In a book world crowded with overwrought shock-fluff stories, this quiet novel sings.
Needing none of the gratuitous drama and exaggeration of voice so common in books for children and teens these days, Newbery Medalist Creech’s latest novel is allegorical in feel as it quietly gets to the heart of the matter—which is, of course, the heart. When John and Marta, a contentedly childless young couple, find a boy sleeping on their porch, they are mystified. The boy, introduced to them only by a crude, misspelled note as Jacob, doesn’t speak. But he does tap and paint and play music, and as John and Marta indulge his creative passions, they grow to love him. When Jacob’s father, a rough man, turns up, the young couple must let Jacob go, but they are heartbroken and even go so far as to look for him afterward. In the end, their searching reveals an outlet for the love that Jacob has awoken in them. A deeply felt story sparely written in lyrical prose, this book stands out as a quiet contemplation on the connection that is the wellspring of love.
A graceful, profound story for all ages that speaks well beyond its intended audience. (Fiction. 8 & up)