Thursday, June 16, 2011
I'll be There by Holly Goldberg Sloan
Sam and his younger brother Riddle have been on the move since they were stolen by their mentally unstable and criminal father. Sam hasn't been to school since the second grade but he has educated himself through lots of reading. Sam knows that Clarence is a criminal but since his father has largely left him and Riddle alone, Sam has gone along whenever it is time to leave town. His life changes when he wanders into a church and hears Emily Bell sing. The two teens are drawn to each other even though Sam tells her nothing of his background and life. Emily's parents are suspicious at first but they are won over - her father the music teacher when he hears Sam's amazing talent at playing the guitar, and her mother the nurse when she meets Riddle and realizes that he needs nurturing. But when Clarence realizes that his sons are spending time with the family he decides it's time to move again. This mystery kept me riveted wondering if and when the boys would escape their father and even if they would survive all the things that happen to them. The story is written in a sparse (despite the length of the novel) way broken up into many small chunks that nearly all end with a cliffhanger or twist of fate. I either loved this style or was annoyed by the preciousness of it, I'm not sure which.