Saturday, February 16, 2008

Eleven by Patricia Reilly Giff


"Never mind being afraid of eleven right now."

The CIP summary is hidden to prevent possible spoilers. If you'd like to read this brief summary, just highlight it using your cursor and it will magically appear in the following lines.

LC CIP Summary: When Sam, who can barely read, discovers an old newspaper clipping just before his eleventh birthday, it brings forth memories from his past, and, with the help of a new friend at school and the castle they are building for a school project, his questions are eventually answered.

Publisher: Wendy Lamb Books; 165 pages
(Alternate spellings of this award include: Newberry, Newbury, & Newbary)


18 comments:

Martha at EVA said...

I'm so excited to see your new blog! We typically check here to see what you are reading, wishing that we knew how you were feeling about each title. We are currently considering changing some of our format also. Have you joined any groups in LibraryThing.com? http://www.wakegov.com/libraries/readersservices/clubs/evaperrymocknewbery.htm

Mary Voors said...

The power of memory, the power of friendship, and the power inherent in being able to read all have their place in this thoughtfully written novel. The characters - particularly Sam, Caroline and Mack - are sympathetically drawn. I think this is a book which will generate some interesting discussions.

Teresa said...

I thought the beginning was slow going, but by the end I was fond of all the characters. The power of reading, even when you have to work at it, is a strong message of the book.

The ending surprised (and relieved) me.

Jen said...

I had a hard time melding the reading thread with the other interpersonal threads, but still believe the book was a good read and has a positive message.

Heather said...

This one didn't ring true for me.

I had a hard time believing in Sam's inability to read and I didn't grow to care for the characters as the book progressed.

Michal said...

I really enjoyed this book. I was intrigued with the dreams at the beginning of each chapter. I thought that it was an interesting way to weave memories into the story. I also felt a connection with the characters' friendships. It reminded me of a friendship I had when I was younger :) The bond between Sam and Caroline also reminded me of "Bridge to Terabithia".

marra said...

Hmm...it was...okay.

Maybe I was looking forward to more of a scandalous mystery. Maybe I was confused by sometimes thinking that Sam "liked liked" Caroline. Maybe I couldn't figure out how to pronounce the name "Onji." And maybe I couldn't imagine how in the world the CAT got saved too since my cat almost clawed my eyeballs out the last time she got near water.

Genie said...

I have mixed feelings about this title. It felt like something was missing even when I finished the book. I think it started out slow too and it bothered me that the characters seem to grow all at once towards the end. I would have liked it better if the story showed character growth through out the story. I did like the message I got from the story (love and patience are important at every age). And I have to agree it bugged me that I didn't know how to pronounce Onji. I wish I could put my finger on what was missing for me.

Jill said...

I thought this was a good book. Not great, but not horrible either. I did connect with both Sam and Caroline's characters, and I thought they were developed well. I was partial to Mack, Onji, and Anima, simply due to the fact that I didn't know what exactly their relationship with Sam was. In the end, I was relieved to find the true story.

Jacquie said...

I like the characters in this book. I appreciate the description of the boy's anger, and the grandfather's advice on handling it; and the boy finding himself in the wood-crafting, and finding the motivation to do what was hard for him, too (learn to read.)

I still don't understand why the young Sam Bell was reported missing after the boating accident . . .

Cal said...

I found this book hard to follow, and the plot very complicated. Not a book I will remember in 6 monthes.

Clare said...

I can’t say this one was my favorite. The story wasn’t boring but it wasn’t a thriller either. The characters were likable, but I didn’t feel a connection to them. I feel a little like I’ve heard the plot before, so many questions, searching for answers, someone caught between wanting and also not wanting to know the truth. Hmmm. A little too familiar for me I guess.

DaNae said...

Although I enjoyed the characters, and the creepiness surrounding the begining. I found the story ended in a big "so what".

K8t said...

I listened to this one, and I have to say that I got into it a lot more than I thought that I would. I thought that Sam and Caroline were both interesting characters, and I was relived that the book's ending was kind to them. I would have liked a little bit more, though--I agree with the reviews that there were some weak spots in the mystery aspect of the plot, and that the ending came on a little quickly. Maybe not award-worthy, but still one that I will be selling.

Holly B said...

This book captured my attention right from the beginning. The mystery surrounding Sam and the seemingly terrifying number eleven sets itself up right away for the reader to be engaged. However, the ending was not as expected and seemed to "fizzle," making the mystery less intriguing that expected.

Students would probably enjoy the story and learn from the characters of Sam and Caroline. Both grow in necessary ways and help each other to accomplish what they could not alone. Good story about friendship, determination, and facing your fears.

Brittany H. said...

This book wastes no time jumping into the plot. Right from the beginning the author knows there’s something mysterious about Sam’s origins. Clues (and information that looks like clues, but isn’t) is sprinkled through every chapter, until the very end when the truth comes out. The only problem is that, when the truth comes out, it doesn’t really measure up in proportion to all the suspense leading to it. It is very mater-of-fact and simple, not the thrilling drama the reader comes to expect through all the build-up. Nevertheless, it is a very worthwhile read. The mystery is exciting; the friendship is touching. I would recommend it to about any middle school student looking for a good book to read.

AmberR said...

I have to echo Holly and say that this book captured my attention right from the beginning. I immediately felt a connection to the characters of Sam, Mack, Onji, and Anima. The way they formed a little family unit made them easy to relate to. I also really liked the character development that happened with Sam and Caroline and their relationship. Overall, I thought the mystery was intriguing and the plot and message of the book were touching.

Jana said...

Wow! What a page turner. However, I felt that the beginning was a little slow, but Giff did build a good description of the characters at the beginning. Mid-way through the book I was hooked. I wanted to see what would happen to Sam. Would he find his origins? How would he ever learn to read?
"Eleven" is a great book for upper elementary students who would like a fairly good mystery. This book also shows what true friendship and loyalty look like to students.