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Halfway to the Sky

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4.06  ·  Rating details ·  468 Ratings  ·  70 Reviews
Twelve-year-old Dani is running away from home, or what’s left of home anyway. Her older brother, who had muscular dystrophy, died a few months ago. Then her father left and her parents got divorced. Now home is just Dani and her sad, silent mother, and Dani’s got to get away. She plans to do something amazing, and go where her parents will never find her: she’s going to h ...more
Paperback, 176 pages
Published July 8th 2003 by Yearling (first published 2002)
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Stephanie A.
Oct 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I've heard of the Appalachian Trail, but only in the past year have I really learned about thru-hikers, from reading the blog of someone who is making plans for it in the future and talks a lot of about the accounts of hikers they follow as well as all the pack-preparation and planning it takes. But for all that, I haven't read any firsthand accounts of the actual experience. And even though this is written for younger readers, as an adult, I found it to be a perfect introduction to the concept. ...more
Hope Hill
Mar 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
K. East
Mar 23, 2018 rated it liked it
Interesting insight into hiking the AT, although the only stretch I've done -- through Grayson Highlands just north of Damascus -- was tricky and not well-marked. If I lived nearby I would have offered to do trail maintenance because that stretch needs it. An interesting feature of that area is that the herd of wild ponies that roam the park.

Story was okay. Dialog between mom and early teen daughter was believable, although the mom was a good deal more patient with the whining than I might have
...more
Cecelia
Mar 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I LOVE this book!!! It is so amazing! It is my favorite book! If I could only have one book to read for the rest of mt life it would be this one. Most Definately. It is on the top of my list for sure! Dani is a character that relates a lot to my friend. When you have a connection like that it makes the whole book worth reading five more times. I am also a through hiker, which is mentioned a lot in this book. Taking this adventure was amazing and definately a life-changing experience. Way to go K ...more
Tayli Craner
Sep 23, 2009 rated it really liked it
Really liked it!! I wish I was as fit and active as this girl. She'd be my best friend if she was real. I recommend this book to all who are hikers and can handle sadness. Her mom is amazing, too. It would be so hard to be in a place like her, but she works it all out. I would love to hike the Appalachian Trail! Anyone want to go with me?? It's only about 2175 miles.
Jane Irish Nelson
Aug 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
After Dani's brother dies of muscular dystrophy, her father leaves, and then her parents get divorced. With her mother constantly at work, Dani figures she will hardly be missed. Since her parents met while hiking the Appalachian Trail, and named the children after the two ending points — Springer and Katahdin — Dani has heard about the Trail her entire life, and has decided to escape my making her own journey along it. Naturally, the people she encounters as she begins are concerned about a twe ...more
Madeleine
Oct 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I really like this book because of how Dani is so focused on what she wants and she strives to get towards her goal. I also think that that having the setting of a trail that has to do with family heritage is so cool. It also gives a lot of background information about the trail and her experiences. I think the theme gives of a really good message to other readers because it teaches you to strive towards your dreams and goals and I would really recommend this book.
EmmaB
Nov 22, 2016 rated it liked it
I liked this- it was short and sweet. The catharsis (or maybe it's more like quiet understandings of what happened to get her to this point) of dealing with her brother's death and her father's split by going back to basics, or back to the trail where her parents met, worked. I wondered if the author had read Wild (Strayed) (not possible - this was written 10 years before), but maybe Strayed read this? It made me want to go on my own walkabout.
Carolyn
Aug 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I think Bradley has a real handle on teens, their development and struggles to become themselves separate from their families. Here, she shows us a deeply divided family having suffered a dreadful loss, and one child's response with unexpectedly wonderful ramifications!
I'm on a mission to read all of Bradley's books!
Sandy Dennis
Jul 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
To escape the pain of her brother’s death and her parents divorce, Twelve year old Dani, after months of preparation, runs away from home to hike the Appalachian Trail. The reader shares her hike as well as her recovering grief.
Marsha Johnson Davis
Aug 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Yes, I'm an adult reading juvenile books. So what, it's a great story. I love the trail and have hike the areas in the book. It's a great story of adventure, growth and heart. You can't beat that no matter who the audience the book is intended for. Great little read!
Reagan
May 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Dani has ran away from home. Her parents are divorced, and her brother died a few months ago. She has come to a mountain. She hikes it. Soon, her mother finds her. They go together.
you have got to read this book! It is awesome!
Nancy
May 04, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: teen
Chose this book because of the author, but was surprised and disappointed to see swearing, disrespect and lying. Liked the working through grief and fear and unhappiness in a good way. Would be so much better to include the Lord in the journey.
Aah..z
Oct 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: strong-kids
I read (heared exactly) the book because I first heard "The war that saved my life" from the same author and was simply blown away. Especialy the narration of Mrs. Jayne Entwistle was heartrendingly.
"Halfway to the sky" could not compare. But it was still interessting and a nice book.
Jeremiah Henderson
May 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I absolutely love stories about the Appalachian Trail and this book was perfect!! A heart-wrenching storyline, and amazing character development. This is one of my new favorites.
#bookaday - summer 2017
Sabrina
Jul 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Good, easy young adult read. I love the AT so it was very interesting to me.
Diane
Jun 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: adventure, families
With the death of Dani's brother, she takes off to hike the Appalachian Trail alone
Melissa
May 28, 2017 rated it liked it
I've stopped going hiking and camping as much as I did when I was little, but I still think of this book when I think about maybe going backpacking.
Lexie Wall
Jan 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Amy Sian
Mar 16, 2012 rated it liked it
My book was Halfway to the Sky by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley. I guess this was an OK book. The kind of books i prefer to read are action/mystery type of books unlike this book was.
A twelve year old girl name Dani decides to run away from home an hike on the Appalachian Trail. When her mom comes home she basically already knows where Dani has gone because she left enough evidence. She left her mom a message on the phone saying that she is leaving the house and doesn't want to live there anymore
...more
Liralen
Jul 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
This had been on my radar for a while—one in a long list of Appalachian Trail books—but I picked it up after I read The War that Saved My Life and realised they were by the same author.

The setup's pretty simple: Dani (short for Katahdin, the northern terminus of the AT) is grieving and feels abandoned by her parents, so she runs away to hike the Appalachian Trail. Her mother finds her, of course, and Dani's solitary adventure becomes something more.

Two really strong points: first, although I rea
...more
Penny Peck
Aug 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-ya
Upset about the death of her brother due to muscular dystrophy and the divorce of her parents, 12-year-old Dani runs away to hike the Appalachian Trial (too bad Governor Sanford ruined that phrase for the rest of us). Soon her mother finds her and agrees to hike with her for a while, to help both of them process their loss. This would make a great TV movie for Hallmark or Lifetime, with its focus on the mother-daughter relationship and the beautiful scenery. The author is skilled at avoiding dem ...more
Andrea Proser
Assigned summer reading for my son (and, consequently, me). Odd choice since it's not even in print anymore, but I bought a used copy on eBay.

It's exactly that kind of book: an assigned-reading, school-discussiony, deeply and artificially symbolic, emotionally-dense kind of book.

Also, it's a junior alternate to Cheryl Strayed's "Wild" that - even though it was written well before Strayed's was published - annoyed me and made me want to reread "Wild" instead.

P.S. My bookworm son didn't like it,
...more
Grace Anne
May 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone!
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Emily Wallace
Jun 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
Huge fan of this author. Really liked this book, but hate the aged cover. It needs a makeover. Love the journal format. Really enjoyed the main character. I like that she acted her age at times. This is an adventurous book that is appropriate for middle school. Couldn't put it down. This is a shorter book that might be good for some of your reluctant readers. Btw the main character lives in East Tennessee!
Hal
May 22, 2015 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone
Read this years ago but I'm currently going through my bookshelves rereading books that I'm ready to pass on to new owners. I'm not sure if I'll be able to let this one go. This book actually inspired a family vacation to Maine to go hiking some years back, the weather was horrible and the mountain was closed but was still a great vacation. It is a quick read and has good characterization of a family dynamic after tragedy.
Maria Sloan
2. there wasn't much of a theme , mainly to ''keep going''
3."Remote for detachment , narrow for chosen company , winding for leisure , lonely for contemplation , the trail leads not merely north and south , but upward to the body mind and soul of man
This quote is significant because it is talking about how a journey is not lead by direction but by you , and what you think.
4. Yes i would recommend it , mostly to those who like adventurous books.
Carmussel
Jul 01, 2009 rated it really liked it
Because of crummy knees (and quite proabably, my ADD!), I’ll never hike the AT (Appalachain Trail), from Georgia to Maine . . . but I like dreaming about it, and this teen novel, set on the trail was great for that. The mother-daughter conflicts were handled in a very believable way, as was the story ending. Another good coming-of-age story.
Meg
This book is amazing! I picked it up at my school library, and finished it that same day. The mother/daughter dynamic is brilliantly written. This book inspired my to hike the Appalachian Trail, and my friend and I are planning to hike it after highschool. Great book for anyone planning to hike the AT, has hiked it, or enjoys the outdoors.
Kayla White
Apr 26, 2013 rated it it was ok
I was not impressed with this book. I did not care for the way it was written nor the constant talk of "peeing" throughout the book. It was unusual and not very interesting. My students got bored with it, and many kept saying "when is this book over?", or "this book is terrible." Overall, I would not suggest it to anyone.
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YA / MG Read-A-Ho...: Halfway to the Sky 1 8 Aug 01, 2013 11:52AM  
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I grew up loving books by Laura Ingalls Wilder, Lois Lenski, L.M. Montgomery, Madeline L'Engle, K.M. Peyton, Noel Streatfield, Mary Norton, and Sydney Taylor. Patricia MacLachlan and Jane Yolen helped me start writing.

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