it
I enjoyed reading this book and appreciated the author's lack of judgment on Maurice's situation. She seemed to report it with sympathy rather than condescension which helped the reader understand how their relationship thrived in the first place; she was a safe & understanding person for him. What was disappointing was that the book appeared to be, from the cover and description on the inside cover, entirely about Maurice and their relationship. So in the beginning the chapters that focused ...more
Sep 12, 2014 Amy rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 15, 2012 Sean rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is our Book Club book for the month, I'm glad it was picked or I may not have come accross it. I liked this book even if I didn't always enjoy it. That is to be expected when telling a real life story about difficult times. I will recommend this book to others and probably give it as a gift to a few family members. It is hard to 'rate' a book about real life, I don't want to come accross as judging the true life characters. I do like it, but gave it 3 vs 4 starts because... the book seems t ...more
Irene Mcintyre
Apr 05, 2014 Irene Mcintyre rated it really liked it
What an unbelievable true story. In just an instant one person can change the life of another...can become a part of another life and the story of that life and it's ups and downs. We all need someone. We all need to know someone out there cares for us. My favorite lesson or chapter is the brown paper bag part of the story. It reminds me that our actions really do matter to those in which we come into contact with on a day to day basis.And though it is not perfect, it is based in love. This book ...more
Kathleen (Kat) Smith
"An invisible thread connects those who are destined to meet, regardless of time, place, and circumstance. The thread may stretch or tangle. But it will never break." ~ Ancient Chinese Proverb

"Excuse me, lady, do you have any spare change?"

This was the first thing he said to me, on 56th Street in New York City, right around the corner from Broadway, on a sunny September day.

And when I heard him, I didn't really hear him. His words were part of the clatter, like a car horn or someone yelling from
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Book Review for An Invisisbke Thread 1 9 Dec 01, 2015 06:37AM  
What would you do? 8 97 Jul 20, 2014 08:20PM  
Beaver Dam Commun...: An Invisible Thread 1 9 Jun 28, 2014 11:44AM  
  • A Chance in the World: An Orphan Boy, a Mysterious Past, and How He Found a Place Called Home
  • Hope Unseen: The Story of the U.S. Army's First Blind Active-Duty Officer
  • Dinner with the Smileys: One Military Family, One Year of Heroes, and Lessons for a Lifetime
  • The Magic Room: A Story About the Love We Wish for Our Daughters
  • To Heaven and Back: The True Story of a Doctor's Extraordinary Walk with God
  • Moonlight on Linoleum: A Daughter's Memoir
  • Miracle For Jen: A Tragic Accident, A Mother's Desperate Prayer, And Heaven's Extraordinary Answer
  • Heaven Is Here: An Incredible Story of Hope, Triumph, and Everyday Joy
  • 365 Thank Yous: The Year a Simple Act of Daily Gratitude Changed My Life
  • Led by Faith: Rising from the Ashes of the Rwandan Genocide
  • Etched in Sand: A True Story of Five Siblings Who Survived an Unspeakable Childhood on Long Island
  • The Dream: A Memoir
  • That Book about Harvard: Surviving the World's Most Famous University, One Embarrassment at a Time
  • The Color of Rain: How Two Families Found Faith, Hope, and   Love in the Midst of Tragedy
  • When Fish Fly: Lessons for Creating a Vital and Energized Workplace from the World Famous Pike Place Fish Market
  • In an Instant: A Family's Journey of Love and Healing
  • In Stitches
  • Heart in the Right Place
Laura Schroff first started thinking about writing a book after an article about her and Maurice appeared in Good Housekeeping in 1997. Laura is a former advertising executive who has worked with several major media companies, including Time Inc. and Conde Nast. Born and raised on Long Island, Laura was part of the advertising team that made USA Today a successful national newspaper. Before helpin ...more
More about Laura Schroff...

Share This Book

“If you make me lunch," he said, "will you put it in a brown paper bag?...Because when I see kids come to school with their lunch in a paper bag, that means that someone cares about them. Miss Laura, can I please have my lunch in a paper bag?” 35 likes
“We all want relationships that are healthy and resolved, and sometimes that simply doesn't happen. But the beauty of life is that inside these disappointments are hidden the most miraculous of blessings. What we lose and what we might have been pales against what we have.” 13 likes
More quotes…