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This Way Home

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  154 ratings  ·  45 reviews
One young man searches for a place to call home in this gut-wrenching, honest novel from New York Times bestselling author Wes Moore with Shawn Goodman.

Elijah Thomas knows one thing better than anyone around him: basketball. At seventeen, he’s earned the reputation of a top-level player, one who steps onto the court ready for battle, whether it’s a neighborhood pickup game
Hardcover, 247 pages
Published November 10th 2015 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers
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3.97  · 
Rating details
 ·  154 ratings  ·  45 reviews

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Dec 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
Elijah and his two best friends Michael and Dylan were really compelling fully realized characters, and I loved reading about their dynamic and interactions. None of the other characters felt quite as real or three dimensional for me as they did.

I was really surprised by how high-stakes and gripping the end of this book was. For most of the book I had a pretty good idea of where it was going, but in the last scene especially I was taken aback and honestly wasn't sure how the book would end which
Nov 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book was very interesting to me because it was the main character , Elijah, a 17 year old who lives in Baltimore. The journey to find out who he is or what his future will hold felt very real. The issue of falling into gang life because his best friend was or staying out of it and being who he is and wants for his life. It was a great novel that explores this topic by using basketball, and street life, and how important adult mentors can be when dealing with issues for young adults. I would ...more
Jenny Ashby
Feb 16, 2016 rated it liked it
Elijah is already being scouted for college basketball which is his ticket out of his rough neighborhood. His coach lets him know that some recruiters will be watching at the upcoming street ball three-on-three tournament. When one of his best friends, Michael, shows up with some brand new shoes for their team Elijah is so anxious to make a good impression he ignores his uneasy feeling and uses the new gear. Turns out the new stuff was provided by local gang Blood Street Nation and now the boys ...more
May 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: 12-15
Recommended to Beverly by: we need diverse books
Wes Moore, author of the outstanding The Other Wes Moore: One Name Two Fates, has written his first YA novel, and it is unforgettable. Elijah, Dylan and Michael have been best friends since they were little kids. "We're brothers. We have each other's backs. It's always going to be like that." They have helped each other navigate a neighborhood controlled by a violent vengeful gang and supported each other's dreams for a better future. Elijah has spent his whole high school experience getting top ...more
Great book about inner city kids trying to make something of themselves. The main character is not only a great basketball player, but also a great student. Things take a turn for the worst though when he gets caught in the middle of some serious gang activity. I wouldn't say that the ending was as strong as the beginning, but it might be a story that many students from urban areas can relate to. I might consider using this title as a possible discussion book.
Solomon Cooper
Sep 10, 2017 rated it really liked it

Basketball is something that Elijah loves almost as his mother, it also helps that he is extremely good at it. Being an athletic young player has caused a lot of attention to come his way. Those various schools may better his future but what Elijah truly cares about is getting the attention of his father. The man has been in his life for such a short amount of time that he doesn’t remember what he even looks like. He is hopeful that a upcoming televised basketball tournament will finally get his
Abdol-Samad Ali
Sep 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The book " This way home" is a book about three boys, Elijah, Dylan, and Michael. These boys all knew each other from the third grade and stayed close by basketball. The boys were all juniors and entered a basketball tournament meant for adults. While this was going on Elijah got a job working for his mom church friend Banks, Elijah arrived everyday on time at 7:30 a.m. Michael got the boys a sponsor for the league that supplied them with shoes and jerseys, the sponsor was from a gang called blo ...more
Zach Berndt
Jan 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
This way home is about a group of three high school kids who are great at basketball. It focuses on one of the kids in particular though, his name is Elijah. Elijah is the best player on the team and he has a future ahead of him, but him and his friends get messed up in a gang. Elijah and his friend have to figure out what to do, do what is right or what is wrong. He thinks of many more bad things when something happens to his friend. My favorite character was Banks. Elijah worked for Banks and ...more
Sep 10, 2017 rated it it was ok
Generally I like all things basketball, including reading books with a basketball story line. The main character of This Way Home is Elijah a high school basketball player from Baltimore. He is intelligent and a talented basketball player who can earn a scholarship to college. But there are obstacles that he and his best friends Dylan and Michael must overcome. Also Elijah yearns for sometime that is missing in his life.
The plot of Elijah's yearning left me underwhelmed with this book. I felt t
Kathleen Currie Smith
Set in inner city Baltimore, three teenage boys, best friends since elementary school, hope their basketball skills will lead them to college and ultimately out of their neighborhood. Instead, a gang becomes interested in them and secretly sponsors their team. When the boys find out and refuse to wear the clothing and shoes in the basketball competition, the ultimate price is paid. Elijah, the main character, finds his strength from his mother and a neighbor who becomes his mentor.

This book was
Julie Trapp
Aug 19, 2017 rated it liked it
Elijah is the best basketball player in the neighborhood. He and his friends are set to win an adult neighborhood tourney. Scouts & TV will be there. However, the local gang wants the boys to wear their colors. One of his friends, Michael, even scored new shoes and uniforms with the gang's logo. Elijah is against wearing the nice, new uniforms. What does the gang expect of the boys for this stuff?
In the meantime, his mom has gotten him a job doing odd jobs around the house for Banks, a crank
Fantastic! So realistic, so heart-wrenching -- a real "rock and a hard place" situation -- and yet the author handles the characters, the plot, the challenges, the obstacles, and the outcome so well, so realistically, that teens can really truly relate to Elijah. And his dilemma can help others to deal with their own tough situations. Great book discussion material, and the audio is great too!
Kara Linaburg
May 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
I am picky about my YA fiction but this one went completely above what little expectations I had for a random book I picked off the library shelf. The ending is good.
Really good.
That's all I'm going to say or otherwise I'll give it all away, but I was cheering for Elijah, an urban kid who just wants home.
Julie A
Aug 13, 2018 rated it liked it
This Way Home was a decent read. It had interesting characters and enough plot twists to keep me reading. One of our "non-reader" students (sophomore boy) told me I HAD to read I did. I understood why he liked it.
Feb 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: highly-recommend
Challenged my thinking
Dec 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Another gritty read for reluctant readers about basketball and friendship .
Cyrano Dozier
Aug 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is what I thought from reading the first page. I chose this book because from reading the first page and back it seemed interesting.
Tessa Baer
Aug 19, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: book-club, novels18
This book was a solid 4 for me, up until the last quarter. The ending just didn't flow for me. The rest of the book was very good though.
Dante Albergotti
Aug 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
As a young 17-year-old boy, Elijah desperately looked for a dad he never knew. Being an athlete, basketball was a way to keep his mind off of it. So were his two best friends, Dylan and Michael. When the school year ended and summer started, he looked for a job. Elijah worked for Army veteran, named Banks, who was very very strange. He also played in street basketball tournaments. Elijah was never looking for trouble but found himself in it with a gang. He looks to Banks for his help to survive. ...more
Mar 07, 2017 rated it it was ok
This Way Home is a book about three best friends who play serious ball together. They are a talented close-knit group. The boys have serious skill. Their coach gets them a chance at playing in the big leagues. Unfortunately, there is a gang in town. The gang is called Blood Street Nation. Blood Street Nation will do anything they need to in order to keep people in check and stay in control. The boys have done all they could to stay out of gangs and to make names for themselves. One of the boys g ...more
Chase Schmitt
Feb 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Wes Moore is the author of this book “This Way Home” this book's main purpose is to tell the story about a young boy born and raised in the heart of Maryland this seventeen year old's name is Elijah Thomas. Elijah has never met his father, he doesn't even know his name or the sound of his voice, Elijah's entire life up to this point has been focused on getting his father to come home. Now Elijah is in love with the game of basketball but the only reason he is playing is to get his father's atte ...more
Sally Kruger
Being recruited to play basketball at the college level is the only way out of a bad situation for Elijah Thomas. His father bailed on his mother when Elijah was only two years old. Since then his mother has worked two jobs to make ends meet.

Junior year has ended and Elijah and his two best friends are planning to compete in a local adult basketball tournament. Winning could earn them $3,000. Elijah and Dylan are thrilled when Michael shows up with three shoeboxes. Three awesome pairs of Jordan'
Ms. Yingling
Nov 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
November 10th 2015 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers

Elijah is good at basketball, and hopes that it will be his ticket to a college scholarship so he can escape his rough Baltimore neighborhood. When he and his friends form a team to play in a big tournament, he is a bit worried when his friend Michael finds a "sponsor" for them who provides expensive shoes and clothes, but he has other things to worry about. His mother has arranged for him to help Mr. Banks, an ex-military man, fix up his ho
Jake Walker
Nov 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This Way Home by Wes Moore is about a guy named Elijah. Elijah is one of the best basketball players around. Their team was winning a lot of games and were going to the tournament. Everything was going good until a gang called the “Blood Street Nation” tried to get their team to wear their colors and the team refused. Now they have a struggle against hope and fear. “I'm meeting with money tomorrow and we're going to work this out.” (Moore 130) They're trying to get this to where it's under thei ...more
Anyone who knows me knows that if there's one thing I have absolutely zero interest in, it's sports. That said, when I found out this was a "sports" book, meaning one of the main topics was basketball, I was already going in with reservations. That being said, since I had to read it anyway, I tried to set that aside and read as someone who does like sports.

The setting was unlike anything I could relate to. I grew up in solidly middle class suburbia, where the neighbors all know each other and p
John Clark
Jan 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
Seventeen year old Elijah Thomas lives for basketball, but dreams that someday he'll be playing and look up to find his long absent father watching with approval. Thus far that hasn't happened, but he, along with best friends Michael and Dylan mesh well together on the court and have reached a level where they're going to try winning the $3,000 prize in the summer tournament. Most everyone else is bigger and older, but Elijah is their secret weapon.
When Michael gets them expensive new shoes and
I found this book to be surprisingly frustrating. The first 2/3 of this book were a wonderfully well written story about a boy trying to find a way out of his current situation however then the book tried to turn into a wannabe action movie which was not satisfying and basically ruined the whole book for me.
Mar 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mel Raschke
Seventeen year old Elijah Thomas lives for basketball, but dreams that someday he'll be playing and look up to find his long absent father watching with approval. Thus far that hasn't happened, but he, along with best friends Michael and Dylan mesh well together on the court and have reached a level where they're going to try winning the $3,000 prize in the summer tournament. Most everyone else is bigger and older, but Elijah is their secret weapon.
Theodora Iron
May 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs
This Way Home

"Sometimes the dream is more important than the thing itself"

Elijah, 17, is living in the West End projects of Baltimore, Maryland, with basketball being his only salvation. He and his two friends are struggling to qualify for a Championship League when suspicious events begin to arise...

I have no words for this. It is a 5/5 star story that I highly, highly recommend to anyone of any age. 'This Way Home' is a rare story of true friendship and courage.
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Wes Moore is a youth advocate, Army combat veteran, promising business leader and author.

Wes graduated Phi Theta Kappa as a commissioned officer from Valley Forge Military College in 1998 and Phi Beta Kappa from Johns Hopkins University in 2001 with a bachelor’s degree in International Relations. At Johns Hopkins he was honored by the Maryland College Football Hall of Fame. He completed an MLitt i
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