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Where I Was Planted

4.40  ·  Rating details ·  42 ratings  ·  35 reviews
In the spring of 1961, ten-year-old Nate "Weenie" Dooley has a revelation-his father is not a good one.

Inspired by National Geographic, his favorite thing next to the Bible storybook his mother gave him before she died, Nate plans to leave his father and their home in the Smokies to set out on adventure.

When he discovers that his father has left him first, it will take the
Paperback, 272 pages
Published July 16th 2019 by Ambassador International
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Heather Norman What a fun question! You observed very well, and I had to think about the answer. You are right that he was friendly with Patrick and Smithy, so it…moreWhat a fun question! You observed very well, and I had to think about the answer. You are right that he was friendly with Patrick and Smithy, so it may seem a little odd that he wasn't overly friendly with Dell. But I tried to bring out the point that he was meant to be Nate's dog, that maybe God sent him specifically as a helper for Nate. So maybe since Dell had fed Samson before, Samson was making sure Dell he knew that he was still only Nate's pet. (less)
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Average rating 4.40  · 
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 ·  42 ratings  ·  35 reviews

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Deanne Patterson
This is a new to me author and Where I Was Planted is one very special book. Even though the book takes place in the early 1960's to me it's reminiscent of taking place in the 1930's or 1940's in the poor South.
This is a very tender book full of people you want to know, people you want to be on your side, people you can depend on.
I want to visit the characters and chat with them.
I fell for Nate and wanted the best for this character. He is very mature for his age but I do believe his
Sep 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2019, book-tours
“My roots reached down into shallow soil, but it’s where I was planted; and they were strong.”

Wow. This is the first book by Heather Norman Smith that I have read and I’m stunned by how it has affected me. This type of book, a historical fiction set in the 1960s that doesn’t have action, suspense, mystery, or romance, isn’t my typical fare but I’m so glad that I read this book. The author’s lyrical, nostalgic, beautiful first person narrative is reminiscent of Valerie Fraser Luesse’s poetic
Carole Jarvis
Nov 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Where I Was Planted by Heather Norman Smith is a moving, beautifully written novel that I enjoyed very much. There’s no fast-paced action here, just a heartwarming, poignant story with endearing characters that enfolds you in its arms. The narrative unfolds through the eyes of ten-year-old Nate and is his coming of age story – physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

Where I Was Planted is historical fiction set in the not-so-distant past of the 1960s and opens as Nate comes home from school
Ibjoy1953 Hannabass
Nov 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wish-list

This was a really good story, different from most I read. I enjoyed that it written in the early 1960's because I was a young girl then, and I enjoy stories in that era. This book is kinda different but I did enjoy it. Nate has wanted to leave home for a while, be sure he didn't care for his dad. But his dad had other plans, to leave first! What will life bring these two, especially Nate.

Nate was so young to leave home, I had trouble like his dad, he should be looking
Oct 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Where I Was Planted by Heather Norman Smith is a beautiful historical novel about finding faith, love and purpose in life.
The novel focuses on ten year old Nate and is written in the first person. I ‘lived’ the book through Nate’s eyes. He is a gentle soul, wise beyond his years and brought out the mothering side of me. Nate is a misfit searching to be loved and belong. He watches other fathers and wishes his father would notice him. The reader is reminded that we are all misfits searching for
Jessica Baker (A Baker's Perspective)
I have to admit, I never imagine learning so much from the journey of a ten year old boy in a fiction book, but Smith surprised me. Not only with her beautiful writing, but her ability to take the reader on the journey alongside of Nate, rather than just reading about it. There were several emotional scenes that made me take pause, and then pick right back up again. I loved the way she presented bibles stories through Nate and his wonderful storybook bible. It reminded me to have the faith of a ...more
Abigail Harris
Oct 30, 2019 rated it liked it
Mini Review of Where I Was Planted by Heather Norman Smith: When I saw this book on JustReads I knew I had to try it out. The cover, the blurb, and everything said that it would be an enjoyable story but opening that ebook? It was not what I was expecting, it was better, and I loved it. The way the Bible stories came into Nate's life was so sweet and also so very sad, but the way he grew from them was one of the best parts of the book, I highly recommend Where I Was Planted for anyone over 13, I ...more
Diane Virginia
Jul 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wow! This book is powerful. I was hooked with the first paragraph. Nate compares himself to a dandelion weed pushing up through the crack of asphalt. Because of its perseverance, it makes it as does the character. This sets the tone of the book. I knew somehow Nate was going to gain the victory over some very difficult circumstances. Even so, I found myself conflicted, wondering how Nate would find a way to overcome. The author, Heather Norman Smith, masterfully portrays Nate’s emotional and ...more
Randi Sampson
Sep 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
**I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for consideration. All thoughts are 100% my own.

If you're looking for a high paced read that will have you on the edge of your seat... well, Where I Was Planted isn't going to be it. To be honest, this book is quite different from my typical reads. I tend to lean towards either books with action, adventure and suspense or books with romance... or more often than not, a combination of the above. Where I Was Planted was absolutely
Amanda  H
Sep 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
From the get go, Nate's story is one that pulls at the heart strings! When he attends the birthday party of a schoolmate, he comes to the realization that his father is not the norm. Left motherless at a young age, his father is an absent one. When he comes home one day to discover his father has left with no notice, Nate must come up with a plan to survive.
I didn't know how this story could be more than a heartbreaking one, but it wound up being a beautiful story of a child's faith in miracles
Oct 26, 2019 rated it liked it
This is a heart-warming story that will have you thinking about life and small blessings, way after you finish reading the last page.

Taking place in the 1960s, this is all about Nate Dooley, who is a very independent young kid. He's had to look out for himself basically ever since he can remember. He takes a hold of your heart and hangs on as you read his story.

Nate is a young boy, just turned 11, and he's on his own. He keeps this a secret for a little while. But then, some of his friends and
Nov 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was my first book by Heather Norman Smith but it sure was a good book. I sometimes have a hard time reading books about younger kids that go through difficult times because I always think of my own and if they ever had to go through something like it, and it breaks my heart. As Nate went through life he struggled to find love. With a father like he had it was hard to believe that you are loved. When his earthly father leaves him he must survive on his own. But God is with him through ...more
Connie Carpenter
Oct 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is set in the 1960's. In this book we meet Nate. Who is 10 years old. He is guiding himself through life with his beloved bible storybook. It was the last gift his mother gave him before she died. His father abandons him, and Nate is alone trying to navigate. This book is a must read. It is well written, has a very intriguing storyline. This book does touch on some tough subjects (Ie: abandonment and mental illness) but the author handles it with grace and tact. I enjoyed reading this ...more
Kendra Neal
Nov 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I really like books that take you back to different decades, and this book goes back to the 1960's. Nate is the main character in the book. His mom died when he was young. His Dad left him all alone when he was about 10yrs old. Nate decides he can and will take care of himself and he goes about life and does just that. Nate is very resilient and extremely determined, and that helps him mature quickly and in a good way. Nate is able to keep on living on his own and doesn't reveal his secret to ...more
Nov 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: justread-tours
My Thoughts on Where I Was Planted:
I came into this book knowing that I would like this author. She has a previous book out called Grace and Lavender which I reviewed and loved. Her style is fun and upbeat while also tackling hard topics. It’s easy to read and flows really well. Definitely check out her first book!

When I first started reading this book I found myself sad. This poor little boy lost his mother and his father is not much better than no father at all. But then his dad actually does
Nov 01, 2019 rated it liked it
In Where I Was Planted, Heather Norman Smith paints a very sad picture of a young boy who has been abandoned by his living parent. And yet even though this is sad, the story has hope because yes, his dad abandoned him, but after that he begins to see the whole town of people who truly care for him.
Here's what I liked about the story:
The voice. I don't believe I've read many books from the perspective of an 10 year old boy, but as I was reading this one, I felt as though I was in his head. The
Patti Whitson Stephenson She Lives to Read
Be warned: I am going to gush over this book. Set in 1961, this is not a “romance”, but a beautiful story about brave ten-year-old Nate, a boy of great faith who suddenly finds himself alone and thinks that he does not have anyone to help him. He depends on guidance for life from his beloved Bible story book, one of the last things his mother gave him before she died. His sterling character traits come from all he learned about his “heroes’ in those Bible accounts. This story is told from Nate’s ...more
Oct 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
What a precious story written from the viewpoint of a very special 10 year old boy, Nate. Nate’s father just abruptly leaves him and we’re left to witness the rest of his story. What an intelligent, strong boy Nate is – I loved his character! Not only is he rescued from his loneliness by a stray dog he names Samson, but several other interesting folks come into his life. His teacher Miss Gentry, the kind Smithy, his neighbors the Nelsons, and others play pivotal roles. The ensuing saga will keep ...more
Robin E. Mason
Oct 26, 2019 rated it liked it
What kid doesn’t dream of going off to see the world? And with a cache of National Geographics, Nate Dooley has a better idea of where to go than most kids. Adults, too, for that matter. And like kids everywhere, he figures he can strike out on his own.
No matter he’s only ten. He’s essentially on his own all the time anyway.
Ms. Smith tells a heartwarming—and heart wrenching— story. Nate is resilient and ingenious, and somewhat precocious—I don’t know of many ten-year-olds who would consider
Suzie Waltner
Oct 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
When Nate’s dad takes off without warning, this ten-year-old (almost eleven) sets upon a journey of discovery. With some unexpected help that comes in several forms—a dog, an elderly neighbor couple, a best friend, a teacher, and an unexpected friend—can Nate discover that family is made up of more than those who share blood bonds?

Heather Norman Smith’s Where I Was Planted is a beautifully written narrative from the eyes of a young boy who is both an old soul and a child who longs for normal.
Oct 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
I am not entirely certain why I chose to review Where I Was Planted. It is not exactly the type of book I usually read and I definitely have committed to reviewing more books than I should have without reading one I might not care for. Fortunately I found this book to be heart-warming and a delight to read.

I loved observing Nate Dooley as he accepted his abandonment and resultant difficulties with such a good attitude and managed to find a group of new friends and a contentment he has never
Caitlyn Santi
Oct 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is such a beautifully poignant and incredibly touching story! I must admit this is a book that I wouldn't normally select, but something about the description just drew me in and I knew I had to give it a try, and boy am I glad I did! This is a beautiful story of a young boy's adventures in life and faith when his father leaves him without a word. I don't know why, but for some reason the tone of this story and the first person voice of Nate, our young narrator, sort of made me think a ...more
Jessica Higgins
Jul 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A very poignant and delightful read with characters readers will love to cheer for through the toughest of situations.

In 1961, ten-year-old Nate Dooley comes home one day to find his kitchen stocked with food and his Dad nowhere to be found. He figures now is as good a time as any to be on his own. With a stray dog as his companion, Nate tries to hide the fact that his father is gone from everyone around him for as long as possible. He likes being in his home by himself and doesn’t want the
Emily Yager
Sep 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a new to me author. As a historical fiction, Where I Was Planted is a beautiful written and a powerful read.

Set in the early 1960’s in the poor South, 10-year-old Nate who’s been dealt more than his fair share of grief and heartache. Starting with the death of his mother when he was little and being nearly forgotten by his father. A highly responsible child who has had to grown up too fast and learn to survive on his own.

Featuring a small cast of interesting characters and Samson the
Aug 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I gave this book 5 stars because I immediately felt connected with Nate in so many ways.
I remember one time my dear Mom held a birthday party for me. All my classmates came. I had overheard someone say that they only came because Mom had candy and other stuff. I felt like outsider looking in at my own party. I told mom don't ever do a party for me again and I told her why. Kids can be so very cruel.
Nate is like me. He can see things and understand things that no one else can see. In otherwords
Jul 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Where I Was Planted by Heather Norman Smith is very well written, with likable characters and a storyline that pulls the reader right in.

Set in the early 1960’s, Nate Dooley is an ten-year-old young boy who lives with a rather inattentive father after the death of his mother when Nate was still quite young. Before her death Nate’s mother presented him with a Bible story book that he reads every night before bed. He and his best friend like to act out the stories in Nate’s backyard.

Due to his
Heidi Main
Jul 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Heather weaves a page-turning story in her second novel, Where I Was Planted. Set in 1961, this novel is a throw-back to a simpler time. No cell phones, no internet. In fact, not many people had televisions or telephones in Cooper Creek. I loved reading a book set in this time period, made me long for the simpler life myself. This book was about ten-year-old Nate, who had lost his mother and didn’t have much of a relationship with his father. When Nate’s father left him, Nate just kept on living ...more
Jamie Sizemore
Jul 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
After reading Heather's first book Grace and Lavender I was super excited to finally have the opportunity to read Where I was planted. It was an easy read. I teared up on several occasions for good reasons. It just pulled at my heart strings. I really enjoyed getting to know the characters and all that they brought to the boys life. How God just placed him were he needed to be and how God gave him the people he needed in his life because he had faith. Wow, just wow. My only complaint was that I ...more
Jul 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Where I Was Planted by Heather Norman Smith is a simple read with deep impact - very much like the main character Nate.

I enjoyed Heather’s debut novel, Lavender and Grace, so much so that I jumped at the chance to read a pre-release copy of her second book. Where I Was Planted is a wonderful summer read. A quality story about neighborly love in unexpected places.
Jul 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Where I Was Planted is written from the perspective of a 10 year old boy who has found himself alone. He is extremely responsible and has some great neighbors. He longs for family and adventure. Throughout this book, he gets even more than he hoped for. I received a free copy of this book to honestly review. I will look forward to reading more by this author.
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