Fourth Grade Journey

A Fourth Grade Teacher's Journey Through the World of Books

Thursday, July 24, 2014

I'll Be There by Holly Goldberg Sloan...

How I Heard About It:  A couple of days ago I saw a discussion on Twitter about a new book coming out in August.  It is called Just Call My Name by Holly Goldberg Sloan.  After some quick investigation I learned that is the sequel to I'll Be There.  After summer school earlier this week, I stopped by the local book store and purchased the book so I was ready to read the sequel later in August.  

What It Is About:  Emily is a high school student with two wonderful parents.  Her mother is a nurse and her father is a music teacher.  They wish she had some musical talent, but sadly she does not.  This truth is apparent when Emily sings "I'll Be There" at a church service.  While she knows she shouldn't sing and has tremendous nerves, she performs anyway.  As she is performing she notices a young boy in the last row of the church.  She has never see him before, but he is so striking that she can't take her eyes off of him.  In return he can't stop looking at her either.  There is an instant connection.  After some time, Emily learns his name is Sam Smith and his upbringing has been quite different than her own.  Sam is raising his younger brother Riddle who has had emotional and physical issues since he was a young boy.  There father has his own issues as he hears "voices" inside his head.  The three of them are temporarily living in the same town as where Emily and her family live, but Sam knows they won't stay here long.  They never do.  As Emily's family gets closer to Sam and Riddle, their father decides it is time to leave town.  Emily is devastated by the separation and has a hard time adjusting back to high school life.  Back on the road Sam and Riddle must fight for their lives to survive the wilds of nature and the "wilds" of their father.  

What I Thought Of It:  At almost 400 pages, you can say that I totally loved this book since I was able to finish it between Monday and Thursday of this week.  I loved the story line.  I loved the characters.  I loved the theme of survival and "being there" for other people.  The novel was a fast read and pretty much kept me on the edge of my seat wanting to know what was going to happen next.  The relationships that were built between the characters throughout the story were heartwarming, touching, and emotional.  This was a great find and I'm so looking forward to the next book coming out in August.  

Who Should Read It:  Being a young adult novel, it is perfect for high school and college readers.  I also think it will make an excellent read for any adult reader that enjoys a great well told story.  Now that I have finished the book, I think it is also appropriate for middle-school readers.  There really isn't anything that is "questionable" in the novel.  If you are looking for a fast-paced interesting story, look no further.  This is the book for you!  Happy Reading...

Rating:  5 STARS out of 5 Stars 

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