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Sons from Afar (Tillerman Cycle #6)

3.67  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,089 Ratings  ·  56 Reviews
James and Sammy Tillerman are as different as two brothers can be. But when Jimmy seeks out their missing father, Sammy joins in. As they ask questions, and move closer to their quest, it is Sammy who grows more interested--until the questions lead the brothers to a seedy waterfront bar where violence erupts....
"Keeps your interest...Quite suspenseful."
Paperback, 256 pages
Published September 1st 1996 by Simon Pulse (first published 1987)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,138)
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Apr 03, 2011 Ratesjul rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2011
I reread this recently, as part of my reread of the entire Tillerman cycle. I don't think I've reread the entire cycle in the stated order in a long time. I've always liked some books of it more than others, and this is one of my lesser favourites, though I'm never entirely sure why. perhaps it's because I really like Dicey, and she barely features in this book. Perhaps it's because I don't entirely agree with the way Sammy and James act on one or two of their trips in search of information. Per ...more
Mar 08, 2015 Cherie rated it really liked it
Shelves: series
Just be comfortable with who you are. That is what I got out of it.
Cindy Dyson Eitelman
Aug 10, 2014 Cindy Dyson Eitelman rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013-14
Must be read if you've read the first five books in the series and have become enamored of all things Tillerman. It doesn't stand on its own, which was okay by me. It doesn't really start and it doesn't really end, which, also, was okay by me. It's like reading a diary of a good friend who is still alive--you don't want or expect an ending. It's did you get that way? novel.

Cynthia Voigt demonstrates amazing skill at portraying the adolescent mind. You absolutely know these kids and, beca
Apr 19, 2014 Mahasin rated it really liked it
I really, really like Voigt's writing style. She has a way of capturing the complicated emotions of each character. This book focuses on James and Sammy. Last year I read Homecoming and Dicey's Song and just thought they were okay, but this book was different.

I still am not a big fan of James as a character. He's significantly less annoying in this book than he was in the other two, but that's not saying much. I know that it's a clear indication that James is emotionally stunted and insecure ab
Bruce Nordstrom
Mar 24, 2014 Bruce Nordstrom rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-readers
This book is the sixth book in Cynthia Voight's celebrated "Tillerman cycle." This is the second book in the series that I have read, and I enjoyed it very much.

The story revolves around the two Tillerman brothers, James and Sammy, and their attempt to locate their father, who abandoned the family years ago. The search is complicated, difficult--and completely fascinating to read. The search is made more difficult by the fact that boys boys are minors, not old enough to drive, with little money,
Audrey Hammer
I first read Homecoming around 7th grade, at age 11 or 12, in 1987ish. It's taken a long time to get to the sequels. Back then, Dicey's brother James reminded me so much of my own brother James, it was uncanny. He still resembles this character.

James, miserable at school from trying to fit in and be "normal," starts wondering about his father. He wants to know if he inherited character traits that have doomed him to dorkiness. Sammy doesn't care. Later, they switch. Sammy sees other dads and won
Apr 06, 2014 Kate rated it liked it
Shelves: ya, realistic
Not my favorite of the Tillerman books, plot-wise, but definitely a good one in terms of insight into the Tillerman family dynamic. We get to hear things from the perspectives of James and Sammy in this book, who are more alike than they might seem at first glance. James has changed little from the iteration we meet in previous books, but Sammy has become a more thoughtful and empathetic person (which I suppose makes sense, considering that he's six when we first meet him in Homecoming).

I think
Anne Slater
Aug 16, 2014 Anne Slater rated it really liked it
In the process of cataloging a K-8 elementary school library, one comes across old favorite authors. Cynthia Voigt is one. Her Tillerman Family chronicles make an engaging study of children growing up, family dynamics, American society before the electronic age.

Sons from Afar is the story of the Tillerman brothers'search for their father. THese two boys, as different as chalk and cheese, take great risks to find out just who their father is (or was) and why he has never been with them. Their ing
Feb 01, 2016 annapi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, young-adult
Voigt continues her award-winning Tillerman series with this coming-of-age story about 15-year-old James and 13-year-old Sammy. Although they have settled in with their grandmother, James has started to wonder about their absent father, wanting to know more about him, why he left them, and hoping to perhaps meet him one day. Though Sammy is uninterested in finding the father he never knew, he helps James in his search, seeing it as an adventure. Where it leads them will change their lives profou ...more
Susan Cackler
Apr 08, 2014 Susan Cackler rated it really liked it
I first read Voigt when I was in high school and my mom was a school librarian. She would being me a stack of books to read and have me give her my opinion of them. I read the first two Tillerman books and loved them. I didn't know that there were more because life and college and all that happened. Anyway, I still love the way she gets into the heads of her characters and gives what feels like a realistic depiction of being a teen-aged boy. The story may be too character-driven for some people, ...more
Mar 22, 2013 Fran rated it really liked it
It has been six years since the Tillerman siblings have found a stable home at Gram’s, and Dicey is away at college. Book #6 focuses on James and Sammy highlighting their many differences. James is a studious “dork” unsure of himself, introspective and philosophical. Sammy is outgoing, popular, athletic and frustrated by his brother’s over-analytical personality. When James plans a trip to Cambridge to find out more about their estranged father, Sammy reluctantly agrees to go. The little informa ...more
Sep 06, 2009 Laura rated it really liked it
After reading Homecoming and Dicey's Song, I wanted to read more about the Tillerman siblings rather than their friends so I skipped over books 3,4,5 in the series, and started in on 6. Sons from Afar takes us a few years into their lives, where Dicey is away at college and James is a self-proclaimed nerd struggling to find his place in the world. He starts to wondering about their long-lost father, and enlists Sammy to help him out.

It was interesting to see the characters age, but in many ways,
Jan 11, 2013 Megan rated it really liked it
I love these Tillermans, and I waited far too long before returning to finish this series. The first three books really amazed me. The fourth was quite good, and the fifth OK. I found this one to be compelling, if a little less heavy on plot. More like the fourth book. I liked watching the boys figure out who they were and come to grips with where they'd come from. I thought that the way the plot resolved itself really fit with the characters in it and didn't seem far fetched. And I always like ...more
Apr 18, 2009 Josiah rated it liked it
There was a lot of very beautifully written material in this sixth book of the Tillerman Cycle. The interactions between the brothers James and Sammy were breathtaking, in my opinion, and the tone of these many encounters throughout the narrative was perfect.
The story itself was vastly different from what I expected, but it was definitely a worthwhile addition to the collection of literature about the Tillerman family, and I am glad that Cynthia Voigt wrote it. She is simple amazing in her abi
Jul 30, 2012 Tori rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who liked the other Tillerman books.
Recommended to Tori by: Myself. :)
Sons from Afar is the penultimate book in Cynthia Voigt's Tillerman cycle. This novel was narrated mainly by James and Sammy Tillerman, who are on a quest to find out who their father is and ultimately who they are.

Though I've enjoyed nearly all of the Tillerman books, I didn't enjoy this one quite as much. With the exception of A Solitary Blue, I just haven't really connected with the books when the narrators are male. I did love learning more about Sammy and James, along with the rest of the T
Fire Crystals
Mar 04, 2016 Fire Crystals rated it it was amazing
The book is excellent. In this installment of the series, the Tillermans are more grown up. It primarily focusses on James and Sammy, their insecurities, ambitions, and quest for their father.
Both begin realising some facts of life and see themselves and each other in a different light. Now I've just one more book in this series to go!
Jan 12, 2015 Carmen rated it really liked it
Shelves: juvenile-fiction
The continuing account of the Tillerman family. James and Sammie want to get more information about their dad. So they investigate. Instead of the information they wanted, they really find out more about themselves and each other.
joyce lynn
Jul 23, 2007 joyce lynn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
once more, i'd like to climb into this series and throttle a parent or two! how could they leave their kids like this, and let them grow up w/ all this "i wonder if ... ?", and pain, and ... to deal w/, on top of all the normal crud we humans, especially kids, pile up on each other just because?!

of course, w/ a so-called "man" like there father apparently was, they're probably better off not having had him in their life, but still ... to have left them like that, no word, no ...

not the best boo
May 24, 2015 Karen rated it really liked it
Great book. I love this series . All the books have layers and the characters are complex and very real.
Mar 24, 2016 Gerry rated it it was amazing
Sons from Afar focuses on James and Sammy. I liked getting to know them as they have gotten older.
This family seems so real to me.
Sep 24, 2010 Kelli rated it really liked it
Shelves: juvenile
I have enjoyed all of the Tillerman family books, but this is one of my favorites. The author was very skilled at taking the reader with James and Sammy as they struggled to decide who they are and what kind of person they would like to be. I want my boys to read it when they get older. It was a great example of finding your true inner character and learning that what you do and who you are is more important than what you look like or what others may think of you. I really like the close knit fa ...more
Mae Walker
Good, but not as enjoyable as the other books in the series.
Jan 05, 2015 Christine rated it really liked it
Worst of the Tillerman cycle, still an awesome book.
Oct 26, 2015 Joanne rated it really liked it
Another great book in the series
Dec 12, 2014 Greg rated it liked it
Not bad, but not for me.
Megan Geissler
May 23, 2016 Megan Geissler rated it really liked it
good character dvpt
Jul 16, 2015 Sue rated it really liked it
I love this series!
Aug 13, 2014 Joan rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned
My second read through this series. One of my favorites.
May 22, 2012 Kerith rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya
James and Sammy Tillerman, best known as the brothers of Dicey in the excellent earlier novels Homecoming and Dicey's Song, are reaching their teen years and beginning to wonder about their absent father. As they start searching for his whereabouts and learning about who he was they find much more than they bargained for. Cynthia Voigt's novels about the Tillermans continue to suck me in - she writes about family, siblings, friendship, and coming of age beautifully.
Mar 24, 2010 Trisha rated it liked it
I didn't connect with the fourth and fifth books. I thought I'd like "The runner", but I kept wondering if Cynthia Voigt had ever run - she just didn't talk about pain enough :). I liked the sixth book much better, I think because I could relate to James' character, however, I was expecting a different outcome and I still am even though I'm finished with the book. I'm looking forward to book 7 and _really_ hoping that some of the questions still circling get resolved.
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Cynthia Voigt is an American author of books for young adults dealing with various topics such as adventure, mystery, racism and child abuse.

Angus and Sadie: the Sequoyah Book Award (given by readers in Oklahoma), 2008
The Katahdin Award, for lifetime achievement, 2003
The Anne V. Zarrow Award, for lifetime achievement, 2003
The Margaret Edwards Award, for a body of work, 1995
Jackaroo: Ratte
More about Cynthia Voigt...

Other Books in the Series

Tillerman Cycle (7 books)
  • Homecoming (Tillerman Cycle, #1)
  • Dicey's Song (Tillerman Cycle, #2)
  • A Solitary Blue (Tillerman Cycle, #3)
  • The Runner (Tillerman Cycle, #4)
  • Come a Stranger (Tillerman Cycle, #5)
  • Seventeen Against the Dealer (Tillerman Cycle, #7)

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