The Boy on the Porch
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The Boy on the Porch

3.83 of 5 stars 3.83  ·  rating details  ·  2,339 ratings  ·  450 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...more
Hardcover, 160 pages
Published September 3rd 2013 by Harpercollins
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72nd out of 324 books — 598 voters
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Newbery 2014
50th out of 94 books — 359 voters


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Community Reviews

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Christopher

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...more
Barb Middleton
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
Betsy
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...more
Richie Partington
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...more
Ms. Yingling
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sophia
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...more
Becky
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 5 of 5 stars
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
Mara
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.
Linda
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.
Christina
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
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
*growls*

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...more
Brett Axel
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...more
Joella www.cinjoella.com
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
Leif Nelson
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Cheryl Cufari
Why am I usually in tears by the time I reach the endings of Sharon Creech's remarkable writings?! Here she unfolds the love that can develop between children and caregivers in a touching, allegory-like story through the characters of a childless young couple and a boy they find on their porch. Certainly this book especialy has a place in social-work studies for adults as well as in schools to use with foster children/families.
Cheri Puetz
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
Tracee
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.
Abby Johnson
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...more
Gayle Sands
I'm sorry the book is over. Love it.
The Styling Librarian
The Boy on the Porch by Sharon Creech – I read this book and then sat back and thought… about the definition of family… the welcoming of strangers… how one can open the hearts of others… how you can adapt to other’s needs… how assumptions are easily made… and how much I just love Sharon Creech’s book creations. This was a faster novel to enjoy than other books by Sharon but it packs a beautiful punch. Interesting to have the UK edition because the Carnegie medal is celebrated more than the Newbe...more
Meg Goldschneider
This book was amazing. It has very short chapters that makes you want to keep reading. The librarian recommended it to me and it didn't seem like an interesting book. This is not the usual type of books I read but it was a great book. I strongly recommend it, Its a short read and it is good for all types of reading levels.
Cornmaven
I have always loved everything I have ever read by Sharon Creech. Until this one. Boy is left on a porch. Couple doesn't know what to do, takes the boy in. Boy stays with them for several weeks. Father comes back to claim the boy. Boy goes away with the father. The couple start fostering children. Boy comes back when he's a college student. The end.

The problem with this novel:

1. It's not a novel. It could have been a decent short story, had it been written properly.
2. It is told from the perspec...more
Julie
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Haley Caudell
The Boy on the Porch by Sharon Creech is a story about a married couple who find a young sleeping boy on their porch one day. Once he wakes up, he gives them a note saying, “Plees taik kair of Jacob. He is a good boy. Wil be bak wen we can.” Upon receiving this note, the couple, Jon and Marta, are very confused. But they quickly take to the boy and end up loving him as if her were their own. After many months pass by, they believed Jacob’s parents were not coming back to get him, and they decid...more
Rachel Tackett
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Megan Laird
Famously known for her Walk Two Moons, Sharon Creech does an excellent job at creating yet another novel worth reading. This beautiful story of a couple who becomes a family thanks to a young boy who appeared on their porch has a sappy ending that will have women weeping. A couple finds a six year old boy sitting on their front porch with a poorly written note saying his parents will come back for him eventually. Who could leave a child to a complete stranger? Without much thought, two become th...more
Jenny
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kim Zarins
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
Karen
Mar 12, 2014 Karen rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: j-ya
I read this book in two quick sittings. It is a sweet, if simplistic, story about foster care told from the point of view of a very loving, and lovable, childless couple. That seems to be the biggest problem readers have with the story - it is told from an adult point of view so who do you give this book to? I think it would make an excellent read aloud book in a classroom. I also think it would be a good choice for children in a loving foster care situation - a bibliotheraputic sort of choice....more
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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...more
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