Children’s Book Reviews

Children's Book Reviews: The Way Back Home

Publish June 13, 2017

Devoted to her Granny, Zoe is the one who calms her Grandmother down when she is distressed, takes care of her needs, and defends her actions to others. While Zoe writes off certain signs of Granny being eccentric, others see the stages of dementia setting in. Preventing her Granny from being placed in a home, however, is a losing battle. It is hard for Zoe to convince her parents that Granny belongs in her own home. In a last ditch effort to save her Granny from a place she hates, Zoe decides the answer is in finding her long-lost Uncle Teddy, a relative Zoe previously thought was dead.

Family secrets and tension abound in Allan Stratton’s latest book, The Way Back Home. Author of The Dogs and Borderline, Stratton focuses on the scrutiny of small town life and the pressure of keeping up appearances. Zoe’s cousin Madi constantly bullies her and uses her to get away with things, but no one believes Zoe except Granny.

Fed up caring about what others think, Zoe comes off as impulsive and rash, even though the reader has an inside view of her pure intentions to take care of her Granny. This compelling connection between Zoe and her Grandmother draws others in as well, helping to heal the past and reunite family members, while also inspiring random acts of kindness from strangers on their quest to find Teddy.

With LGBTQ themes and a satisfying ending, The Way Back Home is a heartwarming story about a granddaughter’s unconditional love for her grandmother.

Amy Mathers
Amy Mathers

An avid promoter of Canadian teen fiction, Amy Mathers completed the Marathon of Books in 2014. The money she raised allowed the Canadian Children’s Book Centre to fund the Amy Mathers Teen Book Award. She also reviews for the Canadian Children’s Book News and writes a monthly article for the CCBC e-newsletter.

The National Reading Campaign publishes children's book reviews under a Creative Commons License. This review is entirely free to reproduce and republish online and in print. Credit must be given to the reviewer and the National Reading Campaign. Reviews can be edited for brevity only. Contact Us for more information.