Summary and book reviews of Willow Run by Patricia Reilly Giff

Willow Run

By Patricia Reilly Giff

Willow Run
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • Hardcover: Sep 2005,
    160 pages.
    Paperback: Feb 2007,
    176 pages.

    Publication Information

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Book Summary

1944.

Meggie Dillon's life has been turned upside down by World War II. Her older brother Eddie enlisted and was shipped off to fight in Europe. And people say that anywhere else Grandpa would be turned in because he's German, and people might think he's a spy. Is it true? Could Grandpa be taken away?

Meggie's father has announced that they must help the war effort and move to Willow Run, Michigan, where he'll work nights in a factory building important war planes that will help fight the enemy in Europe. Willow Run will be the greatest adventure ever, Meggie thinks. There she meets Patches and Harlan, other kids like her whose parents have come here to do their part in the war. And there she faces questions about courage, and what it takes to go into battle, like Eddie, and how to keep hope alive on the home front.

Chapter One

The wheels made a horrible sound; no wonder. The wagon belonged to Joey Kind down the block, who hadn't used it in years; the whole thing was a rusted mess. And the nerve of Joey to say, "You be careful, Meggie Dillon. Don't ruin it."

Too bad, I wanted to tell him, keep your old wagon. But I had to borrow it. It was all for the war effort. And right now rattling along in the center of the wagon was Big Bertha, Mom's iron statue that had a clock in her stomach. She'd been rusting away in the attic forever, just like Joey's wagon.

Big Bertha was going to war. Mr. North at the junkyard would pay me a quarter and Bertha would be melted down into bullets. Poor Bertha.

It was almost dark so I began to hurry. I chugged past Grandpa's house but I knew he wasn't there. He was at my house waiting for Dad to get home from work. Dad had news, that was all Mom would tell us, and we'd hear it over a late supper of salad...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Reviews

BookBrowse

Giff weaves a number of story threads together against a realistic 1940s backdrop that will have children aged 9-12 thinking hard about important issues such as the meaning of courage and cowardice and how war leaves no person unaffected.   (Reviewed by BookBrowse Review Team).

Full Review Members Only (787 words).

Media Reviews
Children's Literature - Beverley Fahey

Giff has given us a story of sacrifice, the power of family, and characters that embody the strength of spirit of those on the home front during WWII.

School Library Journal - Renee Steinberg

Giff's engrossing, heartwarming story will help readers understand how personally war affects people. Grades 4-7.

Kirkus Reviews

Spam and spies, 1940s songs and Victrolas and a lively cast of characters make wartime America pop to life in this finely wrought story of cowardice, courage and digging deep. Ages 9-12.

Booklist - Ilene Cooper

Starred Review. Tough and tender, this is an excellent addition to World War II shelves. Grades 4-6

Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Willow Run follows Lily's best friend, Meggie, when her family must move to Willow Run, Mich., to work in a factory and help the war effort.

Reader Reviews
Louise J.

Excellent!!
Margaret “Meggie” Dillion lives in Rockaway, New York with her mother, father and grandfather. Her old brother, Eddie, has enlisted to fight in the war and everyone is having a difficult time coping with Eddie’s absence. Meggie’s Grampa is German...   Read More

Sprinkles to my ice cream!!!!!!! 3

Awesome sequal to Lily's crossing!!! PLEASE READ!!!!!
I've read this book once because it looked cool when read it a second time for a school WWII project. Still love this book always will. Lily's crossing was a little more interesting and had more cliffhangers. The part when they got ice cream was ...   Read More

Abster

fabulous
This book will get children and adults thinking about how life is in war. Meggie shows courage and bravery, while grandfather bravely faces racism with a calm, comforting attitude. Great read!

sugarbear

back in the day
This is very interesting book. It talks about D-Day, which we are talking about in social studies. The Nazi movement was not a very good thing, but the history behind it is very interesting and and I got to read more. A child of about 12 would enjoy...   Read More

Write your own review!

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book

As a child, Patricia Reilly Giff's favorite books included Little Women, The Secret Garden, the Black Stallion books, the Sue Barton books, and the Nancy Drew series. She loved reading so much that while growing up, her sister had to grab books out of her hands to get her to pay attention to her; later; her three children often found themselves doing the same thing. As a reading teacher for 20 years, the educational consultant for Dell Yearling and Young Yearling books, an adviser and instructor to aspiring writers, and the author of more than 60 books for children, Patricia Reilly Giff has spent her entire life surrounded by books.

After earning a B.A. degree from Marymount College, she took the advice of the school's ...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

Readalikes Full readalike results are for members only

If you liked Willow Run, try these:

  • I'll Be Seeing You jacket

    I'll Be Seeing You

    by Suzanne Hayes, Loretta Nyhan

    Published Feb 2013

    More about this book

    Read Reviews

    I'll Be Seeing You is a deeply moving union of style and charm. Filled with unforgettable characters and grace, it is a timeless celebration of friendship and the strength and solidarity of women.

Non-members are limited to two results. Become a member


Search Readalikes again
How we choose readalikes
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!
Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Promise
    The Promise
    by Ann Weisgarber
    Canadian author, Lucy Maud Montgomery of Anne of Green Gables fame, once wrote that "...all things ...
  • Book Jacket: Black Moon
    Black Moon
    by Kenneth Calhoun
    The popularity of book-turned-movie World War Z and television series The Walking Dead points to a ...
  • Book Jacket: Hyde
    Hyde
    by Daniel Levine
    In Robert Louis Stevenson's 1886 novel, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, the story ends ...

First Impressions

Members read and review books ahead
of publication. See what they think
in First Impressions!

Books that
expand your
horizons.

Visitors can view a lot of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only

Find out more.

Book Discussions
Book Jacket

The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry
by Gabrielle Zevin

Published Apr. 2014

Join the discussion!

Win this book!
Win The Steady Running of the Hour

The Steady Running of the Hour

"Exciting, emotionally engaging and ambitious. I loved it!" - Kate Mosse

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

I T T O A Eye

and be entered to win..

Books thatinspire you.Handpicked.

Books you'll stay up all night reading; books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, books that will expand your mind and inspire you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.