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A Dog's Way Home
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A Dog's Way Home

4.1 of 5 stars 4.10  ·  rating details  ·  849 ratings  ·  147 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 n
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published February 22nd 2011 by Katherine Tegen Books (first published January 1st 2011)
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DCL Mock Newbery 2012
15th out of 42 books — 35 voters
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Community Reviews

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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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
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 captiva ...more
Bri  Ahearn
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
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.
This book is very amazing and it was also kind of sad. I would recommend this book to people who are dog lovers
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.
Edward Sullivan
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.
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.....
In the way of The Incredible Journey, Tam and Abby are separated by a car wreck when his crate is thrown out and he is carried away down stream. What follows are the day to day worries of Abby as she tries to cope with Tam's loss and the changes in her family as they move from the country to the Nashville, TN. Meanwhile, Tam has challenges of his own as he tries to find his way back home to his girl. Tense but sympathetic, this is a wonderful read for dog and animal lovers that culminates in a s ...more
Richie Partington
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'
Stacy Ford
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
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
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 pr ...more
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
Patricia Powell
“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
Sherry Ellis
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 th ...more
Book Twirps
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
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
Amanda Snow
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
Stephanie A.
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
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
I loved this book. Tam (Dog) does not easily get lost and in a while he finds his way home. Abby (owner) has perseverance in still trying to get Tam back home. Even after a month she still believes that Tam is out their and will go searching for him even if her parents don't let her do it. On Tam's side he finds out how to do things on his own like find food and meet new friends out alone in the wilderness.
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 doesn' ...more
This book was the most traumatic, devastating book I have ever read! Now, just to put this in perspective, I am the owner of a wonderful Shetland Sheepdog and a total sap when it comes to dogs, but this was worse than any sad dog movie or book I have ever experienced. Author Bobbie Pyron cruelly plunges you right into the tragedy by page 8 and continues to break your heart piece by piece for FIFTY CHAPTERS! By the end of the book, when you think you have no tears left to cry, Pyron cruelly leave ...more
Meg Allison
Kids who love dog-books best will devour this, but others looking for a sweet, and sometimes scary, adventure story will be reeled in. Abby, a 6th grade girl from North Carolina and her sweet Sheltie Tam, are inseparable. Coming back from an agility contest, they are in a car crash along the Blue Ridge Highway. Disorientated and injured, Tam is separated from his family. Will he find his way home? With hundreds of miles of wilderness and danger between Tam and home, he starts on his trek, unawar ...more
Carolyn Kennett
This is a really good book. It is one of the best. I never know that Abby was going to become BFFs with the famous girl. I forget her name though. I can't believe that Tam traveled more than 200 miles!!! He must be a strong dog. I also hated it when Abby and Tam were sooooo close to each other, but then spreaded apart again. I'm so glad that they came back together again.
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