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A Dog's Way Home Hardcover – February 22, 2011

4.8 out of 5 stars 87 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 4-8-Abby Whistler, 11, and her Shetland sheepdog, Tam, are inseparable. After winning the Junior Agility Championship in a town 400 miles away from home, Abby puts her dog into his crate in the back of her mama's truck. They are involved in a terrible accident when their truck swerves to avoid hitting a deer. Tam, stuck in his crate, is thrown into the raging ice-cold river and Abby ends up in the hospital. The two are forced apart by fate. Tam is injured and endures dangerous encounters in the wild, while Abby's family moves to Nashville, TN. Months pass, and it seems like Abby and Tam will never be reunited. Will their love and strong bond beat the odds and bring them back together? Bobby Pyron's story (Katherine Tegen Books, 2011) is told from the points of view of the girl and her dog by Emily Eiden and Chuck Carrington, who reflect their emotions and bring the characters to life. An excellent addition to audiobook collections.-Kira Moody, Whitmore Public Library, Salt Lake City, UTα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

From Booklist

Though there is no shortage of stories about the love and loyalty between humans and their four-footed friends, Pyron offers a fresh and inspired tale of 11-year-old Abby Whistler and her beloved Shetland sheepdog, Tam. During a long trip home from an agility contest, a car accident sends Tam�s kennel flying from the bed of Abby�s truck and down a fast-moving creek, leaving him badly injured and alone and Abby in the hospital. So begins an epic account of the girl�s and dog�s travails in their quest to be reunited. The narrative toggles between Abby�s and Tam�s points of view, through their experiences with pain, danger, and aching loneliness for each other. Tam�s voice is so endearing and unquestioningly faithful that readers will find it tough not to flip to the final pages to find out how this heartfelt story ends. Hand this to fans of Phyllis Reynolds Naylor�s Shiloh (1991) and Kathi Appelt�s The Underneath (2008), and they will not be disappointed. Grades 4-7. --Erin Anderson

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 670L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books (February 22, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061986747
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061986741
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.1 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (87 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,159,427 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I selected this book because it features a Sheltie, which is the breed I love most, but also because I'm a sucker for Incredible Journey type books. This met all my expectations -- and children's book or not -- made my cry at several moments, particularly at the end. The story was so good, the writing so vivid, and whole thing was so moving.

Anyone who believes in the almost sacred relationship between a dog and his or her person, will understand how beautifully this has been rendered here. "Sheltie people" will recognize this as an accurate portrayal of the resilience and intelligence of the breed -- the book begins with an agility match, a sport Shelties excel at. Poor Tam has many hardships on his way home and the book takes place over many months. Abby, while separated from Tam, also has adventures at a new school, even as she never stops believing Tam will make it home.

Although this book is suitable for and geared toward a younger readership, the author doesn't shy away from making Tam's journey difficult, and along the way tragedy and loss befall him, and perhaps parents should know that for the younger readers, but this is just such a good book.

Having worked at a shelter and adopted dogs, among them several Shelties, I think of all the times I've looked at these animals and wondered about their stories. My current Sheltie was found wandering in a park and there was another one who was a stray in Detroit. I wondered who missed them or who had let them go and I wonder if my beloved pets have memories of their lives before.

For fans of Lassie Come Home and related stories, many of Tam's experiences pay homage to these books and movies -- friends found, rescue just missed, and still the dog moves on, relentless in his need for home.
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Format: Hardcover
11yr old Abby and her dog Tam are Dog Agility champions. After another win in Virginia, there's car accident on the way home to Harmony Gap, NC. Tam's cage which was in the back of the truck was thrown over during the accident. Now Abby is trying to find Tam and he's trying to find his way home. The chapters alternate between the two.

Once Tam was lost it was his story I was most interested in. One thing I loved about Tam, he wasn't an extraordinary or overly smart dog. He was simply a regular Sheltie, following his instincts to get home. Sometimes I read dog stories and wonder, how does this dog know so much.* I never got that feeling with Tam. His journey was very long and I was caught up in it and my heart when out to him many times.

I was so caught up in Tam's story, but its to the author's credit that I never once considered skipping Abby's story. As much as I wanted to know what was happening to Tam, Abby part still held me. Pyron gave equal amount of time to both stories. Somewhere along way I was more invested in Abby's. The story spanned months, Abby's life wasn't put on hold. She still had to navigate middle school and make friends. The author also took the time to develop the characters around Abby. I really enjoyed the dad's love of music . I loved getting an unexpected taste of country music scene in Nashville.

Though it always came back to Tam and Abby. When I started reading, I didn't think it was going to have an Old Yeller ending (it wasn't) and I still got choked up. There's one at the line at the end that will stay with me for a very long time. A Dog's Way Home was a pleasure to read and I loved losing myself in it. A must read for anyone who loves dog stories.
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Format: Paperback
As a young reader, some of my favorite books were animals stories, and I read - and continue to read - them all: Wild Animals I have Known (Seton), Black Stallion (Farley), Where The Red Fern Grows (Rawls), Lassie Come Home (Knight), The Incredible Journey (Burnford). Bobbie Pyron continues this classic tradition in "A Dog's Way Home." While a comparison is inevitable, Bobbie skillfully crafts her own homage to the special relationship of a child and her dog.

The story is told using two perspectives: eleven-year old Abby Whistler and her beloved champion Shetland sheepdog, Tam. It begins on a "near-to-perfect fall day" following a champion agility event. The two are on the long journey home to Harmony Gap, North Carolina. Predictably, there's an accident, as "The truck screamed in alarm. It swerved one way and then the other..." . Abby's and Tam's worlds are turned upside down, and the two become separated. The plot unfolds as the narrative moves between the two perspectives, each trying to find their way back to the other. But the transitions are natural, each perspective emotionally authentic and powerful. Bobbie doesn't hold back from the difficult moments, as hope wanes. The reader stays riveted to both characters.

We know from the very beginning what happens in the end, when "Her smell surrounded him ... grass, green apples, the salt of tears. Tears he licked from her face." But, as with any excellent crafted story, it's the journey that counts, and this one is an utter delight.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a lovely children or adult's book. Having three shelties myself that are involved in the sport of agility I took this book to heart.
One day when Tam the sheltie and her owner Abby and her mother are coming home from an agility trial they are involved in a traffic accident. Abby and her mother are injured and Tam's crate is ejected off the back of the truck. Abby breaks out of the crate and is left to fend for herself out in the woods and soon becomes feral raiding trashcans and eating what she can. For me the book was exciting and heartrending with a lovely ending. At times it made my cry. Great book.
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