Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Eleven by Patricia Reilly Giff

Cover Art for Eleven Patricia Reilly Giff is one of those dependable authors.  She has a Newbery winner and two Newbery Honor books but has written dozens of other books for children that always find a following. The children in her books feel authentic, doing and accomplishing things that are age appropriate. This book is less intense and less depressing than her award winner, Pictures of Hollis Wood, but has a similar premise: a child that has a learning disability, who also has an extraordinary talent that makes up for it. We hope that whenever there is a child with a disability, there is some insightful and caring adult to help them recognize the amazing ability they have that will help them get through life.

Sam finds a newspaper clipping in the attic that has a picture of him as a baby which sparks his curiosity.  The only problem is, he is severely dyslectic and cannot read, so he much enlist the aid of the new girl in class to help him decipher it. Caroline is quirky and a loner, but she can't resist the mystery behind Sam's early childhood.  Why does the newspaper clipping say that he had a different last name and was lost on the river? Is Sam's grandfather really his grandfather?  As Sam and Caroline unravel the mystery together, they build a friendship that they both hope will last beyond Caroline's eminent move.

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