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An Invisible Thread: The True Story of an 11-Year-Old Panhandler, a Busy Sales Executive, and an Unlikely Meeting with Destiny [Kindle Edition]

Laura Schroff , Alex Tresniowski , Valerie Salembier
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,134 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $15.99
Kindle Price: $8.61
You Save: $7.38 (46%)
Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc

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Book Description

An Invisible Thread tells of the life-long 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.

When Laura Schroff brushed by a young panhandler on a New York City corner one rainy afternoon, something made her stop and turn back. She took the boy to lunch at the McDonald’s across the street that day. And she continued to go back, again and again for the next four years until both their lives had changed dramatically. Nearly thirty years later, that young boy, Maurice, is married and has his own family. Now he works to change the lives of disadvantaged kids, just like the boy he used to be.
     An Invisible Thread is the true story of the bond between a harried sales executive and an eleven-year-old boy who seemed destined for a life of poverty. It is the heartwarming story of a friendship that has spanned three decades and brought meaning to an over-scheduled professional and hope to a hungry and desperate boy living on the streets.

Editorial Reviews


""[A] feel-good story about the far-reaching benefits of kindness."" ---Publishers Weekly

About the Author

Laura Schroff is a former advertising executive who has worked for companies including USA Today and Condé Nast. Alex Tresniowski is a senior writer at People magazine and the author of The Vendetta.

Pam Ward has performed in a variety of venues, but she found her true calling reading books for the blind and physically handicapped for the Library of Congress Talking Books program, for which she received the prestigious Alexander Scourby Award from the American Foundation for the Blind. She is also an AudioFile Earphones Award winner.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1953 KB
  • Print Length: 274 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1451642512
  • Publisher: Howard Books; Reprint edition (November 1, 2011)
  • Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004T4KXYQ
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,058 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
192 of 198 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful November 1, 2011
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 change in him even though he had to go back to his horrible living conditions after he left her.

As well as learning about the living conditions of others, the author also gave the reader a chance to find out that her childhood/family life was not very easy.....her father was an abusive alcoholic, and her mother sat by not being able to defend herself or her children. Obviously the author's childhood and the childhood of her brothers and sisters had an impact on their entire life and on her decision to turn back and fulfill Maurice's plea for help.

The descriptions in the book are very detailed and heartbreaking but also heartwarming. You will become a part of the lives of every character and you will feel their pain and happiness.

An Invisible Thread is the perfect title for this book. The book brought to the surface that we all have a connection to other human beings even though that connection may not be outwardly visible.

I truly enjoyed the book because of the honesty of feelings and of human kindness and human connection. This is a must read. Laura Schroff is a brave woman to reveal all this about her life, but it definitely will make you realize that no matter how small the gesture may be, we can make a difference for someone else. 5/5
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59 of 64 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful story well told November 9, 2011
I'm so glad I finally got to this title in my to-read basket - it's one of those books you don't want to put down until it's finished. Laura when confronted by an 11 year old panhandler instead of ignoring him or at best giving him some loose change, asked the young Maurice to lunch at McDonalds. This was the start of a friendship that was to impact both their lives long term.
I thought that Laura was going to be some near-perfect rich woman doing a good deed (not that there's anything wrong with that) but turns out she herself came from modest means and an abusive family. Although she couldn't comprehend the poverty and drugs of Maurice's life, she did understand that he deeply valued the consistency she provided in his life.
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52 of 57 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars more complex than you might initially think August 12, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I was very torn throughout the reading of this book. Once I finished reading I turned to the user reviews on amazon to see what others thought. I found myself agreeing with both the positive and negative reviews which made me sit back and think long and hard about things.

What drew me to the book was not just the story, but the fact that the first editorial review stated that there was a "lack of excess sentimentality" As far as my tastes go, I don't like gratuitous sentimentality so that simple statement was a ringing endorsement. But the book IS sentimental, sometimes overly so, and, as other less favorable reviews have pointed out, there is a self congratulatory undercurrent at times. There were points in my reading of An Invisible Thread that I would have hurled the book across the room in frustration. The fact that I was reading on the kindle app for my android phone was probably the main reason for my restraint. The author was often the hero in her stories and I found myself wondering how much of a role revisionist history played in her retelling of her childhood and even certain scenes with Maurice. Or maybe not. There are already too many spoilers here in these user reviews so I am not going to give anything away, but suffice it to say that when Laura met Michael I was so angry I wasn't sure I would finish the book. Sure, she talked about her struggles with her decisions but I think I didn't always believe her. There we a few other instances of cowardice in the book that made me cringe but then I had to ask myself whether I would be any less cowardly in some of these emotionally difficult situations. Unfortunately, the answer is probably, NO. Edit* I should note, that along with what I am calling cowardice, Laura also showed incredible bravery and/or courage.
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35 of 38 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I Wanted to Love It, But... May 31, 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
God bless Laura Schroff and Maurice Maczyk. An Invisible Thread tells their story; Laura, a successful NY career woman, and Maurice, the young 11-year-old panhandler, whom she helped and befriended. Her initial act of kindness, and the lessons they taught one another and share here, are indeed inspiritional, and hopefully will help to change many lives for the better.

But parts of this book are difficult to read. The description of the welfare hotel where Maurice lived at one time is horrifying; the abuse that Laura and her family suffered at the hands of her alcoholic father is even worse. I must applaud the author for her honesty...although she does pat herself on the back a little too often, she also gives other people credit where due, and admits if she made a mistake.

There are many small details (for example, the brown bag lunches, and the bicycle) which add heart to the story, but then other chapters jump ahead abruptly, and suddenly the reader is two years in the future without knowing what transpired in between. Also, the editing could have been better...if Maurice is on a bike, he should "pedal" away, not "peddle," as it is spelled in the text.

For me, almost the saddest part of the book was the following sentence: "He (the suthor's husband) even relented and allowed me to invite Maurice to our home for Christmas one year." Allowed her? Wasn't it her home also? It is obvious that Laura and Maurice have always had a special relationship; what a pity that they were forced to miss any time together at all.

The photo inserts are helpful, and a nice addition, as is the follow-up interview with the author.

Ms. Schroff states that the book idea grew from a magazine article. It is a good book, but not great. Borrow it from the library, and use the money you would have spent on a purchase to perform your own act of kindness. I wish Laura, Maurice, and their entire extended family all the best.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I really enjoyed this book ...
Great true story, well written and kept me wanting to read more. Author was very honest about her own life and I found her story as interesting as Maurice's the boy panhandler she... Read more
Published 1 day ago by Happy Nana
5.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking
I thoroughly enjoyed this story and my 20 year old son thought it was "terrific."
The writing is engaging and honest and the story of this unlikely friendship keeps... Read more
Published 2 days ago by Laura Hedgecock
5.0 out of 5 stars A story that needs to be read!
What a story. I didn't want it to end. How lucky you both have been to be there for one another. Yours is a life meant to be shared with all.
Published 2 days ago by Kathleen A. Cannon
5.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent True Story
I loved this story! To know it was an account of the interaction between two people who met by chance, just make it a classic tale. Read more
Published 2 days ago by flower
5.0 out of 5 stars Share the love
Loved this. Oh if we could all be so kind....loved this sweet story of the golden rule! So inspiring to me!
Published 3 days ago by Bethany Bichel
5.0 out of 5 stars We'll worth your time.
A hard to put down read. More children are out there to be saved but so many adults out there taking advantage of the system. I'm working my a-- while they sit on theirs.
Published 4 days ago by Rita
2.0 out of 5 stars subject matter intriguing - but writing fails to deliver...
Mediocre writing at best...this story could have been told in a short essay - to long - laborious at times...
Published 5 days ago by Deb
5.0 out of 5 stars slow at first but keep reading and it becomes a serious tearjerker
Slow first half but had me in tears the second half. In a way it's like the story of Michael Orr, but the path they both end up taking is very different
Published 6 days ago by melanie croce
3.0 out of 5 stars Mixed review
The author seemed to be elevating herself in this book, rescuing this boy. I liked the boy's character. Thought the timing of bringing up her past odd. Read more
Published 7 days ago by mom of picky eaters
5.0 out of 5 stars Classical
This true story is about one person's life changing experience and how helping others helps oneself. This book should be universally read.
Published 8 days ago by M. Citron
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