{A Million Ways Home: Dianna Dorisi Winget}

{A Million Ways Home: Dianna Dorisi Winget}

{Synopsis} – 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?

{My thoughts} – I have read some emotionally powerful books this year. and I believe at the current time this one takes the cake. There is so much in this book that I can relate to as an individual even though it is written for a younger audience.

Poppy is a sweet girl that is trying to find her way in the world. She lost her parents to a terrorist bombing when she was just a baby and the left he Grandma to raise her. Her and he Grandma were very close and did everything with one another. One day her Grandma had a stroke and ended up in the hospital. Poppy was placed in a children’s center since there was no one else that could care fore her at the time.

I can relate to not being raised by my own parents. I too was raised by my grandparents but both my parents are alive and well. Circumstance and situation had prevented them from raising me. As I was reading through this book I was thinking about how often it is that children are separated from their loved ones for one reason or another. I know all the reasons aren’t the same and that they all differ, but in the end they aren’t where they should be in the comfort of someone that loves them and they love in return.

Poppy decides that she wants to go see her Grandma, since she was moved to an old folks home where she could recover. She is told by her caseworker that sh’ed take her the next day but Poppy doesn’t want to wait so she kind of runs away. She ends up witnessing a crime. A guy robbed a gas station that she was just at and killed the nice cashier that she’d just talked to and she was the only person that had seen the guys face. The detective on the case ends up taking a special interest in her and he ends up having her stay with his mom until the case is resolved.

I understand that this probably would not be an outcome for an actual real life scenario but it helped to build the book up with an emotional roller coaster. While Poppy is staying there she gets to work at an Animal Shelter where she meets a girl named Lizzie that made bad choices but soon the two become quick friends. She also meets a dog named Gunner that she takes a special interest in. It soon becomes her goal to save the dog but in the end the dog helps to save her.

I am an avid volunteer for the local SPCA shelter and I foster for them. I know what is like to be emotionally attached to an animal and not to let them go. My children also know this process. It has been hard on them at times but they understand we are only helping them until they can go to their forever homes. I mean how many children can say that they have made such a huge difference in the lives of so many animals, not many. I love that our work with the SPCA has helped to teach my children so many things: responsibility, how to love and care for animals, how to be a friend to them. The thing they enjoy most is when we have puppies and kittens, they have watched both be born and it amazes them each time.

Poppy ends up getting attached to the Detective and his mom and doesn’t want to help the police catch the guy that did the crime. In her head she is thinking that if she puts of telling them what she knows then she can stay with them until her Grandma gets better and she can go back home. It turns out her Grandma doesn’t get better and she doesn’t go back home. She goes back to the Center.

This book is a very emotional book and it times I was choked up in tears. I couldn’t imagine being a young child reading this book. It just made me cry so much in the last few chapters. I understand that children every day deal with situations like this young and old, but it doesn’t make the reality of it all easier to handle. I think that this would be a great book to present any child that has lost someone and needs to be able to find a way to accept that loss. I also think that it is a good book to share with them because it has good advice and it could help them to better understand themselves and the current situation that they may find themselves in. I know that not every child’s story may end the way Poppy’s did, but that doesn’t mean that all children in similar circumstance can’t benefit from reading about a little girl that went through something similar to them.

{quotes I enjoyed}

01} But as Grandma Beth often said – truth wasn’t always soft and fuzzy and warm, sometimes it was cold and hard as steal. But whether it was easy to hear or not, truth was truth.

02} I laughed. “You’d make a great actor.”
“Yeah, well, sometimes I wish my life was a movie. It’d be rated R of coarse. How about you?”
“How about my what?”
She sighed. “You’re slow on the uptake, aren’t you? Your life. If it were a movie, what would it be rated?”
I thought about it. “Uh, well… up till a few days ago I’d say probably G. But now, it’d be more like PG-13.”

03} She smoothed my hair. “There, there,” she said in her thick, halting voice. “Change is hard remember?”
And I nodded, because I knew exactly what she was talking about. It was one of her favorite quotes. “All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves: we must die to one life before we can enter another.”
I even knew the author – a man named Anatole France. But right then, I couldn’t bare to think about him or his quote, because I hated them both.

04} “You’re right. All I meant is, we’re all faced with choices, and as bad as we might want to, we can’t always control the outcome. Some choices turn out in ways you never saw coming, and you get blindsided, you know? They change things forever.”

05} “Sometimes things just happen. It was another one of those cold hard as steel truths.”

Final Conclusion: 5 Star Rating.


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