Saturday, May 21, 2016

What we're reading: A children's book for adults?

The Boy on the Porch, by Sharon Creech

One day a young couple, John and Marta, find a small boy sleeping on their porch. Attached to him is a note asking that the couple watch over the boy until his parents return. The boy cannot speak, but is extremely talented in other areas. He can play almost any instrument. He can create gorgeous, surreal works of art using simple paint sets. He can even communicate with animals! As John and Marta become closer to the boy, they begin to feel more like a family and discover a happiness they have never before experienced. However, they always worry about what will happen if his parents return. What would happen to their newly formed family and their newfound happiness if the boy is taken away from them?

This book was a joy. It is so beautifully written that the text almost reads like poetry. The story itself tugs at the reader’s heartstrings. Don’t be surprised if you shed a tear or two.

My only problem with it is that this book is marketed as a children’s book and I do not see it appealing to children. Yes, it is a wonderful story and worth reading, but I think children would find the plot slow and uneventful. I believe adults would find it far more interesting and relatable, since the story is told from John and Marta’s point of view. It is still worth reading, but I would recommend it for adults since I do not think it would hold a child’s attention.

Editor's note: Many on Goodreads appear to agree with BookNerd's conclusion that the book has more adult appeal, although one person did have success reading the book aloud in installments to her eight- and nine-year-olds, and said they enjoyed it that way.

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