Eleven 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.

From the Hardcover edition.

About Patricia Reilly Giff

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PATRICIA REILLY GIFF is the author of many beloved books for children, including the Kids of the Polk Street School books. Her novels for older readers include the Newbery Honor books Lily's Crossing and Pictures of Hollis Woods, and Willow Run, a companion to Lily's Crossing. Her most recent books are the novels R My Name Is Rachel, Storyteller, and Wild Girl, and the Zigzag titles, Number One Kid, Big Whopper, Flying Feet, and Star Time.
Published January 1, 2008 by Random House. 164 pages
Genres: Children's Books, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Eleven

Kirkus Reviews

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Sam has darkly unfathomable dreams and vague memories: a cat, a boat, a storm, a bold castle, a mean woman, the number 11.

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Publishers Weekly

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The day before he turns 11, Sam searches the attic for hidden birthday presents and discovers more than he bargained for: a newspaper clipping showing a photograph of him as a missing child. In thi

Nov 19 2007 | Read Full Review of Eleven

Common Sense Media

There are many pleasures here, from Sam's touching friendship with Caroline to his delightful alternative family -- with his parents dead, he lives with his grandfather over their woodworking shop, next to a deli and a restaurant, whose owners live over them as well.

Jan 01 2008 | Read Full Review of Eleven


And there's Anima, owner of the Indian restaurant down the way, who cooks Sam's favorite curries and, most importantly, reads to him late into the evening, because Sam can't read by himself.

Apr 14 2009 | Read Full Review of Eleven


Why do Sam and Caroline try to hide their friendship from Sam's other friends?

Dec 21 2014 | Read Full Review of Eleven


The saving grace of the book was Sam’s and Caroline’s growing friendship, and the author’s handling and description of Sam’s learning disability.

Sep 03 2008 | Read Full Review of Eleven

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