Summary and book reviews of Willow Run by Patricia Reilly Giff

Willow Run

by Patricia Reilly Giff

Willow Run
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  • First Published:
    Sep 2005, 160 pages
    Paperback:
    Feb 2007, 176 pages

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Book Summary

The sequel to Lily's Crossing. When Meggie's father moves to Willow Run to take a job building planes, Meggie desperately misses her home; but then she meets Patches and Harlan, other kids like her whose parents have come here to do their part in the war. She faces questions about courage, and what it takes to go into battle and how to keep hope alive on the home front.

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...

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Reviews

BookBrowse Review

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 (488 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!

Carly

Excellent Book
I thought that this book was wonderful and I would definitely recommend it for children and adults. It is such a heart warming and beautiful story, and very interesting too. I guarantee you will love this book as I much as I did.

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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 ...

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