By Holly Goldberg Sloan
May 17, 2011
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 400 pages
Sam Border wishes he could escape. Raised by an unstable father, he's spent his life moving from place to place. But he could never abandon his little brother, Riddle.
Riddle Border doesn't talk much. Instead, he draws pictures of the insides of things and waits for the day when the outsides of things will make sense. He worships his older brother. But how can they leave when there's nowhere to go? Then everything changes. Because Sam meets Emily.
Emily Bell believes in destiny. She sings for her church choir, though she doesn't have a particularly good voice. Nothing, she feels, is mere coincidence. And she's singing at the moment she first sees Sam.
Everyone whose path you cross in life has the power to change you--sometimes in small ways, and sometimes in ways greater than you could have ever known. Beautifully written and emotionally profound, Holly Goldberg Sloan's debut novel deftly explores the idea of human connection.
— Amazon.com description
Granted, Emily is painfully off-key when she performs this song in I'll Be There, but I thought sharing this gorgeous Jackson 5 version would be a fitting tribute to such a gorgeous book.
I'll Be There is a beautiful work of art that speaks to the power of human connection and the universal hope that love, justice and kindness will prevail. Huge themes, but they are masterfully tackled by Holly Goldberg Sloan* in one shattering scene after another.
*Fun fact: The author is the writer/director behind movies Angels in the Outfield and Made in America.