Parents' Guide to


By Matt Berman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 9+

Poignant tale of dyslexic boy seeking clues to his past.

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A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 10+

Based on 1 parent review

age 10+

for the family, but boring!

I do not like this book because the language was hard to comprehend at some points for me. Another reason I did not like the book is beacause its so predictabe,I knew the ending the whole time! The last reason I did not like the book because there was no picures or photos ti keep me interested the whole time! I do not like this book.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1 ):
Kids say (17 ):

This lovely, poignant mystery will not be to every kid's taste -- there's no action and there are no villains. But veteran author Patricia Reilly Giff doesn't need them to craft an utterly engrossing, deeply moving page-turner. There are many pleasures here, from Sam's touching friendship with Caroline to his delightful alternative family -- with his parents dead, he lives with his grandfather over their woodworking shop, next to a deli and a restaurant, whose owners live over them as well. Together the boy and three single adults form an unusual but very workable family, taking care of one another and parenting Sam.

Sam's reading difficulties are also beautifully described, as are the reactions of those in his life. He doesn't live in fear of others finding out -- pretty much everyone knows. Instead, he has given up on it ever getting better and has learned to make the most of his other talents. But his extended family, friends, and teachers have not given up on him, and, while supporting his talents, they make sure he doesn't close the door on reading.

Book Details

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