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The Boy on the Porch

3.87  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,665 Ratings  ·  640 Reviews
From Newbery Medal winner Sharon Creech comes a singular story that reminds us of the surprising connections that bloom when unconditional love and generosity prevail. For when a young couple finds a boy asleep on their porch, their lives take an unexpectedly joyous turn.

When John and Marta found the boy on the porch, they were curious, naturally, as to why he was there-an
Hardcover, 160 pages
Published September 3rd 2013 by Harpercollins
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Middle Grade Novels of 2013
76th out of 365 books — 727 voters
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Newbery 2014
37th out of 112 books — 447 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jubilation Lee
The Boy on the Porch is a book that has been recommended to me over and over by incredibly earnest adult readers, who tell me how sweet it is and how gentle it is and how it will essentially make my heart go “Aww.”

And yes. I agree. The touching story of a mute, abandoned boy being raised by a childless young couple did, in fact, make my heart go “Aww.”

The problem though, my friends, is that I’m not sure the average nine-year-old is going to feel the same way.

Because this is a slow story. A slow
Feb 26, 2014 Christopher rated it it was ok

A children's book with little child appeal in my opinion. Sharon Creech has written a slim novel about the struggle a youngish couple has raising a child that was mysteriously abandoned on their porch. The majority of this story is from the point of view of the parents and the feelings they have raising a child left in their care. While it tugs at the heart strings, this is a children's book that I don't see having much child appeal. This is another book that I think is written for adults who re
Barb Middleton
Nov 03, 2013 Barb Middleton rated it really liked it
Shelves: realistic
This beautifully written book reads like an adult short story. The child, Jacob, in the story is mute and the point-of-view comes strictly from the adults. Jacob plays, draws, and interacts with the people and animals, but he never speaks out loud. It reminds me of the book, "The Prince Who Fell from the Sky," that has a boy who has no dialogue in the story. This technique makes me identify with the adult voice and seems off-kilter for the target audience of children. I liked the adult perspecti ...more
Oct 31, 2013 Betsy rated it really liked it
I almost shelved this book on my "parenting" shelf because it has a lot to say about parenting! Which brings us to the crux of the matter right off: will KIDS want to read a book that has so much great stuff about PARENTS? There are those transitional/short chapter books that focus on adults which have found good readership (Sarah, Plain and Tall perhaps), but they are few and far between. And this little book is primarily about the grown-ups.

A childless couple finds a boy on their porch, a boy
Richie Partington
Jun 19, 2013 Richie Partington rated it it was amazing
Richie's Picks: THE BOY ON THE PORCH by Sharon Creech, Joanna Cotler/HarperCollins, September 2013, 160p., ISBN: 978-0-06-189235-6

"People talking without speaking
People hearing without listening
People writing songs that voices never share
And no one dared
Disturb the sound of silence"
-- Paul Simon (1964)

"Marta wasn't completely convinced that the boy was unable to talk. She wondered if he just was not ready to talk to them, or if he needed to recover from some horrible experience. Maybe he simply
Ms. Yingling
Oct 01, 2013 Ms. Yingling rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kayla Edwards
Jul 15, 2015 Kayla Edwards rated it liked it
Shelves: childrens-novels
A sweet story about a boy appearing on John and Marta's porch one day and changing their lives forever. The short chapters are great for reluctant readers. I wish a few of the various plot points came to some conclusion rather than just left hanging. Overall a very cute and pleasant read.
Oct 19, 2013 Mara rated it it was amazing
I read the first few chapters and realized that my boys (ages 9 and 8)might really like the book, so I began reading it aloud to them before bed. It's perfect for reading aloud: short, interesting chapters written in simple yet descriptive terms. They were hooked. Who was this mute boy who showed up on the porch and what would happen to him?

The ending was unexpected. My 8-year-old cried. But both boys said it was their favorite book so far this year. Target audience reached.
Kim Zarins
Mar 14, 2014 Kim Zarins rated it it was amazing
Beautifully written book (wow-those short chapters that make you keep reading!) with adult protagonists and a fascinating little boy. It might appeal to parents more than elementary school kids, in so far as the story is really about two grown-ups who open their hearts to this little child, and the tale's tension is whether they will keep or lose this child. Plus, I'm glad this book is not about teaching a nonverbal boy to speak. It's about loving a little boy for being himself, and giving him t ...more
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)

Alright, first I need to explain why I read this. I picked up The Boy on the Porch at BEA in a drop, because, hey, I like middle grade. I ended up gifting it to a friend who wasn’t able to be there that day (and I’m now sorry for her, though I have been black sheepy lately, so maybe she’ll like it more). Still, when I saw the chance to review the audio, I thought I ought, because I don’t like to not review things I got at BEA. Also, I would have DNFed, but it was only 2 hours, so why not
Aug 05, 2013 Sophia rated it liked it
Shelves: freebies
I picked up an ARC at BEA. Review time!

This was a beautiful little story, and beautifully written. I can't say anything bad about it. The only problem was that I wanted so much MORE from the story than I was given. I wanted to know more about all of the characters--who are John and Marta? How long have they been married? Where do they come from? Have they always lived in this same town? What about Lucy and her mother? Or the sheriff and Daphne (his secretary, who seems to spend a lot of time res
Nov 08, 2013 Becky rated it it was amazing
Shelves: readin2013
I really loved Sharon Creech's The Boy On The Porch. I loved it for many reasons, but, I'm not sure I can put into words just why. I loved how this childless couple, this out-of-the-way couple, this on-the-outskirts couple were transformed by the presence of a young, quiet boy in their lives. Marta and John were surprised--pleasantly surprised--when a young sleeping boy appears on their front porch with a note. The note reveals his name, Jacob, but, little else. Whoever left him may come back fo ...more
Nicola Mansfield
May 06, 2014 Nicola Mansfield rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Nicola by: local librarian
Wow! The most beautiful book I've read in ages. Very simple, but amazingly tender and powerful. Creech tells a tale with a lot of unanswered questions that leaves the reader wanting to know so much more about what happened. And yet there is a feeling of accomplishment, that lives have been touched as in real life we don't always know how, but it *does* make a difference. We are shown a small part of that difference when the lives of a couple cross paths with an abandoned boy on their porch. Sple ...more
Nov 03, 2013 Linda rated it really liked it
Shelves: juvenile, fiction
I liked this book a lot, but I have to wonder if kids will. Everything is from an adult point of view, and the central mystery of the odd boy on the porch is never fully explained. This might be a book that I file away on my "Too Good for Kids" shelf, like Richard Peck's Grandma Dowdel stories. I recommend them to older adults who can really appreciate them.
Jan 21, 2014 Christina rated it really liked it
Shelves: realistic
What a beautiful book about love and family and embracing the lost with no hesitation. A sweet, gentle story told almost like a fable, about a married couple who discover a boy of 6 or 7 sleeping on their farmhouse porch. He doesn't speak, just has a note to "taik kair of Jacob, wil be bak wen we can." The kindhearted childless couple take care of Jacob, bumbling at first as they figure out how to do so--wondering about teaching him "boy things" in their clueless way, and marveling at his musica ...more
One day, a boy appeared asleep on the porch of Martha and John. He didn't talk and a note that he brought said his name is Jacob. Soon, they knew that Jacob is 'communicating' in a special way: tapping, making music, drawing. But he didn't say a single word. Martha and John felt curious, what kind of parents left their child in other people house and what kind of story that Jacob left behind. Then they tried to tracked down. When they finally get used with Jacob around, they day finally arrived. ...more
Aug 16, 2015 Charlie rated it did not like it
Synopsis: A boy arrives on the porch of a childless farming couple (who don't seem to do much farming, but they have two cows). He's about six or so, and he's mute. There's a letter with him, barely literate, that says his name is Jacob, and 'we'll be back for him'.

A forewarning of my bias: Diana Wynne Jones was my hero, and the hero of my childhood. Stories where the abused/neglected kid doesn't achieve some form of escape or acknowledgement of this neglect gets my caw. Neglected or disabled o
Sharon Creech's The Boy on the Porch came out last fall. I just read the ARC that I picked up at last summers ALA Annual Conference.


I haven't read any of Creech's more recent work. When I was in sixth grade, my teacher introduced me to Walk Two Moons, which I read obsessively. I also adored Absolutely Normal Chaos (I still have a fear of white bathing suits from that book!), Bloomability (Switzerland bucket list!), and Chasing Redbird (treasure maps!). After being rather confused by The Wa
Carol Royce Owen
Feb 02, 2014 Carol Royce Owen rated it really liked it
I really loved The Boy on the Porch, and read it in a matter of hours. It's the beautiful story of a couple who finds their lives changed when they find a mute boy asleep on their porch with nothing but a note stating that his name is Jacob and that they would be back for him. The boy is trusting and loving from the start, but the couple, John and Marta are perplexed about what to do. Though they think it right that they should search for the boy's parents, or tell the police, they wait, expecti ...more
Brett Axel
Sep 03, 2013 Brett Axel rated it it was amazing
This book was released today, September 3 so I wanted to take a moment to update and expand my review of it.

I brought home about 70 advance books from BookExpo in May and, by far, the best and most exciting for us was this one, The Boy on the Porch. My 7 year old loves this author. The first one we read was The Great Unexpected (also an advance review copy) and it was his favorite book until we read Walk Two Moons which then became his favorite. He enjoyed this book as well but still says Walk T
One day Marta and John found a boy asleep on their porch. He had a note in his pocket that said, “Plees taik kair of Jacob. He is a god good boy. Wil be bak wen we can.” Needless to say Marta and John are just a bit baffled. They have no idea where the boy came from, how long he would be there, or what they should do with the boy. And to top it all off, the boy can’t tell them. He understands Marta and John, but he can’t talk–he is mute. Soon life on the farm gets into a rhythm. Jacob enjoys spe ...more
Feb 24, 2015 LeeAnne rated it liked it
A thoughtful book for adults, but not a strong choice for my elementary school kids. It takes a maturity to understand the nuances of the story and I fear that most would find this confusing and possibly upsetting. Why would a parent leave a child? Why would a child have to return to what appears to be an unsavory life? I recommend this author to my stronger readers all the time, but don't have an audience for this one.
Cheri Puetz
Nov 21, 2013 Cheri Puetz rated it really liked it
Really debating on 4 vs. 5 stars on this one... This may not be the most action packed book (which I know many kids are drawn to), but Sharon Creech nailed writing a simple, beautiful story. Few words (short book) used to create strong emotion! (What a great example of strong word choice for kids to model their writing after!) The book makes you constantly question and wonder, which I love in a book. I definitely see using this story in my classroom! It is told from an adult perspective, which i ...more
Jun 24, 2015 Erika rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kids-and-youth, 2015
Read this in an hour. A beautiful story about a childless couple who find a boy left on their porch. Jacob is mute but still manages to communicate with the couple and their animals. Great book to discuss what it means to be a family.
Aug 23, 2014 Tracee rated it really liked it
I love Sharon Creech and I loved this story. I only wish it was longer. It left a little to be desired, but it's honestly leaving you feeling how the couple in the book felt.
Søren Kent
Aug 09, 2015 Søren Kent rated it really liked it
Shelves: with-mama
A boy was dropped off on a porch. A couple found him and gave things including love. I kept asking when we would find out where he came from. The kid seemed nice. He was good at art and music. The end was great.
Jane Branson
Feb 28, 2015 Jane Branson rated it it was amazing
An unusual story, sparse and strange, written in perfect little chapters, with an immaculate final paragraph.
Abby Johnson
Sep 26, 2013 Abby Johnson rated it really liked it
Ohhh my, this is a beautiful little book... I'm a little unsure of the kid appeal, but I personally just loved it. This is a story about finding love unexpectedly, about warm hearts and open arms, and about how very quickly everything can change. I already know that I have a social worker friend who's getting this for Christmas.

But yeah... the three main characters are two adults and a boy who doesn't talk. I might try it on fans of the foster kid ilk - The Great Gilly Hopkins, One for the Murp
Jan 31, 2014 Adrienne rated it really liked it
Sharon Creech once again delivers a beautifully written, captivating story, this time about a couple who one day finds a boy named Jacob on their porch. He has a note with him, saying that the boy's parental figure will be back. Jacob doesn't talk, but he is an extremely talented artist and musician, as the couple discovers. Soon, they fall in love with him, hoping that his parents never return. This book brought me to tears. It was a simple story, shorter and less complex, than Creech's past bo ...more
Betsy Raczkowski
Feb 24, 2015 Betsy Raczkowski rated it really liked it
A quick read that is unexpectedly heartbreaking and hopeful.
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I was born in South Euclid, Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland, and grew up there with my noisy and rowdy family: my parents (Ann and Arvel), my sister (Sandy), and my three brothers (Dennis, Doug and Tom).
For a fictional view of what it was like growing up in my family, see Absolutely Normal Chaos. (In that book, the brothers even have the same names as my own brothers.) Our house was not only full of
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“Your name makes a statement about you. It describes not only who you are but who you might be.” 2 likes
“On their way home, John said, “Marta, that’s a long way to go so that Jacob can have a friend.” “Shh,” Marta said. “Ears.” “What?” “We all have ears. Everyone in this car can hear, John.” “Well, of course we all have ears. Oh.” 0 likes
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