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With a Name like Love
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With a Name like Love

4.0 of 5 stars 4.00  ·  rating details  ·  798 ratings  ·  275 reviews
One of School Library Journal’s Best Fiction Books of 2011

When Ollie’s daddy, the Reverend Everlasting Love, pulls their travel trailer into Binder to lead a three-day revival, Ollie knows that this town will be like all the others they visit— it is exactly the kind of nothing Ollie has come to expect.But on their first day in town, Ollie meets Jimmy Koppel, whose mother i
Hardcover, 250 pages
Published September 27th 2011 by Farrar Straus Giroux (BYR). Margaret Ferguson Books
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Divergent by Veronica RothUnearthly by Cynthia HandAcross the Universe by Beth RevisWither by Lauren DeStefanoAngelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton
2011 Debut Authors (Young Adult and Middle Grade Lit.)
104th out of 377 books — 2,231 voters
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Class of 2k11
24th out of 49 books — 147 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,193)
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Patricia J. O'Brien
This is what might be known as a quiet book--a middle grade, historical fiction about a girl whose father is a traveling preacher. I usually read YA or adult fantasy/dystopian but, I was drawn in completely to Ollie's world and her huge heart and courage. And even though Tess Hilmo's writing is rich in detail and atmosphere, a sense of urgency and danger begins early and stays through the story.
I like that this book is never preachy, despite being about a family who travel from town to town to s
Caroline Rose
New to Binder, Arkansas, Ollie refuses to condemn a down and out family and with her preacher-father stands for truth in this atmospheric To Kill a Mockingbird for the middle-grade set.
A book full of so many messages for kids and adults. This book's storyline will stay with you for a long time. Ollie is a very memorable main character.
I'm a little conflicted by this book. I had read a review, and promptly put it on my list of requests at the library. I particularly like to read things by local authors - and I'm glad this one made it into hardback.

And I really did like the book. Some things just didn't feel quite right to me. Even though the book was essentially a mystery, and a story about loving others and doing what is right, some of the characters were just a little too perfect for me. Susanna and the Reverend weren't quit
Tess Hilmo’s With a Name Like Love is a moving and well-written middle-grade contemporary with charming characters, a wonderfully crafted setting, and a story that is equal parts mystery, humor, and heart. In 1957, thirteen year old Ollie Love and her four sisters travel with their mother and father, Reverend Everlasting Love, across the country, preaching in small towns. A stop in Binder, Arkansas finds Ollie a friend in Jimmy Koppel. Jimmy’s momma is in jail for murdering his father, but Jimmy ...more
Amanda Snow
Originally published at

13 year old Ollie is used to living on the road. Her daddy, Reverend Everlasting Love, is a preacher, leading tent revivals all across the country for a living. Ollie, along with her parents and sisters, live in the travel trailer they pull along from town to town, being homeschooled and teaching the country about God.

When the family arrives in Binder, Arkansas, Ollie expects the three days to be like every other revival time. Passing out flyers,
This book is so atmospheric and drenched in humanity. It is a story about a travelling preacher's daughter bent on helping a boy whose mother is jailed for a murder (his father)....but it is so much more than just a murder mystery. Yes, there is an element of faith in the book because it is a preacher's family but it is not at all about that and I found those references "Ollie wondered what God might think when he looked down on the shack Jimmy Koppel called home" are more about the southern cul ...more
What I like about this book is that the characters are well developed and Tess Hilmo creates a beautiful picuture of the Arkansas landscape. I had a clear picture in my mind of Ollie, her family and the town of Binder. With a Name like Love is a nice mystery, that has enough twists and turns to keep you reading. The open ending also makes you want to know more about Ollie and her family.

Great quotes from the book

Some people are broken. Its like their hearts get going in the wrong direction earl
I loved this book. I didn't want it to end. Hoping for a sequel.

This was a well-written, beautiful story about how doing the right thing takes courage, thought, and a lot of love. The 13-year-old protagonist is endearing, intelligent, and believable. I cared about her and her family. Even though Ollie is always trying to do the right thing, she still has a jealous younger sister and her own unhappiness with her family's unsettled way of life to face. When she finally makes a friend she finds tha
When Ollie and her family pull into Binder, she thinks it will be just like all the other towns. They'll be there for three days and leave off to the next place.

But what Ollie doesn't expect is to meet Jimmy, a boy whose mother is in jail for murder. Ollie believes Jimmy when he says his mother is innocent and she knows that she has to find a way to help Jimmy and his mother.

This book is set in the 1950s and is about Ollie, along with her siblings and parents who travel so her father may preach.
Great book written by a member of my old (Utah) book club (nice work, Tess!) Story of Ollie Love and her family who travel around the south with their preacher father. Very well written. The characters are delightful and the story ends in a very satisfying way. A couple of parts were a little unrealistic, but I was okay with that. Good for 10 and up.
Bittersweet and dripping with nostalgia, Tess Hilmo's masterful middle-grade debut, With A Name Like Love, delivers a difficult theme (domestic violence), a rich setting (1957 Arkansas) and one tight little mystery. I was blown away by Ollie's voice and reminded of the "grotesques" of Flannery O'Connor.
Amy Carr
This was a beautiful book! It was so creative and original, the characters were deep and well-developed, the writing was extremely well-done and the moral very powerful. I love finding gems of books like this!
Maryssa Dennis
My university's library was hosting a Blind Date with a Book event, so I picked this one up. I enjoyed it more than I thought it would. It's the kind of book that will likely be overlooked by most people (especially because it's middle grade), but it's a little gem. The premise and plot are interesting. The characters are lovable and relatable. I really connected with this book on an emotional level. What a great story. This one is quiet but memorable. And it gives a lot of insight into life and ...more
"Be careful when you listen to people called they... They often tell lies."

—Reverend Love, With a Name Like Love, P. 15

"But some people are broken. They don't know anything other than hatred... It's like their heart gets going in the wrong direction early on in life, and they can never quite manage to bring it back around to love. It's a sad thing and we should have compassion for them. Think of the joy they are missing in life."

—Reverend Love, P. 208

With a Name Like Love is truly one of the
Ollie Love and her 4 younger sisters are travelling missionaries for her father Everlasting Love who is a preacher. They travel from town to town, staying for a mere 3 days in each place to preach the gospel to those who haven’t heard. Ollie has gotten used to handing out flyers, setting up chairs, and singing hymns with her sister. Binder Arkansas brings much the same for Ollie until she meets a young boy named Jimmy. Everyone is telling her to stay away from him as his father murdered his moth ...more
Hilary Roberts
I actually read this book at the request of my 9-year-old daughter. She loved it and was so excited for me to read it too! Turns out I also really enjoyed it. It's the story of a family whose father is a preacher. They travel from town to town and stay a few days in each place to preach. In one town, the oldest daughter meets a boy who is in dire need of a friend. There is a bit of a mystery going on with his family where his abusive father was killed and his mother was in jail having confessed ...more
I am not sure what to say about this book other than I loved, loved, loved it. I normally shy away from books that have religion in them (the Love family is headed by a reverend and they travel around the south to preach in small, poor towns) but this is not a book about religion, this is a book about goodness and overcoming the bad stuff that happens, and embracing people who have become bitter and full of hate, to try to help them, instead of turning away. There are many bad things that happen ...more
Nov 27, 2011 Wendy rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Wendy by: Tess Hilmo
Tess Hilmo’s debut novel is a story about the power of love to heal and transform. When Olivene Love arrives in rural Binder, Arkansas with her parents and sisters, she expects their stay to be a typical three-day revival event lead by her preacher father. What she doesn’t realize is that she needs to do a bit of saving herself. On a trip into town, Ollie discovers how deeply prejudiced the people of Binder are toward Jimmy Koppel and his mother. It just so happens that Virginia Koppel is sittin ...more
"With a Name Like Love," Tess Hilmo's debut novel, received strong editorial reviews and appears on many "best" lists for the past year. This work of historical fiction has middle school appeal and will satisfy those looking for Christian fiction. The mystery elements will draw in another set of readers as well.

Hilmo begins by establishing time (Summer, 1957) and place (Binder, Arkansas). Interestingly enough, this is my one beef about "With a Name Like Love." While Hilmo tells us that the story
Sarah BT
Oh my goodness, if you want a heartfelt mystery with characters you want to reach into the book and hug, bad guys who are so mean they make you squirm, and a family you can't help but want to be part of, With a Name Like Love is your book. I loved this book!

The Love family is a family you won't soon forget. Each of the five Love daughters is a distinct character and each girl has her own voice, which is hard to pull off in a large cast. Even though Ollie is the main character and we get the stor
Lisa Nocita
Olivene "Ollie" Love is the eldest daughter of five of a traveling preacher. In the small town of Binder, Arkansas for a three day revival, a chance encounter with a scruffy, skinny boy changes everything. Jimmy's mother sits in jail for confessing to murdering her no good, no account husband. She is set to be transferred to Little Rock and Jimmy will be sent to live with an aunt he's never heard of. Ollie yearns for a proper home with electricity, ice cubes, flushing toilets, and a washing mach ...more
When Ollie’s daddy, the Reverend Everlasting Love, pulls their travel trailer into Binder to lead a three-day revival, Ollie knows that this town will be like all the others they visit— it is exactly the kind of nothing Ollie has come to expect.

From the first page of this book, I really felt like I was in Binder, Arkansas. "Fields of soft green barley laid themselves out across the earth in perfect rows--as if God had reached down and combed them just so." Hilmo's descriptive language is beauti
Barbara Langford
This realistic fiction tale took me back to my sunny, summer days of Southeastern Idaho. Being set in the late '50s took me back to days of my childhood where things are golden and happy in my memory. My life was permanent and unchanging back then, so to read of a family that traveled for a living made me almost jealous for some reason. It created a juxtaposition between my early childhood and Ollie's childhood. I am a bit jealous actually reading of the constant change in their life. It took me ...more
This book being from a first time author, I was VERY impressed. I should probably have only given it four stars, but this book hit the jackpot for me, because it included several of my favorite genres, and had great character development. The story is told from the perspective of a twelve year old girl who's father is a travelling preacher back in the mid/early 20th century. The whole family went with him! This time they find themselves in a town where someone needs her/their help, and it's goin ...more
3.5 stars

I like reading about a happy and loving family. There is so much family angst these days in children's literature.
Olivene Love is the oldest daughter of the travelling preacher, Everlasting Love. Mr. Love's father and grandfather were preachers; it's in the blood of this family. Reverend Love and his wife have a loving relationship, and they are wonderful parents. The loving interacations of the family in the book were just so darn refreshing.
Reverent Love, his wife, and their 5 daught

I'm having a very hard time rating this book. It was beautiful and powerful, emotional and stunning. I described it to a friend and it came across sounding like a murder mystery but it is so much more than that. The mystery was so far in the background that it didn't cross my mind that that was what some people reading the summary might think the story was about until after finishing the book. This is a
Things I Liked:
This was a sweet and heart-warming little book about family and friendship and the things we do for others. I loved the Love family and Ollie especially. Her interactions with her sisters were my favorite, especially because I have four sisters and it seemed like every little thing could become a fight. Family dynamics are always interesting to read about and adding outside characters makes it even more fun. I fell in love with Ollie and Jimmy and couldn't help being interested i
A sweet, tender story with a bit of a mystery that was a fast read. I really liked the Love family. They may have felt like they came right out of a "Little House" episode, but I was certainly all right with that! I liked the natural friendship between Ollie and Jimmy. I was very happy that the Loves made friends with Mrs. Mahoney. I was shocked at how awful Mrs. Carter was. I liked seeing Ollie try to help Jimmy, and how her family (and eventually the town) took a stand.

The writing was nice and
Julie Rand
Geared toward middle grade kids aged 10-12, this novel tells the story of a 13 year old girl named Ollie whose friendship with an outcast boy, Jimmy Koppel, leads her to help him solve the mystery of who killed his father. Ollie’s family, the Love family, are travelling preachers in the 1950s (1957 to be exact). They extend their three day religious revival in a small town in Arkansas in order to help Jimmy prove it was not his mother who murdered his father.

The book deals with Ollie’s relations
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Teachers' Book Club: With a Name Like Love 56 70 May 12, 2013 06:03PM  
Such a beautiful mystery book! 1 5 Mar 23, 2013 05:16PM  
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“But some people are broken. They don't know anything other than hatred... It's like their heart gets going in the wrong direction early on in life, and they can never quite manage to bring it back around to love. It's a sad thing and we should have compassion for them. Think of the joy they are missing in life.” 10 likes
“Be careful when you listen to people called they, Olivene, her daddy said. They often tell lies.” 2 likes
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