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A Dog's Way Home

4.19  ·  Rating Details ·  1,263 Ratings  ·  173 Reviews
Daddy says, "Most folks got a north star in their life—something that gives their life extra meaning. Mine is music."

Without even thinking, I say, "Mine is Tam."

Abby knows that Tam, her Shetland sheepdog, is her north star, and she's pretty certain she's his, too. But when an accident separates Abby and Tam, it feels as though all the stars have fallen out of the sky and
Hardcover, 321 pages
Published February 22nd 2011 by Katherine Tegen Books (first published January 1st 2011)
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Okay for Now by Gary D. SchmidtTrue by Katherine HanniganDivergent by Veronica RothBreadcrumbs by Anne UrsuWonderstruck by Brian Selznick
DCL Mock Newbery 2012
15th out of 42 books — 35 voters
George Knows by Mindy MymudesStone Fox by John Reynolds GardinerBecause of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamilloThe Incredible Journey by Sheila BurnfordStrays by Jennifer Caloyeras
Young Adult & Middle Grade Dog Novels
73rd out of 100 books — 56 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Abby and her Shetland sheepdog, Tam, spend hours every day practicing for agility training trials and simply enjoying one another’s company. That all changes the day Abby and her Mom have an accident on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Heading home to NC from a competition in Virginia, their pick-up truck travels headlong into a tree, sending Tam’s crate tumbling down a mountainside. Tam manages to free himself from the crate before he’s drowned in a mountain stream, but in the c
Mar 19, 2013 Chrissy rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Hannah Lombardi
Nov 18, 2015 Hannah Lombardi rated it really liked it
I bought this book a few years ago as well, and a few months ago, I decided to read all of the books on my shelf that I have not read yet, and this was one of them. This is about a sheltie that gets lost on a highway after a car crash, and the dog's owner tries to find him. This has the POV of both the girl and the dog, and the chapters are short, since it is for kids. This is a heartbreaking story of a girl trying to find her missing dog, and I loved it! Some parts were quite frustrating, like ...more
Raul Gallardo
Oct 15, 2016 Raul Gallardo rated it it was amazing
A Dog's Way Home by Bobbie Pyron is a book about a girl named Abby who has a dog named Tam who got lost in a car accident. I really like this book because it switches perspectives from the dog Tam to Abby each chapter although Tam doesn't talk. It is also amazing how close they were to each other all the time. I really recommend this book to anyone who would like a book that wants to make you keep reading.
Bri  Ahearn
Mar 30, 2011 Bri Ahearn rated it it was amazing
All Abby needs in life is Tam, her beloved Shetland sheepdog. When the two are doing agility training, Abby doesn’t have to even speak to give cues to Tam, their relationship is that strong. But when Abby’s family is in a car accident, Tam’s crate is thrown from the truck and the two are separated by the Blue Ridge Mountains. Abby needs Tam and Tam needs Abby, and they’ll stop at nothing to find each other.

I tend to classify dog books in my own way. There are books that are about dogs and then a
Apr 06, 2011 Doret rated it really liked it
11yr old Abby and her dog Tam are Dog Agility champions. After another win in Virginia, there's car accident on the way home to Harmony Gap, NC. Tam's cage which was in the back of the truck was thrown over during the accident. Now Abby is trying to find Tam and he's trying to find his way home. The chapters alternate between the two.

Once Tam was lost it was his story I was most interested in. One thing I loved about Tam, he wasn't an extraordinary or overly smart dog. He was simply a regular Sh
I found myself really enjoying this book. I was afraid at first that it would be kind of slow, but it wasn't at all. At least, I didn't find it so. The story moves quickly from the time that Abby and Tam get separated. The alternating accounts (Abby and Tam) could have slowed the story down, but it didn't. I found myself anxious to find out what would happen next in the story. Tam's predicament tugged at my heartstrings and I found myself cheering him on in his struggle. There is one part of the ...more
May 02, 2011 Anne rated it really liked it
Shelves: newbery-2012
My 11-year old son (whose favorite genre is fantasy) LOVED this book, and predicts that it will win the Newbery. He has noticed that recent winners usually convey strong emotion, and this book does that well. I liked the alternating perspectives of girl and dog, and was drawn into the emotional worlds and dramas of both their lives. Both story lines developed unexpectedly strong and engaging supporting characters (Cheyenne and the coyote in particular). The Blue Ridge mountain setting is ...more
Marianne Mitchell
Jul 27, 2012 Marianne Mitchell rated it it was amazing
Don’t you just love the cover on this book? The adorable Shetland sheepdog ‘fetches’ the reader and takes you on a wild adventure. On their way home from a dog agility show, Abby and her mother are in an accident. Tam and his crate are thrown from the bed of the pickup. As Abby recovers, she is determined to find Tam, even though the odds are not good. Told in alternating voices of the girl and the dog (it really works!) the reader is taken on an incredible journey of survival and adventure. ...more
Nov 23, 2013 Bannag rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
It was an amazing book about a girl and her best friend and companion, her dog, get seperated during a terrible accident, and that they both have such a strong bond, that nothing, not even when they are 10,000 miles away from each other, can break it. It shows the loyalty of friends, and that friendship and love always wins.
Jan 27, 2015 Brooke rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book because of how this dog does everything to find his owners after the crash he was hidden when knocked out and this story broke my heart. How he finally found his family.
Oct 22, 2011 Kassie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a good story, thought it could be used for Rappin' Readers, but they don't like sad stories, so will just recommend it to the few who like to read about dogs.....
Edward Sullivan
Apr 12, 2016 Edward Sullivan rated it it was amazing
A wonderfully written, dramatic and moving story about the unshakable bond between a dog and her girl. Tam will go down in history as a "top dog" among literary canines.
Richie Partington
Nov 05, 2011 Richie Partington rated it it was amazing
11 March 2011 A DOG'S WAY HOME by Bobbie Pyron, Katherine Tegen/HarperCollins, March 2011, 336p., ISBN: 978-0-06-198674-1

"And every stranger's face I see
Reminds me that I long to be
Homeward bound."
-- Paul Simon

"Mama slipped an arm around me and pulled me to her. 'I'm sorry, Abby. I know how much you loved him.
'"I twisted away from her. 'He might still be alive.
'"A look passed between Mama and Daddy.
"'He could have gotten out of the crate,' I said. 'Just because you didn't find him, that doesn'
May 30, 2014 NebraskaIcebergs rated it really liked it
When my signed hardcover copy of A Dog’s Way Home by Bobbie Pyron first arrived, I felt as if it were Christmas. First, I always appreciate a good animal tale and this one lasts over 300 pages! A Dog’s Way Home distinguishes itself in another way too from other lost dog stories. By being told through the alternating viewpoints of eleven-year-old Abby and of her sheltie Tam after they’re separated by a car accident, Pyron treats readers to complex relationships, emotional character growth, and ...more
Oct 01, 2011 Beverly rated it it was amazing
My thoughts: Holy wow! Where to start? I truly LOVED this book!

Bobbie Pyron is a gifted storyteller. This story is beautifully written.
The book itself is a reader's dream: the cover is wonderful, the print is easy to read with enough white space on the pages to be encouraging even though it's a "fat" book by a sixth graders point of view. The characters are realistic, the language is straight forward and easy to understand. The names aren't tricky or hard to pronounce, the storyline draws you
Small Review
Originally posted on Small Review

3.5 stars

There seems to be an endless supply of animal stories where the creature conquers great adversity to be reunited with the love of its human companion. A Dog's Way Home did not stand out in the genre for me, but it did warm my heart, which is exactly what a book like this should do.

Rocky start

A Dog's Way Home alternates chapters between Abby's first person narration and Tam's journey (narrated in the third person). At first I wondered why Abby's sections
Patricia Powell
Sep 29, 2012 Patricia Powell rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-grade
“A Dog’s Way Home” by Bobbie Pyron (Katherine Tegen 2010) alternates the stories of spunky 6th grader, Abby, and Shetland Sheepdog, Tam, an agility champion.

Both the fact that this is a middle grade novel and by its name, you can be pretty much assured that things are going to turn out okay—that the lost Tam will find his way home. Otherwise I couldn’t bear to read it. Gone is the era of “Old Yeller” and Bambi’s mother being shot by a hunter. I appreciate the fact that nowadays we protect our yo
Sep 21, 2016 A.Steeh rated it it was amazing
This is a great book that portrays love and companionship perfectly. It is emotion and passion filled. It is one of my absolute favorites
Sep 19, 2016 Nikki rated it liked it
Great book!
Mar 05, 2015 Jen rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 10, 2012 Michelle rated it really liked it
For Children's Literature Course:

Audience: 3rd through 6th grades; boys and girls alike
Appeal: This story will appeal to children who love animals and a happy ending; especially those with an interest in clairvoyance.
(Found on my list)


This is a cute story about love, faith, and hope. The little dog never questions why his girl is not with him, he just knows he has to get back to her. Through wind, rain, sleet, and snow, this little dog battles
Sherry Ellis
Apr 13, 2011 Sherry Ellis rated it it was amazing
A Dog's Way Home is a story about a dog named Tam and a girl named Abby. As the story begins, Abby and Tam are competing in an agility contest. Their special bond is apparent. They are the perfect team because of their deep love and understanding. As expected, they go on to win the competition. Life is good. On the way home, all of that changes. They are involved in a terrible crash in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Abby and her mom are badly hurt. And Tam - he and his crate fly out of the back of ...more
Stacy Ford
Jun 25, 2012 Stacy Ford rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
It's taken me forever to get around to this book, especially as it is written by my co-worker! I enjoyed discussing some of it with her right after I finished.

At the beginning, I was getting Incredible Journey similarities. So I laughed when that book was mentioned by Abby's friend. As the story progressed, however, the story definitely became its own. I especially liked that I was able to see with the dog's owner was going through. I loved seeing the family dynamic. I found it funny to have a c
Stephanie A.
Jan 18, 2013 Stephanie A. rated it really liked it
In many ways, it read like a junior version of Lassie Come Home. If the book was all from Tam's POV, it would have been perfect, as he was a sweetheart of a pup and I loved reading about his adventures, even when they were hard to make myself keep reading.

Unfortunately, the other half was populated with stupid people: a girl with such atrocious grammar she should be embarrassed to talk, incredibly unlikable parents, and a vet who thinks that no, there's no reason to even check if this lost and
Amanda Snow
Oct 06, 2011 Amanda Snow rated it really liked it
Shelves: middle-grade, 2011
Originally published at

11-year-old Abby and her dog, Tam, are best friends that do everything together. On a trip home from a competition with Tam, a car accident results in Abby being hospitalized and Tam's crate being thrown from their vehicle, landing somewhere in the woods by the side of the road. Abby is sick with worry and even more so when no one can find Tam.
Days turn into weeks and months and Abby doesn't give up hope. Tam, as determined as his person to make h
Book Twirps
Oct 07, 2011 Book Twirps rated it really liked it
Eleven-year-old Abby's best friend is her dog Tam. While driving home after a competition, they are involved in an accident which sends Abby to the hospital. Tam's crate is thrown from the vehicle and no one can locate him. Abby is sick with worry, but she knows Tam is out there somewhere and she has to find him. Tam is just as strong-willed as Abby and will fight against all odds to make it back home to Abby.

Ms. Pyron has written a beautiful story of friendship, hope and survival. As a child I
Apr 02, 2013 Purvika rated it really liked it
Abby Whistler is traveling back from a dog show when a terrible accident occurs, and her dog, Tam, is thrown from the truck. Following Abby's recovery in the hospital, she and her parents visit the scene to have a look around, but they can't find her beloved Shetland sheepdog. Now that winter is approaching, the Blue Ridge Parkway will be closed, so it will be months before she can continue her search. As weeks and months slip by, Abby's family becomes doubtful that Tam is alive, but Abby ...more
Jul 31, 2012 Anna rated it really liked it
recommended for E510 @ Chase Academy

Yes, this is definitely a dog book, but I don't think you have to be a dog lover to enjoy this book. The two protagonists, 11 year old Abby, and her dog Tam are a little bit too noble for my taste, but on the other hand, if they weren't good, I wouldn't really have cared about either character, or their reunion. I like the fact that the dog's perilous journey is balanced with Abby's move from a small mountain town to Nashville. (Unfeeling) readers who are no
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