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Custom Eleven Essay

Sam is a young boy who stays with his grandfather. He has little memory of his early life, but only knows that his parents died when he was still a toddler. The young boy has also developed certain fears in his life. He particularly fears number eleven but does not know the reason behind the fear. When his eleventh birthday approaches, he feels the need to find out about his unknown past. He dreams of some weird life that he does not understand.

On one occasion, he decided to search the attic for possible presents hidden by his family for his forthcoming eleventh birthday. During the search for the birthday presents, Sam stumbled upon newspaper clippings that he believed were stored by his grandfather. From the newspaper, he identifies his photograph, as a toddler, and recognizes the word “missing”. The revelation sets him thinking, as he is unable to read. He wonders what could have made his picture be printed on the newspaper. He questions the whereabouts of his parents, and if Mack is truly his grandfather. He also worries about the relationship he has with those surrounding him like Onji and Anima. Sam realizes that it is that article that has the potential to unravel the mystery surrounding his past. Since he could not read, he embarks on a mission to find someone whom he can trust to read it for him.

Sam’s grandfather is a gifted woodworker. His wish is to see Sam learn the woodwork skills and use it to earn a living when he comes of age. Sam also shows keen interest in learning his grandfather’s work. Onji is a neighbor, who owns a deli shop next door. Sam likes Onji because he prepares and gives him the best brown bag lunches. Down the way, there lives Anima, the owner of the Indian restaurant. Sam’s favorites are the curries from the restaurant Anima gives him when he walks by from school. Anima also plays another significant role in Sam’s life. During most evenings, Anima helps Sam with reading. The reading goes on till late in the evening. There is also the Night Cat. It has been Sam’s devoted companion for as long as he can remember. All these persons and the cat make up perfect companions to Sam. Therefore, he feels he is part of an extended family that heartily cares of each person.

However, the reading problem experienced by Sam cannot be solved by the family. This is particularly so as he wants to unravel the secrets that surround his past. He believes those close to him may try to keep the truth away from him. That is why he wants somebody neutral to help him out with the article.

At school, Sam is not sure if he needs to befriend a girl. This occurs after meeting a girl by the name Caroline. He is amazed at her reading skills and realizes he can use it to his advantage. Soon, Sam and Caroline become great friends and are working on the same class project. However, Caroline’s parents live a nomadic life. This makes Sam appreciate his solid family. They are also forced to be quick to unravel Sam’s past before relocation of Caroline’s family.

The experience makes Sam learn a lot of stuff about his past. All the clues as indicated in the newspaper article are thoroughly explained in a satisfactory manner. In addition, Sam also learns to be courageous when overcoming his fears. Working with wood helps Sam develop patience that enables him discover his past and face his reading problems. Even though, Sam seeks answers to his problems by himself, he ensures he consults friends, teachers and family whenever there is a need.

Personal Thought about the Book

Eleven is an excellent book for the selected age set. The book is pleasing and has a gentle, emotional mystery. The characters are well drawn, and it fully explores the themes of friendship, family secrets, courage and learning disabilities. The suspense moves the story quickly in such a surprisingly in-depth fashion.

Code: Sample20

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