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Road to Tater Hill

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  340 ratings  ·  71 reviews
Annie struggles with grief after the death of her newborn sister.

Annie can always count on spending summers at her grandparents’. This summer should be even better because Mama is going to have a baby soon. Before Daddy leaves for his Air Force assignment, he gives Annie a journal for summer memories. But now Annie is grieving over the death of her newborn sister. How can
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Hardcover, 224 pages
Published September 8th 2009 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 2009)
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3.94  · 
Rating details
 ·  340 ratings  ·  71 reviews


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Heather McCubbin
"Road to Tater Hill" is emotional, true and real. Annie's mother gave birth too early to a baby girl, Mary Kate. Much to Annie's dismay she never got to meet or see her baby sister. While Annie and her mother are recovering at her grandparents house, Annie tries to deal with many adult issues: her mother's depression, her father's absence (due to the military) and understanding her grandparents reactions--all while trying to fill a hole in her own heart she is convinced no one sees nor understan ...more
Sue
Oct 29, 2009 rated it it was amazing
The death of a child touches a wide circle of people. In this book, the author does a wonderful job of exploring the effects of that loss. More than the story of the death of a sister, the book also evokes the emotions involved in many relationships and the far-reaching changes that can take place. Spending the summer in the North Carolina mountains with her grandparents and her mother, eleven-year-old Annie goes from little girl to young adolescent as she learns about grief, friendship, and fam ...more
Chloe Larson
Jan 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A heart warming story about how this girl has to live when her younger sister died and meets a women that changes her life.
Jenn
Jun 17, 2011 rated it liked it
Had to read this for Battle of the Books and I was pleasantly surprised. It's a beautifully written, harsh story. Very likable characters.
Noel
Sep 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I really liked this book because the characters were easy to get to know.It reminded me how things have changed so much in just under 50 years. It is a good book to read with a middle school girl and talk about the issues. In fact the book makes for much richer reading if you have the background of the social norms at the time.

It was not until the late 60's early 70's that premature babies had a high survival rate. Now we grieve as a community, but the back then it was a hushed up matter. Chi
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Melanie
Eleven-year-old Annie and her mother are spending the summer with her grandparents, as usual. What's unusual about this trip is that her father is overseas in Germany. Annie and her mother desperately miss him. What's worse is that Mama has just given birth to Annie's little sister much too early. The tiny baby only survived a few hours. Daddy never got to see her, neither did Annie.

Annie can't take comfort in her normal summer activities. She doesn't want to see her friends, climb trees are pla
...more
Kaylee R
Sep 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The book, Road to Tater Hill is about this 10 year old named Annie and shes going through a tough time with her family. Her father is in Germany, her mom was pregnant and shes with her grandma and grandpa. But when her mom gives birth.. none of them were there.. they were at home, except her dad is still in Germany. They find out the next day that the baby, they named Mary Kate, had passed away.. Annie and her grandparents were walking out the door when they heard she died. They were all so upse ...more
Katie G
Apr 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Has tragedy ever happened in your family? Do you ever feel alone? In the book ‘Road to Tater Hill’ by Edith M. Hemingway Annie’s family has to deal with the loss of Annie’s baby sister Mary Kate. While Annie’s family is grieving over the loss of the baby Annie feels alone and abandoned by her family. One day Annie was taking a walk in the woods and she sees the silhouette of an older women. “Who was that farther over in the woods? It looked like a girl, but who would be walking around in the woo ...more
Ariel Uppstrom
Jul 14, 2010 rated it it was ok
This was an okay book. It dealt with some interesting topics, infant mortality, postpartum depression, ex-convicts, but not in a really in-depth or impacting way. The main character, Annie, loses her day old sister. Her mother has difficulty overcoming the loss and distances herself from Annie. During this time, Annie meets a reclusive ex-con, Eliza, who murdered her husband in self-defense. Annie leans on Eliza as a mother figure and Eliza leans on her as she becomes reacquainted with society. ...more
Claire
Jun 14, 2009 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: late elementary and middle school, grief, friendship, gossip. realistic fiction
Set in 1963, Annie's dad is in the Air Force, each summer Annie and her mother stay with grandparents in the Carolinas. Annie has friends there, they have traditions, it is a fun way to spend summers. This year is special, because a new baby is coming. But- Mary Kate comes too soon and dies. This story travels the roads of grief as Annie's mother retreats into her dark place, Annie's grandparents try to protect her from grim reality, and Annie tries valiantly to walk her own path to acceptance o ...more
Sandra Stiles
Nov 11, 2009 rated it it was amazing
The first thing this book reminded me of was the book “Getting Near to Baby” by Audrey Couloumbis. Maybe it is because I have an affinity to the hills and mountains of Tennessee and the Carolinas that I love a story like this. The fears of losing her mother to the depression that has engulfed her after the premature birth and death of her baby has left Annie afraid/ Her father is away in the Air Force and she is afraid to tell him of her fears. If she voices them they might come true. Helping he ...more
Leslie Fitzpatrick
Feb 25, 2015 rated it liked it
This was a pretty depressing book from beginning to end, although a lot of the issues are settled at the end of the book there's not really anything wonderfully happy to balance out all the sadness. I think there are lots of good things to mine from a teaching standpoint and some interesting things to discuss, mainly how things have changed. I talked to one student who could really relate because she had a stillborn younger sibling and in today's world she was able to see that baby and get thera ...more
Kirby
Mar 13, 2011 rated it really liked it
What a dear and sweet first book this is! Edith Hemingway (what a name!) carries us to rural North Carolina in the 1960s as we live with 10-year-old Annie for a particularly painful summer. I liked Annie and her relationships with her family, as well as her friendship with an odd old woman. Annie is confused and hurt after her mother loses a baby and begins to withdraw so completely that no one seems to be able to help her. Every element of this story was believable and genuine to me except for ...more
Abby Johnson
Nov 25, 2009 rated it it was ok
Annie is spending the summer of 1963 with her grandparents in North Carolina when her mother gives birth to a premature baby girl who dies. Annie's grieving the loss of a baby sister she never got to meet and she's worried that her mother's depression will never lift.

I mean, it was okay. It bugged me that I couldn't really tell it was historical fiction until the last third or so of the book. More details of the time would have been appreciated. I found the story to be kind of boring. Not my th
...more
Dana
May 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorite-books
My 11 year old daughter read this book and told me that it was wonderful and that I had to read it. She was right. It is a sad, sweet story set in 1963 - the year that I was born - about a 10 year old girl whose baby sister was born prematurely and died the next day. The story deals with her mother's depression and how an elderly neighbor woman helps Annie to deal with that and her own feelings of sorrow. The story is well written and beautiful, funny and sad, and hopeful. I highly recommend it.
Miranda
Dec 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I recommend this book to anyone wanting to read a quick summer read. The young girl in this book is mourning her baby sisters death. The young girl is dealing with her mother that is devastated and waisting away about her newborn daughters death. She in counters an older lady in the 'murderers house'. She then learns the women's secret and realizes she isn't really a murderer and she only killed her husband out of self defense. The characters are very believable and plot is relatively believable ...more
Gabi M
Sep 05, 2014 rated it liked it
This book is about a girl that recently lost her newborn sister. The book is mostly Annie's (the girl who lost her sister) thoughts and how she changes because of her sister's death. When Annie meets an old lady that lives in an old house on tater hill, the book accually starts getting intresting. I gave this book three stars because it wasn't the most intresting and i never got stuck to it, but the writing was good and it's hard to write the was the author did. I can't explain it. It's just rea ...more
Patsi Trollinger
Jan 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: middle-grade
Edie Hemingway is a fine writer, and this book makes a strong addition to the body of children's books that feature Appalachian settings. Set in the mountains of North Carolina in 1963, it pulls together several important themes: a father absent because of war, a mother lost in grief over the death of a newborn infant, and a preteen girl intrigued by a secretive neighbor who may have a dangerous past. The characters are compelling and the plot is well constructed. A good read and a solid book fo ...more
Amanda
Mar 27, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 14-15-mbob
I read this book for the NCSLMA BOB 2014-2015 competition. This book is similar to The Witch of Blackbird Pond. A girl that doesn't quite fit in with her family finds an unlikely friend in an outcast woman. While the book was easy and quick to read, it isn't one that I would be able to recommend to many. I plan to "sell" it as a companion to The Witch of Blackbird Pond for teachers to use as part of the Common Core where they must compare and contrast 2 texts.
Vicki
May 04, 2010 rated it really liked it
Nice little story about a young girl whose dad is stationed overseas and whose mom has just lost her baby. Annie and her mom are staying with her grandparents, as everyone comes to grips with the loss of the baby. The little gem in this story is the friendship that grows between Annie and Eliza McGee, the mysterious mountain woman living in an abandoned house that everyone says belonged to a murdere. Good Read.
Shelley
Nov 04, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: historical, youth
Quiet story about grief and growing up in the summer of '63. Some great characters, great setting, mentions of great books with just enough sixties touches to ground it pretty well. Here's hoping Maggie can handle what comes in November.

(And yes, I did totally compare this to Mad Men characters, situations and parenting. *g* Their attempts to shield Annie were frustrating, but echoes what I've watched this season.)
Melody Loomis
May 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Great story about how a family recovers from the aftermath of losing a baby. The mother is depressed, the grandparents are concerned, and the daughter feels left out and alone. But she finds a way to work through her grief with her “rock baby” and her friendship with the lady she meets in the woods. I liked the main character and her friendship with Miss Eliza. Overall very good book and everyone’s emotional response seemed realistic to me.
Michelle
Dec 30, 2010 rated it really liked it
Annie's little sister dies a day after birth and Annie spends the summer missing this baby sister, Mary Kate. Annie's mother cannot get past the baby's death and circles inside her own grief, forgetting she has a living daughter. Annie's dad is stationed across the ocean while she and her mother stay with her grandparents in the Appalachian hills of North Carolina. Annie meets a mountain women, Eliza McGhee who helps her come to understand her mother's depression.
Nance
Oct 26, 2009 rated it liked it
Annie is a character struggling with grief and loneliness after her one day old sister dies. The book is well written; but I found the plot a little slow moving. The father is away for the military and the mother is lost in herself. The grandparents try to help but are not able. She befriends a neighbor who was once imprisoned for murder.
Heather
Oct 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This book is definitely not for every child, but it is so well-written and very moving that I'm sure there are some for whom it will make a major impact. It would also be very interesting for discussion between tweens and adults about injustice (Miss Eliza) or about our need to discuss feelings or about how much things have changed in the last 50 years.
Rory
Nov 04, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: kids
Not very remarkable one way or the other, but solid and a realistic portrayal of a family suffering from the loss of a baby. Still...how many kids want to read about that, if there's not much else going on? It irked me that the setting was convincingly rural, but not at all convincingly 1960s.
Patty
Jul 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this story of a family's struggle through grief and heartache. Annabelle is strong, honest and resilient. The story is a simple one while detailing of the complexities of grief and the delicacy of relationships in the face of tragedy. Grace, understanding, redemption and forgiveness are woven throughout. Well done!
Vicki
Jul 25, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: tween
Annabel and her family are devastated when her baby sister lives only a day. Her mother especially becomes withdrawn, ignoring Annabel. Annabel seeks refuge in the woods, finds a stranger walking thru and tracks her to the abandon house. When Annie befriends Eliza McGee, she finally finds comfort and strength. Good read
Angela
Jul 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is a sweet story and is set in NC. I was pleasantly surprised reading it because I thought it would be a sad story and a little boring. Instead, although it had sad parts, but the message of the story was actually uplifting, and the story was well-written so there were not any extraneous details or "boring" spots.
Dolores
Mar 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
For more mature juvenile readers, this book has a lot of appeal. Annie is a character who is easy to like and relate to, and her situation tugs at your heartstrings. But even at its bleakest, there is still plenty of hope to go around in this warm and loving book. A tribute to families-the ones we are born with, and the ones we create.
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