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I'll Be There Hardcover – May 17, 2011
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"Sloan, a film writer and director (Angels in the Outfield and Made in America ), has fashioned a cast of memorable characters with compelling stories and relationships." --KIRKUS 4/1/11
"Readers will love the sense of karmic justice and the depth of character in this beautiful and moving story about how two boys journey toward home." -- ROMANTIC TIMES 3/31/11
Sloan delivers a cinematic, psychologically nuanced first novel of star-crossed love and the power of human empathy and connection. Her skills as a writer are never in doubt.
--PUBLISHERS WEEKLY copyright 04/11/11
Sam and Riddle are two of the most utterly sympathetic characters to grace a page; there aren't enough warm, fuzzy blankets in the world to wrap around these deserving boys. --THE BULLETIN FOR THE CENTER FOR CHILDREN'S BOOKS copyright June 2011
A 2012 YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults Book
* "Illustrates how we are all connected in big and small, positive and negative ways....[This] riveting story will keep readers interested and guessing until the end."―School Library Journal, starred review
* "[A] life-affirming exploration of the subtleties of love, compassion, and relationships. . . . Like the song it was named for, this book is hard to get out of your head."
―The Horn Book, starred review
* "Sloan builds characters rich with depth and realism.... A terrific read, quick to capture the audience, this book will make readers sing the melody in their hearts."―VOYA, starred review
"[Sloan] has fashioned a cast of memorable characters with compelling stories and relationships."―Kirkus Reviews
"Sam and Riddle are wonderfully appealing characters that readers will root for....A highly suspenseful read with a dynamic, cinematic quality that keeps the pages turning to the satisfying conclusion."―Booklist
"Sloan delivers a cinematic, psychologically nuanced first novel...[and] excels at crafting memorable characters and relationships."―Publishers Weekly
About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
Seventeen year-old Sam and his twelve year-old brother Riddle were kidnapped by their father -- a murderer and a thief -- a decade ago. Maintaining their anonymity over the years, their father has regularly moved them from place to place around the country (and sometimes out of it), keeping his truck equipped with a supply of stolen license plates, and packed as to be ready to leave at a moment's notice as he settles briefly in town after town to then live off of his break-ins into cars and houses. Every day, the two boys are forced to scavenge for their own food and otherwise fend for themselves. Sam, who has not been in school since the abduction -- when he was in second grade -- has raised the near-mute and sickly Riddle, who suffers from severe and never-treated asthma; who spends his days creating amazingly intricate drawings of the insides of mechanical objects on the pages of a telephone book; and who has never set foot in a school.
"The days of the week meant nothing to him."Except Sunday."
Sam, a self-taught guitar player loves music and seeks out churches on Sundays where he can slip in, mostly unobserved, and listen to music being sung and played. So it is that he is hiding out alone in the back row of the First Unitarian Church on the Sunday that Emily Bell is compelled by her college music professor father to perform a solo rendition of "I'll Be There" during the service.Read more ›
It is a story of mental illness, violence, abuse - and also of families and homes, of brothers, and moms and dads, of friendship, despair and hope, of romance, of music, of differences, of laughter and tears.
Each and every character in the book comes alive on the pages, each one fully developed. The story fell into place, each piece fitting so neatly together.
I loved that the ending came together so well and tied everything up with a big red bow.
I would recommend this book to anyone - it's the best I've read in a long time - and one I'll remember far into the future.
It does everything just right. The bond between Sam and Riddle. Sam's wariness, Emily's determination, the advance and retreat of their relationship. The menace of Sam and Riddle's father, who's completely unhinged. And I'LL BE THERE has one of the most satisfying endings of any book I've read in a while. No spoilers - just that in a book that's so excellent on every page, throwing out all the stops and bringing it to such a perfect conclusion is a marvel.
Highly recommended. Wonderful, wonderful book.
From the opening lines of I'll Be There by Holly Goldberg Sloan I was hooked on Sam Border's story. Which is why I found myself wanting to race through this story even though it's not the kind of book you would expect to be a page turner.
Sam has learned to cope with his dad's mental illness and angry outbursts, and he fiercely takes care of Riddle, who has always had health problems. The mom in me ached to see these two boys rescued from their situation.
And Emily's relationship with Sam is touching. She knows he's different, but she would never guess the reason why. And when her whole family becomes interested in the two boys, she can't imagine the consequences that will result for all of them. Indeed, everyone who appears in the book has their lives touched in some way by Sam and Emily, even if they didn't know how those connections came about.
I highly recommend I'll Be There for mother-daughter book clubs with girls aged 12 and up. Issues to discuss include what makes up a family, what attracts and repels us to other people, mental illness, parents kidnapping their children, wilderness survival and more.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Ms. Sloan is a story teller. The story of Sam and Riddle touched my heart as they pushed forward in the life that had been handed them. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Marilyn Russell
Literally one of the best books I've ever read! As a seventh-grade Humanities teacher and reader of young adult literature, I highly recommend this author and all her books to... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Diesel Freak
"She had a son. His name was Jared. But when the man on the phone had said they'd found a boy in the Manti-La Sal National Forest, and he'd said he was her son, she knew that... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Trosado
A very different story. Very suspenseful and real life. Hard to put down once I started reading it. Good clean read.Published 13 months ago by cloudy#1
I rented this book from my library, knowing I wouldn't love it. I can't bring myself to say I liked the book, but I will say that I didn't hate it. Read morePublished 15 months ago by HK Allen
This book was so intense and beautifully written. Very unique. I'm so happy to have had this experience. Highly recommended.Published 16 months ago by Writer's Block