The Boy on the Porch is a story of hope.
Right away, what struck me about this book is quite simply how much rich detail and complexity is packed into a slim book. The story is of a boy, left on the front porch of John and Marta’s home, a young couple who live in the countryside without children. This boy does not speak, but has a note stating that his parent will return for him. When the parent will return, John and Marta do not know, but Jacob moves in to their home and into their hearts. Between the three of them, a beautiful connection develops, John & Marta take care of him and discover his artistic talents and expression. Through art, Jacob is able to express himself, and bring a beautiful layer of complexity to this story. Painting, music, running and playing, Jacob brings life to John and Marta’s quiet farm.
When I asked one of my young readers to tell me what the book is about, she told me, “It’s about finding a family.” This made my heart sing! Yes, it is about finding a family. John, Marta, and Jacob blossom together to form a kind, loving family, though unexpected and surprising. Another element that my young readers appreciated were the concepts of acceptance and love. One girl explained, “I liked that he never talked. They didn’t make him talk, like some adults would want him to talk. They just loved him and he loved them back.” This story contains some heartbreaking moments, including the discovery of Jacob’s biological parent and his troubled past. Yet there is always hope, and Jacob’s profound influence on John and Marta’s life make this a poignant, touching story for young readers and adults alike. Read more about The Boy on the Porch at Sharon Creech’s website, including the author’s inspiration and an excerpt. And buy your copy of this book!