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An Invisible Thread

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  37,700 ratings  ·  4,873 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, 260 pages
Published November 1st 2011 by Howard Books/ATRIA Books (first published November 1st 2010)
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Janet Like most books with some "adult" subject matter, it's going to depend greatly on the maturity level of the reader, how much they internalize things, …moreLike most books with some "adult" subject matter, it's going to depend greatly on the maturity level of the reader, how much they internalize things, how comfortable they are expressing themselves if they're confused, curious, saddened, worried, etc. I can think of several adults who are not adult enough to read this book & understand it. That being said, I could see my middle school-aged son (8th grade, 13 years old) reading it & being just fine. I can also see my 6th-grade niece reading it, slowly, one chapter at a time, having lots of questions & concerns, but completely understanding their connection & gaining a lot from their story. Long story short, "it depends". (less)

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Average rating 4.04  · 
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 ·  37,700 ratings  ·  4,873 reviews

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Feb 19, 2013 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
Sep 27, 2011 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
This inspiring and unforgettable true story is about friendship, trust, family, selflessness, and unconditional love. Some parts brought me to tears. In a time when the world seems to be dominated by bad news, this book shows how the power of kindness can change lives for the better.
Sep 09, 2012 rated it it was ok
The story itself is really a 3 star story...it 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
Dec 12, 2017 rated it liked it

We all do acts of kindness, mostly within our circles of family or friends. When we reach out beyond those we usually call it charity. This narrative by Laura Schroff describes her choice to reach beyond her wallet and form a relationship with a street child in Manhattan several decades ago.

Schroff describes how they met and how she and Maurice (11 or 12 years old at the beginning) continued to meet over a period of years. As this unfolds (and I use that term deliberately), we see how the relat
Feb 21, 2012 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
Oct 15, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“An Invisible Thread” by Laura Schroff and Alex Tresniowski
The true story of an 11 year old panhandler, a busy executive and an unlikely meeting with destiny.

Where do I even begin putting into words about the best books I have read this year! Maurice lives with a drug induced family and Laura a busy go getter lawyer meet under incredible circumstances. It’s an amazing true story of how Laura and Maurice change each other’s life’s. Laura Schroff takes us through the compassion, commitment, l
Stephanie Anze
Dec 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
"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

Laura Schroff is a sales executive walking on the street in Manhattan when an 11-year-old boy asks her for coins. At first, Laura just walks away but then stops and turns back around. The boy is a panhandler and wants money for food. Laura learns his name is Maurice and takes him for a meal at McDonalds. As
Dec 11, 2017 rated it liked it
”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

I enjoyed An Invisible Thread and was happy with the ending of the book. There were a few parts that seemed cheesy, written down, however as someone who has participated in a formalized youth mentoring program for years, I can relate to some of the feelings Laura expresses. The reward is a two way street. T
Feb 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fast-read, memoir
3.5 stars: This is a very interesting story about a woman who decides at a moments notice to give a common street urchin her time of day. It takes place in the ‘80s in NYC. This 11 year old kid asks her for money because he’s hungry. She rushes by, and half a block later turns back, offers him lunch instead of money. The kid wants to hit McDonalds, to which she agrees, and off goes their relationship. I’m not sure I’d take a street urchin out to lunch, so I admire her audacity. It’s a fast read, ...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 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 16, 2013 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
Oct 15, 2011 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 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
Dec 31, 2011 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
Feb 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
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?

I just finished this exceptional story. Living in Toronto now I don’t see any child panhandler but based on my previous experience outside of country I know it’s very easy to just ignore them and continue wherever we go.

In this beautiful book Laura Schroff, t
Dick Hamilton
Mar 04, 2012 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
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
da AL
Oct 02, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
Unflinchingly honest -- and inspiring! Warts and all, Laura demonstrates how even imperfect care of each other can impact us in wonderful ways we'd never predict. ...more
Dec 14, 2020 rated it really liked it

Laura Schroff was a busy sales executive walking down the streets of Manhattan. Maurice was a scruffy, 11-year-old panhandler on the street. “Excuse me lady do you have any spare change?” were the first words he said to her. She kept walking, but then after a few yards she stopped. Something drew her back. She took the young boy to lunch at a nearby fast food restaurant. They made arrangements to meet again the next week, and the next…Their li
Aug 08, 2012 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
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 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
What a great book to make you think about life. It grounded me & reminded me to be grateful for what I have & more understanding of others. We are all more similar than it seems.
Jan 11, 2012 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
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
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
Jul 28, 2013 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
Mar 28, 2013 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
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Laura Schroff, a former advertising sales executive for over 30 years worked with several major media companies, including Time Inc. and Condé Nast. Schroff was part of the advertising team that helped make USA Today a successful national newspaper; and worked on the launch of three of the most successful start-ups in Time Inc. history—In Style, Teen People and People StyleWatch. Laura also worked ...more

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