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I'll Be There

I'll Be There

A Novel

Book - 2011
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Raised by an unstable father who keeps constantly on the move, Sam Border has long been the voice of his silent younger brother, Riddle, but everything changes when Sam meets Emily Bell and, welcomed by her family, the brothers are faced with normalcy for the first time.
Publisher: New York : Little, Brown, 2011.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780316122795
Branch Call Number: YAF SLOAN, HOLLY
Characteristics: 392 p. ; 22 cm.
Alternative Title: I will be there


From the critics

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SnoisleLib_TraciF Aug 13, 2019

I'll Be There is an exciting light read that uses humor and multiple perspectives to tell a heartwarming story of friendship, growth, and first love.

Apr 28, 2018

Suspenseful, heartbreaking, edgy, poignant, satisfying.

Sep 22, 2016

"She had a son. His name was Jared. But when the man on the phone had said they'd found a boy in the Manti-La Sal National Forest, and he'd said he was her son, she knew that this was also now true."

The mom in me wept after reading this very short paragraph and that is when I knew that this had been one of the best and most interesting young adult reading experiences I have ever had. The writing style was what I found so unique and interesting, but I truly enjoyed it. With so many POV's in snippets throughout the book, it could have been a colossal mess. Yet Miss Sloan orchestrated the writing as well as Sam played his guitar - masterfully!
What started out as a heart-breaking read, became frightening and suspenseful. It was fairly clear in the last quarter of the book that there would be a convergence of happy endings, but I wouldn't expect any less after enduring the sadness and distress I held for these sweet, compassionate boys for so much of the book.

jazs Jan 14, 2014

recommended by childlit blogger (392p)

mawls Dec 16, 2013

This one gave me chills. I loved it. The narration is original and the story makes you want to read it as fast as you can. Heart-warming. A great debut novel!

mulberrystreet Aug 29, 2012

Loved this. It's one of those books that would be enjoyed by both 12 year olds and 18 year olds.

Jul 12, 2012

I thought this book was amazing. Sams love and heart to keep wanting to take care of Riddle after all that he had been through. And the love story was perfect. It was a combination of action and romance.

Jun 26, 2012

This book is magical. I picked this up with high expectations... then put it back down. The first few pages were a little too slow. But oh my holy mother of grandchildren, I'm glad I started it again.

The characters are alive. I swear. Sam in all his watchful handsomeness (he seriously makes me just go oohhh *sigh*) and love for Riddle, whose mechanical drawings, survival and cooking skills have earned him an entire shelf in my heart. And Emily, a girl exactly like you; someone who's found something so profound it'll ruin her if it's taken away. Even Bobby Ellis is so vapidly shallow and yet so necessary that when his downfall comes, you're grinning with glee at all his misfortune.

The summary says I'll Be There is about human connection. And by God, it is: connections and relationships so out of the ordinary, so beautiful I started tingling all over. (I truly did -- it was a totally shocking sensation.) The entire plot is woven out of connections, and when you pair that with Holly Goldberg Sloan's effortless prose, you get a book that makes waves.

Right now, the only issue I can think of is that Sam and Riddle get injured multiple times and somehow survive for weeks in the wilderness. Otherwise, everything in I'll Be There feels so right: Emily's mom's relationship with Riddle; the ending for Hiro Yamada of Medford Coin (possibly my favourite subplot of the book); the way Sam and Emily finally meet each other again. Their love is the kind I can really, genuinely picture growing old in eternity.

Jan 23, 2012

loved it! very realistic even with the "happily ever after" ending; lovely heart-warming scenes throughout the book. really admire the author's character buildup- especially the two brothers, sam and riddle. the novel only lacked in one thing: more sophistication in prose would be a nice touch. still, read and enjoy!

Jun 08, 2011

The best written book ever? No. The most captivating? YES! Holly Goldberg Sloan will mesmerize teen and adult readers into pulling all nighters reading under the sheets with a flashlight.


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Aug 08, 2020

red_pony_140 thinks this title is suitable for 9 years and over

Apr 28, 2018

reeread thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over


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Sep 22, 2016

"She had a son. His name was Jared. But when the man on the phone had said they'd found a boy in the Manti-La Sal National Forest, and he'd said he was her son, she knew that this was also now true."

Tuka Al-Hemed
Jun 26, 2013

“For him and his brother, he now knew, that music was real. Because all you had to do, really, was be willing to use your imagination. And listen.”


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