A Million Ways Home

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A Million Ways Home
Publisher
Age Range
10+
Release Date
August 26, 2014
ISBN
9780545667067
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Poppy's life has been turned upside down after her grandma (and guardian) had a stroke and ended up in the hospital. But Poppy is working on a plan to help Grandma Beth so their life together can go back to normal. But when she witnesses an armed robbery, "back to normal" slips even further out of her reach. To keep Poppy safe, the budget-strapped police devise an unusual "witness protection program," wherein Poppy will stay with Detective Brannigan's mother. Soon Poppy is feeling almost at home, even making sort-of friends with a girl named Lizzie and definitely friending Gunner, a beautiful dog with an uncertain fate. But it's still not home. So while she and Lizzie navigate a rocky friendship and plot to save Gunner's life, Poppy also tries to figure out a new plan to save Grandma Beth and their home, all while avoiding a dangerous robber who might be searching for her. But what if Grandma Beth can never come home and the robber is put behind bars? What will happen to Poppy then?

Editor reviews

2 reviews

Wonderful Book for Later Elementary Students
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A
A MILLION WAYS HOME by Dianna Dorisi Winget is a book about Poppy Parker, a little girl with a lot of very big problems. Her parents died when she was a baby. The grandmother with whom Poppy lives has had a stroke and is in the hospital, and Poppy’s living in a group home for kids--plus she’s the witness to a serious crime.

The book follows Poppy as she navigates all of these challenges, and I love that A MILLION WAYS HOME exists for late elementary students. The relationships in it are genuine, Poppy is wonderfully flawed, and the action in the book kept me on the edge of my seat while remaining believable. The book’s subtle teaching of important life lessons--friendships, family, grieving, and responsibility—is terrific and age appropriate. In fact, I recommend it to teachers and school counselors as well as student.

Although the book is about a twelve-year-old girl, boys in the intended age group should enjoy it as well. I highly recommend the book.
Good Points
Great flawed protagonist

Excellent action sequences
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Problem novel AND mystery
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A
Poppy lives with her Grandma Beth, since her botanist parents were killed abroad when she was a baby. When her grandmother has a stroke, Poppy ends up in a children's home, where she is not happy. When she tries to go and visit her grandmother on her own, she ends up in the wrong place and witnesses a convenience store robbery that ends in a fatal shooting. Unfortunately, she has given her name to the shooter, who escapes, and ends up in police custody for her own safety. A young detective, Trey Brannigan, takes Poppy to live with his mother, who took in foster children until the death of Trey's father. At Marti's house, she is able to feel cared for and have interests other than her grandmother, especially the troublemaking Lizzie, who is doing community service with her mother at an animal shelter. There, Poppy meets a dog, Gunner, who is slated to be euthanized because he is thought to have bitten several people. Poppy works with him, and gets one of Trey's coworkers to train him for the police narcotics unit. In the meantime, Poppy is afraid that if she identifies the shooter, she will have to go back to the home, so she withholds information. When her situation worsens, she has to decide what the best thing to do will be, for herself and everyone involved.

This was really a page turner, and I enjoyed it. Tween readers love problem novels, and this certainly qualified for that, but there was also a bit of a mystery as well. Great cover, nice details about working with dogs, as well as information about foster care and nursing homes.
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