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Dirt Road Home (Alabama Moon #2)

4.01 of 5 stars 4.01  ·  rating details  ·  252 ratings  ·  34 reviews
After his recapture at the end ofALABAMA MOON, gutsy 14-year-old Hal Mitchell issentenced to live at Hellenweiler, an institutionthat is morelike a jail than the boys' home it's supposed to be. Halcould walk out in just a few months ifhe keeps out of trouble.Butin a place like Hellenweiler, the morehe tries to avoid the gangs and their violence, the strongerHal's fellow in ...more
ebook, 224 pages
Published July 20th 2010 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) (first published July 14th 2010)
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every bit as enjoyable as a teen prison drama is allowed to be (corrupt situation, a steadfast hero, and the much-needed redemption). i loved the friendships, loved paco's philosophizing, and pumped my fist @ the feel-good ending. (i must admit to being relieved when hal finally addressed caboose's athlete's foot as well, that poor kid.) this one made me wonder, "when do boys consider themselves to be men?" (which, of course, then made me wonder about girls/women, but that's besides the point.)

I chose this book because I have watched and read the prequel, Alabama Moon. The first story was phenomenal, so I naturally wanted to read the sequel. It's about a tough kid named Hal Mitchell who is stuck in Hellenweiler, a home for boys that's actually a corrupt penitentiary. Hal is stuck there for various offenses, but if he stays out of trouble and his daddy stays clean, Hal can move back to the clay pits at his father's trailer. Hal has a serious dilemma - the guards allow violence, and wri ...more
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The main character Hal's voice seemed very believable and authentic. This examination of a juvenile detention lock-up resisted the temptation to glorify the gang violence but told the story with persuasive gritty detail.


Dirt Road Home
If you read Alabama Moon you will remember Hal, he left Pinson with Moon and their friend. He went home to Daddy; they have decided to go straight. Daddy will stop drinking and 14 year old Hal will get through Hellenweiler Boys Home with a clean record and they can both start over. Mr Wellington is a lawyer they know who is trying to help Hal get out of Hellenweiler before he is 18. If the justice system was just, this would be a piece of cake.

Hal arrives at Hellenweiler and swift
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Sally Kruger aka "Readingjunky" for

Hal Mitchell finds himself back in a boys' home after having escaped the Pinson Home with two other boys. They headed for the woods and almost eluded the authorities in ALABAMA MOON. Now, Hal's lawyer tells him he'll only have to stay at Hellenweiler Boys' Home until a few things get straightened out - and until his dad proves he has given up alcohol and is capable of providing a decent home for Hal.

It turns out that Hellenweiler is

Reread this one and liked it a little more this time. This book doesn't work for me as a reader but has total appeal for male readers, particularly those looking for a story about the rough life in prison. It's sort of a mean girls scenario but set in a boys home. I thought that the relationships between the boys were a bit contrived and a little tough for me to take, but the one between Hal and Carla was so spot on. I absolutely dug what Key does here in describing Hal's fascination with and
Hal has just been transferred from a boy's home to a juvenile facility for older boys. He must stay there until he is 18. Inmates in the facility must choose one of two gangs to belong to if they want to survive. The guards allow the gangs to exist and even encourage friction between both groups. Hal doesn't want to choose sides and just wants to stay out of trouble, but he might not be able to do that.
We meet the protagonist of Alabama Moon after he has rejoined main stream society and struggles against the institutional nightmare that he is assigned. I read this too long ago to remember much beyond he travels with a fellow institutionalized boy and their various dysfunctional families, one boy that does not make it, and the joy it was to read both of these novels.
Kaylee R
Dirt Road Home by Watt Key, is about this boy named, Hal. he gets sent to a boys home called Pinson, its almost like a boot camp.. He was sent because he was covering up for a friend. He and his father had to do things to be able for Hal to get out of Pinson. Hals dad has to quit drinking and keep working, well Hal has to keep his temper down in Pinson so he can leave to see his dad, and his "girlfriend". His "girlfriend" doesn't even really know where he is. But he needs to keep his cool well h ...more
Shauna Dalton
Quick high interest read that continues where Alabama Moon left off. The main character is determined to do his time in a juvenile detention center and get out to make a better life with his recovering alcoholic dad. You are rooting for him to escape the gangs, violence, and corrupt officials that are constantly sabotaging his quest to get out.
Carter Sellers
Amazing coming of age for Hal. Great companion novel to Alabama Moon. Recommended
After reading two of this author's books, I like his voice. His books remind me of Shane and Where the Red Fern Grows. A little old fashioned and very comfortable. His characters are so down to earth and honest. He also gets the dialog right between his teen characters. I would recommend his books for any YA lover.
Companion Novel to Alabama Moon Hal Mitchell is sentenced to hard time at Hellenweiler Boys' Home after his short-lived escape from the state residence where he'd been kept away from his loving but alcoholic dad for the past 2 years. Here trouble finds those who try to avoid it. A survival story about a kid with the moxie and will power to find his own way. Excellent characters, twists and turns and realistic view of the boys' home.
Dirt Road Home is an exciting book about a 14 year old named Hal,main character from Alabama Moon, who gets sent away to juvie until he's eighteen. At this juvie to stay alive you have to join one of the two gangs, the Death Row Ministers or the Hell Hounds. But Hal is the gutsy type of guy and decided to carry his own wait. Even though he will still need help from his new friends Caboose, a quiet fat kid, and Leroy , a nervous skinny boy.
Caden Gingrich
Dirt road home by Watt Key. Dirt road home is about a kid named Hal who is trying to clean up his life. On the way he gets n fights and meets people along the way.
I rate this book a strong 8. It has so many big events that lead up to one big event that ends up to change the whole story. Hopeless Hal is what Hal is called in the story but you’ll have to read into find out why. So go and read it today
, Caden Gingrich

This is a "companion" to one of my very favorite books "Alabama Moon" -- and it's just as good! The main character in this book is the friend of the main character in "Alabama Moon," and it took me awhile to remember much about him. This takes place in juvenile detention, full of corrupt guards, a corrupt director, and lots of very angry teen boys. Very intense, very exciting, VERY good!
Dorothy Dubel
“A young boy is wrongfully sentenced to a hard core correctional institution for boys. Trying to stay out of trouble by not joining a gang he finds his life in constant jeopardy by other convicted inmates.

An eye-opener for kids who think they are tougher and smarter than they actually are for their age.” Reviewed by Dorothy Dubel, Author
Hannah palmer
I thought that this book was really good. It brought you in to the life of the characters, it had a rocky start in the beginning but twords the end it got really good and you could'nt put the book down. It had its ups and downs but i would recamend this book to anyone who liked perfect chemistry or hunger games.
Victoria Vogel
Compelling and very readable story of a 14 year old's struggle to survive in a juvenile detention facility. This is a companion novel to Alabama Moon, which was recently released on the big screen. Boys who hate to read just might enjoy this one. I couldn't put it down.
Dirt Road Home is a fast-paced, taut and engaging read. Mature tween boys or younger teen boys will care tremendously about Hal and his predicament. Hal's determination to... (click for full review
Teen Department Homewood Library
This one snuck up on me. The tension of the story builds, ebbs, and builds again. So slowly that the reader doesn't realize the how tense things are until the story's apex. I really enjoyed this one...much to my surprise!
This one snuck up on me. The tension of the story builds, ebbs, and builds again. So slowly that the reader doesn't realize the how tense things are until the story's apex. I really enjoyed this one...much to my surprise!
Anthony Silva
May 16, 2011 Anthony Silva is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Im am on page 46 and there are 211 pages. So far I really love this book it really makes me see that there are way worse kids in the world then kids at Reed High School.
A super enjoyable sequel that kept up the charm of Alabama Moon, although it contained a lot more brutality.
A good continuation of Alabama Moon though you don't need to read the first, this can stand alone.
David Wilson
Not as good as the first, but as well told. It's hard to follow a success like Alabama Moon.
Laura Gardner
Gritty prison (juvie) drama. No need to read alabama moon first although they share a character.
Hunter Reed
Jun 02, 2011 Hunter Reed marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
I hope this is book is as amazing as Alabama Moon. Watt Key is an Amazing Author.
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