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Eleven by Patricia Reilly Giff
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Eleven (2008)

by Patricia Reilly Giff

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"Sam is almost 11 when he discovers a locked box in the attic above his grandfather Mack’s room, and a piece of paper that says he was kidnapped. There are lots of other words, but Sam has always had trouble reading. He’s desperate to find out who he is, and if his beloved Mack is really his grandfather. At night he’s haunted by dreams of a big castle and a terrifying escape on a boat. Who can he trust to help him read the documents that could unravel the mystery? Then he and the new girl, Caroline, are paired up to work on a school project, building a castle in Mack’s woodworking shop. Caroline loves to read, and she can help. But she’s moving soon, and the two must hurry to discover the truth about Sam." -Amazon Books
  kristynzonsius | Nov 26, 2013 |
MSBA nominee 2009-2010

Eh....this was just okay. Sorta like The Face on the Milk Carton. Kids are requesting it like crazy at the library though, so it must have some appeal! ( )
  scote23 | Mar 30, 2013 |
Sam, who is just about to turn 11, stumbles on a newspaper article about himself. The only thing Sam, who isn't a great reader, can get out of the headline is that he was once missing. If he was missing, who found him and where did he originally belong? As Sam struggles to answer these questions, he enlists the help of a new friend and together they learn more about Sam then he ever thought there was to know.

Judging by the cover (which you are not supposed to do) I thought this would be more of a thrilling/scary mystery -- along the lines of Skeleton Creek -- but it's quite tame, though still very intriguing. ( )
  agrudzien | Aug 12, 2012 |
11-year-old trying to uncover secrets he feels are being kept from him. Learning-disabled child and his close friend find ways around his disability and he discovers his hidden talents.
  kathleenandrews | Dec 12, 2011 |
Eleven
By: Patricia Reilly Giff

Summary: In this book a boy named Sam is looking for his birthday presents and stumbles across a news paper clipping of himself that says “missing”. Sam is confused. Has he been kidnapped? Unfortunately Sam can’t read very well and needs help solving his mystery. He asks the new girl at school Caroline to help him read the papers that he found. Caroline agrees to help. As they work together to solve the mystery of Sam’s past their friendship grows. In the end Sam and Caroline find the answer to Sam’s past but more importantly a great friendship.

Personal Reaction: I thought this was a good book although I kept finding myself wanting more excitement.

Classroom Extension Ideas: This book would be a nice read aloud for middle graders. I would ask students to write a short fictional mystery about their own lives.
  KaseyDawson | Sep 29, 2011 |
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Epigraph
Dedication
To Conor Giff, eleven on February 18, 2008, with love
First words
Never mind being afraid of eleven right now.
Quotations
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
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Book description
Who is Sam, and what do his strange dreams mean?

The shock of icy water as a boat crashes onto rocks feels real; so does the castle high above him that is almost hidden in the mists. And what about the number eleven woven into all those dreams?

The papers Sam finds in the locked box in the attic may hold the answers–if only he could read them. But to Sam, words are like spiders flexing their thin legs as they move across the page. Words are impossible. It’s wood that Sam understands, wood that he loves to shape and to build with.

Caroline, the new girl, who bursts into Sam’s classroom one day and warns him that she’s not there to stay, helps build a castle with him, and reads those papers. Together they set out to discover who Sam really is and where he belongs.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0440238021, Paperback)

Sam must solve the mystery of who he really is.

Sam is almost 11 when he discovers a locked box in the attic above his grandfather Mack’s room, and a piece of paper that says he was kidnapped. There are lots of other words, but Sam has always had trouble reading. He’s desperate to find out who he is, and if his beloved Mack is really his grandfather. At night he’s haunted by dreams of a big castle and a terrifying escape on a boat. Who can he trust to help him read the documents that could unravel the mystery? Then he and the new girl, Caroline, are paired up to work on a school project, building a castle in Mack’s woodworking shop. Caroline loves to read, and she can help. But she’s moving soon, and the two must hurry to discover the truth about Sam.

★ “This psychological mystery explores a child’s deepest genetic need for belonging. An engrossing examination of a profound theme in the deft hands of a discerning author.”—Kirkus Reviews, Starred

★ “Exquisitely rendered story of self-discovery. . . . Given the author’s expertise at developing sympathetic characters and creating a suspenseful plot, readers will find the complexity of Sam’ vulnerabilities to be as
intriguing as the unfolding enigma of his past.”—Publishers Weekly, Starred

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:43:33 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

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.… (more)

» see all 2 descriptions

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