Monday, December 5, 2016

A MILLION WAYS HOME by Dianna Dorisi Winget (Adult & Young Reader review included)

I swear my son is reading these books faster than I can keep up! He actually finished this one before I had time to read past page two.  Here is the next book in our Mother-Son Book Club.

                                   Dianna Dorisi Winget


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?

4.5 out of 5 *Stars*

I couldn’t tell my son enough how much I loved that he chose this book for us to read.  I thoroughly enjoyed this Mark Twain Nominee.  This book shows a young girl’s struggle to make peace with life changing events, and to ultimately find where she truly belongs… her home.   

The story quickly took an eventful start, and never slowed down to take a breath.  In 242 pages, there was a heinous crime, enemies made, friendships started, illness, sadness, and life altering situations. 

Poppy is a self-sufficient and stubborn twelve year old.  She has the same stubbornness that I see every day in my own children.  It was hard to read about Grandma Beth because it reminded me so much of when my own grandmother got sick.  I started to notice the little changes in her appearance and hated that she wasn’t feeling better.  I never wanted to believe that she was really as sick as she was, and the thought never occurred to me that she would never get better.  When reading the emotions and thoughts going through twelve year old Poppy’s mind regarding her grandma, it brought the exact same emotions flooding back to me, and I was thirty when my grandma got sick.  Winget, the author, could not have hit this one more perfectly!

Everything that happened in the book, needed to happen.  There were no added characters or events that were meaningless. 

o   Did Grandma Beth have to get sick? Yes, because Poppy would have never been at that convenient store.

o   Did the robbery have to happen? Yes, because then Poppy never would have met Trey, his mom, and her friends.

o   Did the story of Gunner have to be there? Yes, because he gave Poppy a sense of direction when she felt so lost, and in helping him with his problems, she unexpectedly got answers to her own set as well.

o   What about the story of Virginia?  Of course, because Trey might not of been so adamant to help without that being part of his past. 

This was a great book.  If there was one thing I wish, is that there would have been an epilogue or one extra chapter.  For two days, my brain kept wanting to go back and finish reading the book before I remembered that I already had.  It wasn’t until my son pointed out all the loose ends that I figured out what the issue was.  I wanted to know what happened after the smoke cleared, maybe jump ahead a year later to clear up any unresolved question, because there were a lot.

********************5th Grade Student Review********************

I believe this to be the best book I have ever read!  The very beginning was full of suspense when the robbery happened and turned out to be my favorite part of the book.  Out of all the “human” characters, Poppy was my favorite.  I liked how she was the only one to believe in the Gunner.  The shelter dog, Gunner, would be my overall favorite character, and I really enjoyed reading his journey. 

Even though I enjoyed the book, I didn’t like reading about Grandma Beth, it was too sad.  I also wish more would have been said about Gunner and what happened to him in the end.  It felt like it was too short of a story.

I still really enjoyed the book, and would tell anyone to read it.  Thank you.


Overall, this was a really good book.  It makes me really glad to be in this Mother-Son Book Club because I never would have picked up this book without it, and that would have been a shame.  It doesn’t matter how old or young you are, this is a book that needs to be read.  Make sure you grab a box of tissue though, because you’ll need it.   

Until next time…
Happy Reading, Everyone!!!

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