Yonder

Yonder
Author(s)
Age Range
10+
Release Date
May 10, 2022
ISBN
978-0062985682
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Danny Timmons has looked up to Jack Bailey ever since Jack saved two small children from drowning during the Great Flood of 1940. Now, with his father away fighting in World War II and his mother about to have a new baby, Danny relies on Jack’s friendship and guidance more than ever.

So when Jack goes missing without a trace from their small Appalachian town, Danny is determined to find him. He wonders if Jack’s abusive father could be behind his disappearance, or if it has anything to do with Yonder—a hidden magical town Jack once spoke of, where flocks of rainbow birds fly through the sky and they’ve never heard of war. As answers elude him, Danny begins to fear that he didn’t know Jack as well as he thought.

Ultimately, Danny’s investigation forces him to reckon with even larger questions: What is America fighting for in this war? What role do each of us play in stopping injustices, big and small? And is there such thing as a true hero?

Editor review

1 review
Yonder
(Updated: May 16, 2022)
Overall rating
 
4.0
Plot
 
4.0
Characters
 
4.0
Writing Style
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
N/A
Thirteen-year-old Danny Timmons looks up to Jack Bailey after he saved two children during a storm. But there's more to Jack than meets the eye. The author shows readers a multi-layered character whose secrets hide a truth about his father. Danny finds out that not all battles are won on the battlefield.

What worked: Coming of age story set in WWII in a small Appalachian town and what really defines the meaning of courage. This historical tackles the topics of bravery, discrimination, segregation child abuse, and hatred. Danny questions why hatred can happen to the Jewish people during WWII. He finds though that all it takes is someone to be silent, for terrible things to happen.

Engaging and thought-provoking, I loved how this book addresses hard topics in a way that shows that there are consequences to actions. Danny struggles with making good choices, especially when he's singled out by the town's bully. Then there's Jack who tells Danny of a magical place called Yonder, where rainbow birds fly and there is no talk of war. When Jack goes missing, Danny searches for Yonder and finds much more on his journey.

There are backstory scenes that show what happened before Jack goes missing. Those scenes do help readers understand more the 'whys' behind Jack's own decision. It also reveals secrets about those in town. The big thing though is how Jack discovers what courage really means.

Sure to be a classic, this historical introduces readers to Danny and how important it is to stand up for what is right.
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