The Long Way Home (Family Tree Series #2)

The Long Way Home (Family Tree Series #2)

5.0 1
by Ann M. Martin, Kim Mai Guest

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Four girls. Four generations. One family.
The second entry in the beautiful new series from Ann M. Martin.

Dana is Abby's daughter — but she's always been much closer to her father, Zander. He's a celebrated New York author who encourages Dana's artistic talents . . . even if he sometimes drinks too much. Dana is on his side in any argument, regardless of

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Four girls. Four generations. One family.
The second entry in the beautiful new series from Ann M. Martin.

Dana is Abby's daughter — but she's always been much closer to her father, Zander. He's a celebrated New York author who encourages Dana's artistic talents . . . even if he sometimes drinks too much. Dana is on his side in any argument, regardless of whether he's wrong. And then her father dies.

After years of moving, often with her mother and three siblings, Dana is angry at Abby, and wants nothing more than to leave her family and get back to New York City. She moves in with her young, bohemian aunt Adele, determined to study art, attend school, achieve independence, and avoid all the mistakes her mother made. But can she leave her family and Maine behind?

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Before Katniss and Hermione there were Kristy, Claudia, Mary Anne and Stacey, the founding members of the Baby-Sitters Club . . . the original book-series heroines." -- PEOPLE MAGAZINE

"Martin delivers wonderfully real characters and an engrossing plot through the viewpoint of a girl who tries so earnestly to connect with those around her." -- SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL, starred review

"Martin excels at evoking simply the intricacies of friendship, what it enables you to give to others, and what it teaches you about yourself." -- THE HORN BOOK, starred review

Praise for BELLE TEAL:
"Honest and moving . . . Preteens will relate to BELLE TEAL, whose observations provide an eye-popping introduction to social and personal injustice." -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, starred review

Children's Literature - Beverley Fahey
It has been ten years since Zander Burley asked Abby Nicols to marry him. Now they live in New York City with their twins, Julia and Dana, and son Peter. Dana is proud of her father’s successful book writing career and loves all the luxuries his fame brings, including taxi rides to fancy restaurants, books signings, and dinners at posh hotels mingling with the literary set. She longs to strike out on her own and dismisses Julia’s desire for “samesies” as trite and babyish. Often, Dana feels angry at her mother for nagging Zander about his drinking. Then, a tragic accident results in Zanders’s death, which plunges the family into financial turmoil. For years, Zander had lived beyond his means; now, Abby finds she must move the family back to Maine and accept handouts from her opinionated and difficult father. Dana resents living in a cramped apartment and begs her mother to allow her to live with her Aunt Adele in New York, where she can attend a prestigious art school. The longer Dana lives away, the less connected she feels to her family and the more she questions where she belongs. In this second book of a series focusing on four generations of young girls, Dana faces a host of issues as she struggles to find her place in her family and the world. Covering the years from 1955 to 1971, this story includes historical events like the Cold War, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the assassination of John, F. Kennedy as the backdrop for Dana’s formative years. Martin handles problematic themes of financial hardship, insensitivity to those with handicaps (Dana’s brother has Down Syndrome), and the remarriage of a parent with honesty and understanding. The difficult relationship between Dana and her mother resonates with both heartbreak and hope. As in Better to Wish, Martin has crafted a realistic novel about making hard choices and the power of family bonds. Fans will be eagerly awaiting book three in the “Family Tree” series. Let’s hope the wait will not be too long. Reviewer: Beverley Fahey AGERANGE: Ages 12 up.
School Library Journal
Gr 5–7—This installment spans 11 years and focuses on Dana. The book opens on July 7, 1955, as she and her twin, Julia, are celebrating their seventh birthday. Two years later, their younger brother, Peter, enters a school for children with "mental retardation." Their father, Zander, is a famous author, and while he tends to drink too much, the family has a comfortable and exciting life in New York City. However, things take a turn for the worse as the Burleys face unexpected challenges, including Zander's death in an accident, the birth of a child who will be fatherless, and financial insecurity. Martin does a good job of weaving in the history of the time period, including the Cold War and the assassination of President Kennedy. Time moves quickly with each chapter skipping ahead several months. The rapid passage of time and challenging issues may limit the audience, but tweens who have outgrown the "American Girl" series may enjoy this novel that explores the idea of family and home.—Sarah Polace, Cuyahoga Public Library System, OH
Kirkus Reviews
Martin continues the multigenerational saga begun in Better to Wish (2013) with this second entry, spanning the years 1955-1971. The spotlight is on Abby, Zander and their children. Twins Dana and Julia are 7 at the outset; their 4-year-old brother, Peter, has Down syndrome. Abby's accepted her role as mother, homemaker (in a large New York town house) and wife to now-famous author Zander Burley. Dana's enthralled with her father and resents her mother's disapproval of his drinking. When alcohol fuels Zander's death by drowning, the Burleys' world cracks open. Martin focuses on Dana's maturation against a glum backdrop of worsening finances (sister Nell is born five months after Zander's death) and multiple moves and new schools in New York and finally, back to Abby's home turf, Maine. An artist like her father, Dana is alone within her family. Released to live with her aunt in Manhattan, she flourishes at an arts high school. Abby's subsequent remarriage, a scary bout of meningitis for Julia and desultory family flares all happen rapid-fire, in chapters that bridge years and weave in (somewhat clumsily) historical events of the 1960s, ending with Dana poised for adulthood. Despite some wooden writing, Martin succeeds here by illuminating the fraught family relationships strained by separation, financial stress and individual aspiration. (Historical fiction. 8-12)

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Product Details

Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group
Publication date:
Family Tree Series, #2
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
5.10(w) x 6.00(h) x 1.20(d)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Ann M. Martin's The Baby-Sitters Club series sold over 176 million copies and inspired a generation of young readers. Her novels include the Main Street series; BELLE TEAL; the Newbery Honor book A CORNER OF THE UNIVERSE; HERE TODAY; A DOG'S LIFE; and ON CHRISTMAS EVE; as well as the much-loved collaborations P.S. LONGER LETTER LATER; and SNAIL MAIL, NO MORE with Paula Danziger. She lives in upstate New York.

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