A Million Ways Home by Dianna Dorisi Winget 242 pages
I'm not going to lie, this book made me cry like a baby. It was a really great book that plucked on every heartstring I own! Poppy has always lived with her Grandma Beth. Her parents died when she was only one year old. She and her grandmother have their own little rituals, their favorite activities, even their own way of communicating, but then Grandma Beth has a stroke and ends up in a hospital. Poppy is forced to stay at the children's shelter with a brute of a roommate until she can get her grandma back home. When she finds that her grandma has been moved to a nursing home, Poppy can't wait until the next day to go visit. She sneaks out and grabs a bus. Unfortunately, she doesn't really know where the nursing home is. Poppy ends up at a gas station where a violent robbery is committed and she's the only one who sees the robber's face. Worse is that he has seen hers, too. Now she is the one and only witness. The detective in charge of the case comes up with a way to keep her hidden, one which, as a side benefit, involves Poppy being able to volunteer at the animal shelter. There she meets a beautiful dog with a future as uncertain as her own. This was a very engaging story that had believable characters and a satisfying ending. I highly recommend this Mark Twain Award nominee to 4th - 8th grade readers.