Patricia Reilly Giff’s Eleven is the story of Sam, a boy who is afraid of the number eleven, but can’t explain why. He lives with his grandfather, Mack, and has very little memory of his early childhood. Then one day he finds a box in the attic, a box that holds a mysterious newspaper clipping with his picture on it. So begins a journey to find out the truth about where he came from. He’s afraid of what he may find out about himself, but he has to know. He is helped on his journey by his new friend, Caroline – someone who becomes very important to him, even though he knows her family never stays in one place for very long.
This was a very short (only three discs) but powerful audiobook. Sam’s search for his history brings up so many themes: family, friendship, identity, fear, courage, anger, loss. I loved the character of Sam and his patched-together family of Mack, Anji, and Anima. His friendship with Caroline was precious, and his struggle to read so poignant. As Sam learns the truth about his history, he also learns to face his fears and gains the courage to overcome his biggest obstacles. This is a beautifully-written, emotional story – highly recommended.