Monday, October 24, 2011

I'll Be There by Holly Goldberg Sloan Review

I'll Be There Holly Goldberg Sloan book coverI’ll Be There
By Holly Goldberg Sloan

May 17, 2011
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 400 pages
Source: Library

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.

— 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. 

If you read this book and don’t feel moved -- don’t just OOZE empathy for these characters -- I fear you are a robot. Because oh, my word, is this a powerful story. I'll Be There is one of the most intriguing books I've read this year, and one I highly recommend.

Anna Reads young adult book blog

*Fun fact: The author is the writer/director behind movies Angels in the Outfield and Made in America. 


  1. This one's on my Christmas wish list! And man, I sure hope I'm not a robot.

  2. I have this & will be reading it SOON.

  3. Dude, I really need to read this ASAP. I've had it since BEA...

  4. this sounds really great but i am SO TURNED OFF by the cover. which is terrible because i know i'm supposed to love the simplicity and it seems all meaningful and what not. but i am so not. but you still make me want to read it :)

  5. @Jen (Makeshift Bookmark) WTH, Jen! This is one of my favorite book covers EVER!

  6. This sounds like it's going to be quite a good read. I was actually going to say that I liked the cover! :)

  7. GASP. Jen, how do you NOT like the cover?

    That stated, I am SO SO SO SO glad YOU are not a robot, Anna, and that you loved I'll Be There.

    Riddle. ILY. That kid gets an adoption certificate for SURE.

  8. ^ I agree. How can anyone not like this cover? I love a good emotional read! Maybe reading this will prove to my family I am not of robot status. :)

  9. I'm excited that I already have this one sitting on my shelf waiting for me to read it! I've heard nothing but good things about it!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...