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The Boy on the Porch

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  4,934 ratings  ·  840 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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3.90  · 
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 ·  4,934 ratings  ·  840 reviews

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Jul 03, 2013 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
Sep 27, 2013 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.
Barb Middleton
Nov 03, 2013 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
Mar 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I loved how this book made me feel! <3 It was almost like I was there with the characters. A truly amazing family story!
Oct 31, 2013 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
May 29, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: audiobook-reads
A heartwarming little story about what words like "home" and "family" really mean. The story is simple, but Jacob's joy is infectious and there's a lot of emotion in just a few pages.
Richie Partington
Jun 19, 2013 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
Kim Zarins
Mar 14, 2014 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
Ms. Yingling
Oct 01, 2013 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Susan Bazzett-Griffith
This was a library book my son and I both read and enjoyed. While not the fastest paced story, and with a rather ambiguous setting, we both genuinely enjoyed this short, sweet novel about how a couple transforms their lives when a mute little boy arrives on the porch of their old farmhouse. The book straddles the line between whimsy and gravitas as necessary for a child's audience, it also is told entirely from the perspective of the adults, giving kids a different experience than a lot of middl ...more
Jun 18, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: middle-grade
This is a heartwarming story about foster parenting. it was very sweet.
Apr 02, 2019 rated it liked it
Hmmm, I didn’t realize the target audience was 8-12 year olds! Perhaps that is why I had difficulty engaging in the limited plot. Adolescents would enjoy the story.
Hussain Khalil
Nov 13, 2017 rated it did not like it
رواية عادية جدا، أستغرب أنها توزع في جميع أنحاء العالم رغم مستواها المتواضع. حتى على مستوى اللغة، هي لا تفيدك بأي شيء. وجهة نظر.
Aug 05, 2013 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
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
Nov 08, 2013 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
Nov 01, 2013 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.
Lexi Schafran
Feb 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: wowbooks
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Grades: 3rd to 5th

The Boy on the Porch is a heart warming story about a boy who shows up, unexpected, on the porch of a couple who has no idea where the boy came from or who he is. The couple teaches and introduces the boy to so many new things during his time with them on the farm. The couple finds their true passion in life: fostering children. The couple opens up their farm as a foster home after realizing how much they cared for the boy who showed up on their porch o
Tara Ethridge
Mar 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Wow. Came across this book on the shelves of our library and I thought the premise was intriguing: a boy who doesn’t speak is left on the porch of a young couple. It was so very heartwarming and heartbreaking at the same time, but the twist snuck up on me near the end and left me in a puddle of tears. A slim novel that is packed with feeling.
Jun 06, 2015 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
Suzanne Keetch
Feb 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book and its message of unconditional love and the true meaning of what a family really is.
Amanda Hoffman
Sep 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I don't think I would have picked this book out on my own, I had to read it for an assignment. I could not put it down. It had so much depth and touched on quite a few issues that need to be talked about and discussed. Throughout this book I thought of several instances where this book relates to my life. My friend is a foster parent and after reading this book I see some of the children's situations through a different lens.
Lara Lim
Jun 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This was such a sweet story. It will warm your heart.
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
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
Jayce Senter
Feb 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
Originally posted here at In the Senter of it All

One thing I loved about this book is the positive light in which the foster parents are portrayed. I get so tired of children's books that have horrible foster parents. There are great loving foster parents out there who just want to love kids. In this book it was romanticized a little (or a lot). Fostering the kids in the book was much easier than it is in reality. It's definitely the way I pictured foster care would be when we signed on in the b
Nicola Mansfield
May 06, 2014 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
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
Carol Royce Owen
Feb 02, 2014 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
Jan 21, 2014 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
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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
“Your name makes a statement about you. It describes not only who you are but who you might be.” 3 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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