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Extended Audio Sample Eleven, by Patricia Reilly Giff Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,643 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Patricia Reilly Giff Narrator: Staci Snell Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2008 ISBN: 9780739362815
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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.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “An engrossing examination of a profound theme in the deft hands of a discerning author.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “This intimate story realistically examines friendship, family secrets, and the struggles of a learning-disability child trying to make sense of the world.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • Starred Review, Publishers Weekly, November 19, 2007:
  • This intimate story realistically examines friendship, family secrets and the struggles of a learning-disability child trying to make sense fo the world."
  • Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews, December 1, 2007:
    "An engrossing examination of a profound theme in the deft hands of a discerning author."
  • Interview, The New York Times: In the Region, February 3, 2008:
    "Handling difficult subjects with sensitivity is Mrs. Giff’s specialty. If she has tried to drive home a single point in all her stories, it is that ordinary people are special — and that children, most of all, need to feel that way."
  • A 2009 Edgar Allan Poe Award Nominee for Best Juvenile Ficiton

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Liz | 2/15/2014

    " very suspenseful, great author, reading another one of her's now "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jacqueline | 2/13/2014

    " This book was very fascinating. I thought the author did an excellent job of hooking the reader right form the start and really keeping them guessing through the entire thing. I think this would be a great read for for a fourth-sixth grader. It might even be fun to do as a class read. Students could work on their prediction skills, or study the ways the author unravels the story a little at a time. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Steph | 2/11/2014

    " Addtional appeal to kids with learning disabilities...Main character struggles with dsylexia. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Paula Vaughn | 1/31/2014

    " Not the mystery I thought it would be. I t was a very good story of friendship and family. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gretchen | 1/26/2014

    " this is a really wonderful story about friendship, finding oneself and has a great mystery intertwined--a quick read-read in one night--great for the 4th-8th grade reader and I really enjoyed it. Patricia Reilly Giff is an inspired writer. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Joe Bolin | 1/26/2014

    " This book was a great disappointment, with many of the same themes that Giff covered in the "Kids of the Polk Street School" series. That's especially unfortunate, because the overarching concept behind the book is such a good one. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Justine | 1/21/2014

    " It was a good, quick read. A tiny bit creepy too. Not the best book in the world. I still liked it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Amanda | 1/18/2014

    " Judging by the cover (which you are not supposed to do) I thought this would be more of a thrilling mystery -- along the lines of Skeleton Creek -- but it's quite tame, though still very intriguing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Angela Larsen | 1/16/2014

    " Cute, thrilling page-turner great for upper elementary grade students. A mix of the mystery of a missing boy and the tenderness of a grade-school friendship. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nancy | 1/10/2014

    " I really liked this book about a child who realizes his past holds some vague memories that just don't add up to his present. Can't wait to tell my kids about it! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Roger Fisher | 1/8/2014

    " This book was entertaining but was a bit of a slow starter for me. It has a good story and enough suspense to keep the reader interested. I recommend it for some later grade readers. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Shar | 12/17/2013

    " I thought this book had a great beginning, and a decent ending but it was slow in the middle. I would like to see how kids respond to it...not sure? "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Glorilyn Lee | 12/3/2013

    " Good, but I wanted to like it more than I did. The mysterious build up didn't quite pan out for me. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Diane | 12/1/2013

    " Boy uncovers his past, that he lived in a foster home until rescued by grandfather. Has support and security of loving adult friends but doesn't relax until figures out meaning of number 11 in his memory. It was address of foster home. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Joan | 11/30/2013

    " I cried at the end of this book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Erika Stauffer | 11/16/2013

    " I really enjoyed this book, however, the number 11 wasn't what I was expecting. I thought there would be more to it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Olean Public Library | 11/11/2013

    " -Sam is a boy who has trouble reading and when he finds a paper in the attic, he needs someone to help. He meets Caroline and together they try and find why the newspaper has a picture of him that says he is missing. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Betsy | 11/3/2013

    " One Sentence Review: A pretty frustrating combination of Giff's typically stellar writing alongside one of the most forgettable stories I've encountered in a while. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Trisha Simmons | 3/14/2013

    " I thought this would be a good book for 4-5th graders. It began with a mystery about a boy who can't read but learns that he may have been kidnapped. It has a fun adventure that two friends go on to try and solve the mystery. It would be a good book for a literature circle. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Linda Bogaard | 2/2/2013

    " I agree with Cara's review. Also loved Pictures of Hollis Woods by Patricia Reilly Giff better than this one. Cara's right...it's main theme is the gifts of family and friendship -- those who love and care for you. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Miss Grady | 12/27/2012

    " This book was just okay. I thought it was cool how the author built the suspense. I do not think it will win the SSS award though. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Megan Mkrtschjan | 11/16/2012

    " The cover to this story really threw me off - I thought it was scary or dark, but it wasn't. It was a quick read with an interesting plot. I loves the relationship between Caroline and Sam. This could be a good book for predictions. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tweller83 | 8/8/2012

    " Really liked the ending of this one. Reminded me a little of Counterfeit Son but on a lower level. Not quite the same thing but good. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Amy DeMordaunt | 6/10/2012

    " Love, family, friendship, belonging, and finding our talents. This book touched on these. The boys' talent was for wood working and that was really great. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lia | 3/1/2012

    " Very well written and engaging. Well read, too. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Catherine | 8/24/2011

    " I enjoyed the mystery and couldn't wait to find out what happened. However, I didn't think the writing was very good. It sounded very choppy. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lani | 8/8/2011

    " My 9 year old daughter got this one from school, and we read it together. It was a good story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Caleb | 7/5/2011

    " This is a really good book. I didn't give it the 5th star because the beginning seemed to be introduced awkawardly. Past the 6th or 7th chapter, you won't want to put it down! Really good!!! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Beth O'Connell | 6/11/2011

    " I totally forgot that I had read this until I started the first chapter. The cover looks like it's a horror mystery with kids walking over a bridge, and it's fooled me at least once. It's a very family-rich story about a boy who thinks he's been abducted by the man he believes to be his grandfather. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Roxanne | 5/18/2011

    " Struggling reader, Sam finds a newspaper clipping that suggests he was a missing child years ago. He and a new found friend at school work to uncover the mystery, even while Sam is not so sure he wants to know about his past. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 C9G7 | 5/10/2011

    " In my opinion, it was lacking in terms of plot. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Emily | 5/4/2011

    " Good book. I was expecting more of a wow ending. I was a good, sweet, ending. I was just thinking it would have ended differently. Fun and entertaining read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Allison | 5/1/2011

    " Easy read and interesting plot. I finished this book in one day and while I did enjoy the story I was left wanting more. I wanted to get to know the charaters more and overall I wished there was more substance to this book. Good for readers who are developing their skills to read longer novels. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tim | 5/1/2011

    " A great story of self worth and recoginition. I recommend this book to others. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Madi | 4/29/2011

    " I did not like this at ALL!Was interested about the newspaper but rather than that IT WAS HORRENDES LIKE SPOONS!
    9they can kill you ya now. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Catherine | 4/28/2011

    " I enjoyed this story. I liked the characters - a lot. I loved Sam's ability to build even though he couldn't read. It showed that although he had a disability, he was intelligent in other areas. I'm glad he got to keep his cat and his Mack. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Maddie | 4/27/2011

    " Only one word describes this book... AWFUL! NO ONE READ THIS IT SUCKS! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Desiree | 4/24/2011

    " I think this is a good book for 4th grade- 6th grade. I am using it right now with a 6th grader I tutor and it is good book to work on predictions and asking questions. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sarah | 4/20/2011

    " I really enjoyed this book. It kept me engaged and I couldn't put it down. THis would be great for older students that love mystery books. It also shines a light on the importance of reading. This may even be a good read aloud book for upper elem. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Siobhan | 4/19/2011

    " I always like a book when they have a boy character who struggles with reading. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Trisha | 4/19/2011

    " I thought this would be a good book for 4-5th graders. It began with a mystery about a boy who can't read but learns that he may have been kidnapped. It has a fun adventure that two friends go on to try and solve the mystery. It would be a good book for a literature circle. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Shelley | 4/4/2011

    " Everything in this book revolves around the number 11. Was an okay read but I wouldn't return to it. "

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