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I'll Be There
by Holly Goldberg Sloan
PUBL. RECOMMENDED AGE: 13-17
LEXILE READING LEVEL: 810L {what is this?}
PUBLISHER: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
YEAR PUBLISHED: 2011
NO. PAGES: 400
GENRE{S}: Realistic Fiction, Mystery/Thriller
MAIN CHARACTER GENDER: Mixed
ISBN: 0316122769
READ & REVIEWED BY: Shannon - StorySnoop


The Story
I'll Be There—Book Review

When seventeen-year-old Emily Bell sees Sam while she is singing in church, she feels an instant connection--and so does he. Sam can't deny this connection, but isn't sure how to deal with it. After all, he and his brother Riddle have never been close to anyone. Their unstable father moves them often, and won't even allow them to go to school. So, when the Bells welcome the boys into their lives, they finally learn what it is like to a part of a normal, loving, and healthy family. But then something unexpected happens, and the two boys are left to fight for their survival in the wilderness. Will they ever find their way back to the people who love them? Or will their father find them first?
The Scoop
I'll Be There—Book Review
{spoiler alert}

I'll Be There is a gripping read for teens that would be enjoyed by every level of reader. In fact, it is completely wholesome, which makes it a great book for older tween girls reading up, too. Riddle and Sam have a terrible home life with their father, who severely neglects them. The boys live in fear, knowing that their father is mentally ill and what he is capable of (murder, theft). The Bell family is the complete opposite, and extend their nurturing ways and support to these boys, changing their lives in the process. When the boys are left to die in the woods (at the hands of their father) and must use their instincts to survive, it is the Bells that they fight to make their way back to. Emily and Sam have an innocent but intense "love at first sight" thing going on and they share a few kisses. The relationships between Riddle and Sam and between Riddle and Debbie Bell (Emily's mother) are heartwarming. I'll Be There was written by a screen writer and as such, reads like a movie. It is fast-paced with lots of action, will make you want to cry, smile, shriek, and even laugh. It is a wonderful book about family, love, and the ties that bind.
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