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Greetings from Nowhere

3.79  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,009 Ratings  ·  173 Reviews
Aggie isn't expecting visitors at the Sleepy Time Motel in the Great Smoky Mountains. Since her husband died, she is all alone with her cat, Ugly, and keeping up with the bills and repairs has become next to impossible. The pool is empty, the garden is overgrown, and not a soul has come to stay in nearly three months. When she reluctantly places a For Sale ad in the newspa ...more
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published March 18th 2008 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) (first published January 1st 2008)
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29th out of 68 books — 598 voters
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,998)
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Josie M.
Apr 04, 2015 Josie M. rated it really liked it
I will always love this book. I first read this book as a 11 year old, and loved it. I decided to pick it up again as a 15 year old, curious as to whether or not I would enjoy it just as much as I enjoyed it the first time. I did.
This book is beautifully written, It follows 4 unique characters whose lives intertwine and weave together in a way that is incredibly special.
In particular I enjoyed the characters of Willow and Aggie. Aggie, the oldest character in the book, brought so much emotion i
Oct 09, 2014 Jennie rated it it was amazing
Greetings From Nowhere is a book that everyone should read in their lifetime. The book follows four main characters, Aggie, Willow, Loretta, and Kirby, and how they find themselves meeting at a motel in North Carolina. Although the book is a bit frustrating with how short the "chapters" are and also how each "chapter" is told from one of the four different points of views, there are definitely moments that make your eyes well up with tears and moments that make you want to laugh awkwardly. Aggie ...more
Jan Carlson
Barbara O'Connor writes realistic fiction for children that has kids who are facing true life challenges. In this book, the lives of 3 children become interwoven as they all stay at the same old motel. Each child has a burden: a mother who left, an unknown birth mother who died, and uncaring parents. Even though this could be a depressing book, it was very well done and shows how children and adults can rise above the worst situation.
Aug 03, 2008 Betsy rated it really liked it
One Sentence Review: O'Connor knocks another one clean out of the park with a really wonderful tale of several very different kids and one old, run-down, defunct motel.
LCL Children'S
Sep 16, 2015 LCL Children'S rated it liked it
Ever since her husband died, Aggie Duncan has had trouble keeping up the Sleepy Time Motel. Reluctantly, she decides that it may be time to sell. That decision will bring Willow and her father to the motel in search of a fresh start -- or at least Willow's father is in search of a fresh start. Willow is missing her old life: friends, house, and the mother who left her and her father behind. Loretta, a girl just a little younger than Willow, also finds herself at the Sleepy Time motel. She's on a ...more
Mar 29, 2014 Becky rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014reviews
Greetings From Nowhere is a charming book that I just love! It centers around Sleepy Time Motel in the Great Smoky Mountains. Aggie, the owner, is a widow. She is finding it difficult--really difficult--to keep the motel going. Sometimes months go by between guests. And the last time a guest came, it was by chance they stayed even one night. Financially, it makes sense for Aggie to consider selling. It is what she "needs" to do practically. But is her heart ready to let go of her dream? But this ...more
Matthew Winner
Mar 08, 2009 Matthew Winner rated it it was amazing
I love this book! I love that it's written in different voices (changing each chapter as we experience the story through a different character's persepective). I love the southern feel of the story. I loved How to Steal a Dog and, like in that story, I love that she perfectly captures the generational differences between our characters in the story.

A worthy read for any reader.
Oct 14, 2013 Sara rated it it was amazing
What a great juvenile book about loss, divorce, and other major woes. Three kids and an older lady are the main characters who each learn from one another how fortunate that they all are. They all learn that there is more to their lives and life is not as bad as it seems.
I read this for a reading challenge and it was a great pick!
Dec 03, 2015 Stacey rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens
A great book about new beginnings and second chances. Love the characters!
Mar 08, 2012 Claire rated it it was amazing
I think these are the best books i have ever read i mean not like the best of the best but i just LOVED this book but not as much as How To Steal a Dog! My teacher read this to us and i thought it was really good!
Rebecca McNutt
Apr 25, 2015 Rebecca McNutt rated it really liked it
This book was incredibly strange yet oddly enjoyable; its crazy mess of characters somehow made it all-the-more enticing.
Erin Forsythe
Feb 28, 2016 Erin Forsythe rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed this book because it gave a lot of details and that made the book interesting for me to read. This lady named Aggie had a hotel and was trying to sell the hotel. A man named Mr.Dover came and bought the place and is trying to fix the place. There are many people using the hotel when they are fixing it and they are helping out too. My favorite part was when the tour bus came after the fixed the place up and had a great time. My least favorite part was when Aggie got told to leave the ho ...more
May 22, 2014 Sherry rated it really liked it
As always, a moving and thought-provoking book from Barbara O'Connor. You can count on her characters' solid emotional authenticity. "Greetings from Nowhere" has been on my reading pile, and my seven-year-old son picked up this novel. He told me "I'm reading "Greetings from Nowhere". I really like it. I'm on page 51!" That says mountains about the power of her storytelling. Most young boys, including my son, like cartoon comedy, fantasy adventure, wacky adventures, mysteries, Diary of a Wimpy Ki ...more
Gr 5-8-Aggie Duncan cannot muster the energy to fix up the Sleepy Time Motel since her husband died, and with no visitors stopping by on North Carolina's Smoky Mountains back roads, she reluctantly concludes that it's time to sell. Within days of placing an ad, she has an offer from Clyde Dover, who is eager to make a new life for himself and his daughter, Willow, after his wife's desertion. They are soon joined by Loretta and her parents, who are on a journey to learn more about Loretta's birth ...more
Jan 12, 2009 Jeanette rated it really liked it
Shelves: middle-grade, 2009
The setting of the Great Smoky Mountains is what led me to pick up this book. I love the Smoky Mountains and have been trying to get my hands on as many books, fiction and non-fiction, about the area that I can. O'Connor did a fabulous job of making me wish I was back amongst the mountains again as I read Greetings from Nowhere.
The Sleepy Time Motel in North Carolina's Great Smokey Mountains has been Aggie's home for decades. After the death of her beloved husband, Harold, Aggie is unable to kee
Jul 12, 2011 Jessica rated it it was ok
Shelves: teen-books
Greetings from Nowhere is told from the following four different, interwoven perspectives: Aggie, Willow, Kirby, and Loretta. Aggie is an older woman who owns the Sleepy Time Motel, which is the setting for the story. Readers learn that her husband has recently died, the same man who pretty much ran the motel. Aggie is drowning in bills and doesn’t really know how to run the motel, whether from lack of experience or just from the grief she is feeling with the loss of her husband. Because of this ...more
Nov 06, 2012 Lahari rated it really liked it
a. Realistic Fiction

b. 200 pgs.

c. Aggie runs a motel in the Great Smoky Mountains. Her husband is dead and she lives alone trying to pay the bills. After three months no one has come to stay and she has to place a for sale ad in the newspaper. Then Kirby and his mom come because their car broke down. Loretta and her parents come on a trip to honor Loretta's birth mother. Willow and her dad (who are buying the motel) come in a hurry and Aggie feels really rushed by Clyde to complete the sale for
Eva Mitnick
Oct 26, 2008 Eva Mitnick rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children
Sometimes a book comes along that hits you in just the right way. It doesn’t klonk you over the head with its fabulousness, but rather it quietly sinks into your mind and heart as you read it, creating a mood that lingers.

Greeting from Nowhere by Barbara O’Connor (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2008) is such a book. O’Connor’s previous book Fame and Glory in Freedom, Georgia was a highly pleasant read, but I must confess that I didn’t finish How to Steal a Dog – the conjunction of my mood and the
Oct 17, 2013 Karen rated it it was amazing
Greetings from Nowhere is about four main characters, five if you count the motel, which I would. Every character has his or her own story, and, of course, the stories will overlap during the course of the book.

There is something so very sweet about Barbara O'Connor's characters. On the surface, they seem simple, lacking complexity and perhaps even facile, but that is only because she does not write down every word of their stories. She leaves it to the readers to fill in the framework of the ch
Greek Soldier
Nov 25, 2012 Greek Soldier rated it it was amazing
Greetings from Nowhere, is a realistic fiction about an old lady(Aggie) who owns a motel by the Smokey Mountains. Over the years it has become harder and harder for her to keep the motel looking good. It especially became hard when her husband died a while back. So she puts advertisements in the paper about her motel being for sale. Little does she know that help is on the way for the once beautiful motel. Kirby and his mom are on their way to a military school in the Smokey Mountains. Loretta a ...more
Jan 03, 2015 Laura rated it it was ok
Five characters in search of... something. Friends? Love? Both? Anyway, The Sleepy Time Motel, owned by Aggie, is the setting for the coming together and "healing" of Aggie, Willow, Loretta, Kirby and Clyde.

The main plot device seemed to move too quickly: could one really buy a motel in a matter of days? With all that seemed wrong with it, I just doubt that could happen. However, I didn't doubt Aggie's loneliness, or her attachment to Ugly and Howard, or her newfound attachments with Willow, Lo
This is my kind of book. No sex, swearing, or violence. Greetings is a gentle story that follows four characters who come together at a run-down motel aptly named Sleepytime. Aggie, the aging motel owner, is bereft after the death of her spouse and has no friends save for a cat named Ugly. With no customers for three months, Aggie can no longer pay bills or make repairs and reluctantly places the motel for sale.

Enter Willow Dover and her father, Clyde. The broken family of two buy the motel with
Sandra Strange
Mar 11, 2014 Sandra Strange rated it really liked it
If you need to read a book that gives you a warm, hopeful feeling, this novel will do well. It's hard to classify, because though it's sold as a YA novel and contains several youngsters, most of the novel is from the point of view of a sweet widow who's trying to survive without her beloved husband and decides to sell the motel they ran together. And that's the kernel of the story: what happens when a couple with a youngster move to buy and rehabilitate the now shabby but beloved motel.
Amanda Northrup
Dec 30, 2013 Amanda Northrup rated it liked it
A sweet gentle story about 4 people (2 girls, 1 boy, and an older woman) who find themselves together at a motel in Western North Carolina. Each person is struggling with something: Aggie doesn't want to sell the motel, Willow's mother has left her father, Kirby's family is sending him to a school for bad boys, and Loretta's biological mother has died before they could meet.

Told in short chapters that alternate among the 4 perspectives, Greetings From Nowhere is a story that really sneaks up on
Jan 16, 2012 Nora rated it liked it
Shelves: older-elementary
I didn't enjoy the writing style of this book, but I enjoyed the characters and have found it's really easy to recommend to a large group of elementary students (boys and girls, 3rd to 6th grade). It is an easy read for students and a good balance of 'innocent' but still interesting. Each chapter is told by a different character. My personal annoyance was that each character had the same writing style. As in, unfinished, very short sentences. That weren't sentences. Clearly a style choice. That ...more
May 27, 2008 Mary rated it liked it
Recommends it for: 3rd-5th graders
Shelves: children-s
Four people's lives come together in a broken down motel in the Smokey Mountains of North Carolina. Told in chapters depicting one of the four major character's point of view, "Greetings" tells the stories of Aggie, a woman whose husband has died and who must sell the motel they've owned together since they were first married after World War II; Willow, whose father is buying the motel to begin a new life after Willow's mother abandoned them; Loretta, who is touring the Smokey Mountains with her ...more
Mary Lee
Mar 29, 2008 Mary Lee rated it it was amazing
Shelves: empathy
This is my favorite 2008 so far! In my *other* book log, the one with pages and a cover decorated with Laurel Burch's art, I am collecting the first lines of every book I read this year. Greetings From Nowhere also has the best first line of the year!

I love that this book made me think of other favorites. A death in the tomato patch occurs in Each Little Bird That Sings by Deborah Wiles. Both books let me live in the south without the humidity. The miniature horses and the pesky boy walked strai
Feb 16, 2011 Andy rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2-star
Aggie, the elderly owner of The Sleepy Time Motel in North Carolina’s Smoky Mountains has recently lost her husband Harold. She finds it difficult to continue operations without Harold’s help and reluctantly decides to sell their beloved home. Newly single Clyde Dover decides to answer Aggies for sale ad. He purchases the deteriorating motel, and uproots his daughter Willow without much discussion. Willow is struggling to cope with her mother’s recent abandonment. Surprisingly she finds some und ...more
internat librarian
Jan 06, 2011 internat librarian rated it really liked it
This book is good vegetable soup. I love good vegetable soup, and at the same time I can’t escape the fact that the soup is good for me too. In the best vegetable soup, the veggies are obvious – not yet overcooked into mush. With books, it’s easy to overcook the obvious “good for me” parts, and that happens a bit here.

There are too many repeated phrases. Too many three and four line poetic prose phrases. Too many literary reminders of the wholesome seriousness of all the good thoughts and good
Quick read that follows multiple families in various stages of familial bliss and distress. They all come together at the Sleepy Time Motel, a little place that has seen better days. Told from the point of views of the kids visiting and Aggie the longtime owner. This is an enjoyable story that will tug at your heartstrings and leave you with a smile.
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Barbara O'Connor's awards include the Parents Choice Gold and Silver Award, American Library Association Notable Books, IRA Notable Books for a Global Society, School Library Journal Best Books, and Kirkus Best Books. Her books have been nominated for children's choice awards in 38 states and voted as a state favorite by children in South Carolina, Indiana, Kansas, and South Dakota.

Barbara was bor
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