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With a Name like Love

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating Details  ·  866 Ratings  ·  285 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
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.)
101st out of 263 books — 2,255 voters
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Class of 2k11
24th out of 49 books — 148 voters

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Patricia J. O'Brien
Dec 03, 2011 Patricia J. O'Brien rated it it was amazing
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.
Mar 28, 2012 Sheila rated it really liked it
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.
Dec 22, 2011 Jackie rated it really liked it
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
Oct 01, 2013 Aeicha rated it really liked it
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
Sep 25, 2011 Amanda Snow rated it really liked it
Shelves: middle-grade, 2011
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,
Oct 02, 2011 Meagan rated it it was amazing
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
Dec 19, 2011 Emily rated it really liked it
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
May 20, 2013 Cayenne rated it it was amazing
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
Emily Rachelle
Nov 17, 2015 Emily Rachelle rated it it was amazing
This book won the Inspy Award in the Literature for Young People category in 2013. As one of the judges, this is what I and the other four judges wrote once the winner had been determined:

With a Name Like Love is a family story with a great plot - a murder to be solved, friendships to resolve, and family decisions to be made - and excellent, heart-grabbing characters. Olivene Love’s daddy is a traveling preacher, as was his daddy before him and his daddy before him, ”all the way back to the time
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.
Jun 09, 2015 Emily rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult, fiction
...Hilmo has created a family full of interesting characters in the Loves. They all have different strengths and dreams, but they pull together to support each other. Ollie's descriptors are delightful and spot-on. One person gives her "the pure and undefiled willies." Another sells "full-up bottled hatred"at her story. Ollie loved another "like a bee loves a fat flower." Her daddy "loves people and loves the Lord and just wants to get the two together."

Hilmo's done an incredible job with the se
Dec 17, 2011 Karin rated it really liked it
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.
Aug 18, 2011 Mark rated it it was amazing
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
Sep 14, 2012 Amy Carr rated it it was amazing
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
Mar 02, 2015 Maryssa Dennis rated it it was amazing
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
May 18, 2012 Josiah rated it it was ok
"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
Mar 22, 2012 Melanie rated it it was amazing
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
Aug 08, 2013 Hilary Roberts rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
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
Mar 30, 2013 Joanne rated it it was amazing
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 really liked it
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
Jul 15, 2012 Terri rated it really liked it
"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
Nov 28, 2011 Sarah BT rated it it was amazing
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
Jul 02, 2012 Lisa Nocita rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya-2011, tag-2012-13
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
Jul 05, 2011 Paige rated it it was amazing
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
Nov 25, 2012 Barbara Langford rated it it was amazing
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
Mar 04, 2012 Kermit rated it liked it
Shelves: junior-fiction
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
Mar 06, 2013 Tanya rated it it was amazing

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
Dec 07, 2011 melissa1lbr rated it really liked it
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
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Teachers' Book Club: With a Name Like Love 56 72 May 12, 2013 06:03PM  
Such a beautiful mystery book! 1 5 Mar 23, 2013 05:16PM  
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Share This Book

“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.” 9 likes
“Sometimes we have to meet people where they are, Ollie. Honor their desires, regardless of out own.” 2 likes
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