Unexpectedly, one day, John and Marta find a young boy on their porch. They don’t know how he came to be here or who, if anyone, left him here. The boy, unable to speak, has no way of communicating to them where he came from. The boy is there every day and becomes a part of John and Mara’s daily routine. The boy likes to tap patterns on different surfaces to make music, as well as paint with water colors and in the mud. The boy almost begins to feel like a son to John and Marta. But one day the boy leaves. Time moves on with John and Marta, but one day, years later, the boy, now a man, returns. John and Marta discover him sleeping on the front porch with “a guitar, a paint box, and a blank canvas.” It is like family coming home with all of them together again.
Acclaimed Newbery Medalist author Sharon Creech creates a beautiful story of a young boy who cannot speak and is accepted and even welcomed into the home and family of a couple. This novel portrays the ideas of love, friendship, and belonging. Sharon Creech has once again written a captivating novel. I would recommend this short but fun novel to all children.
Genre: realistic fiction; family; children
Publication date: September 3, 2013
Number of pages: 160
Grade Level: 3-7