Cover image for Willow Run
Willow Run
Giff, Patricia Reilly.
Personal Author:
Library edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Random House/Listening Library, [2005]

Physical Description:
3 audio discs (approximately 67 min. each) : digital ; 4 3/4 in.
During World War II, after moving with her parents to Willow Run, Michigan, when her father gets a job in the B-24 bomber-building factory, eleven-year-old Meggie learns about different kinds of bravery from all of the people around her.
General Note:

Compact disc.
Reading Level:
650 Lexile.
Program Information:
Reading Counts RC 3-5 5.4 8 Quiz: 37457 Guided reading level: S.
Added Author:
Format :
Audiobook on CD


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
J FICTION CD Juvenile Audiobook on CD Audiobooks

On Order



In this moving companion to the Newbery Honor Book "Lily's Crossing," Meggie Dillon's life has been turned upside down by World War II. Meggie's father announces the family is moving to Willow Run, Michigan, where he'll work nights in a factory building planes that will help fight the enemy in Europe.

Author Notes

Patricia Reilly Giff was born in Brooklyn, New York on April 26, 1935. She knew she wanted to be a writer, even as a little girl. She received a Bachelor's of Arts in Education from Marymount College, a Master's of Arts from St. John's University, and a Professional Diploma in Reading and a Doctorate of Humane Letters from Hofstra University.

After she graduated from college, she taught in the public schools in New York City until 1960 and then in the public schools in Elmont, New York from 1964 until 1971. She then became a reading consultant before finally, at the age of 40, deciding to write a book. She also worked as an educational consultant for Dell Yearling and Young Yearling Books and as an advisor and instructor to aspiring writers. She is the author of more than 60 children's books, as well as a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers.

Together with her husband, Giff opened "The Dinosaur's Paw," a children's bookstore named after one of her own stories. She is the author of the Polk Street School books. Lily's Crossing, about the homefront during World War II, was named a Newberry Honor Book by the American Library Association as well as an ALA Notable Book for Children. The novel also won the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award Honor. Pictures of Hollis Woods was also named a Newberry Honor Book and Nory Ryan's Song was named an ALA Best Book for Young Adults.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Gr. 4-6. Introduced as Lily's friend in the Newbery Honor Book Lily's Crossing (1997), Margaret Meggie Dillon now experiences World War II on her own. For the duration is how the adults talk about the war's deprivations, whether they are referring to eating Spam or to the Dillons' makeshift housing in Michigan, where Meggie's father has moved the family in order to take a job building planes. Meggie desperately misses her home in Rockaway, and German-born Grandpa, who was left behind. Still, sometimes she's glad he stayed home: it was Meggie who wiped the swastika from his window and heard the culprits say that anywhere else he would be jailed. Giff artfully carves the sentiments so prevalent in times of war--anxiety, inspiration, boredom--into sharp relief while creating a cast of finely drawn characters (the kind of people Meggie would never have met had she stayed home), each with his or her own worries, fears, and hopes. Many story lines are threaded neatly together here, but what has happened to Meggie's brother, Eddie, who is fighting overseas, remains unknotted at the end. Tough and tender, this is an excellent addition to World War II shelves. --Ilene Cooper Copyright 2005 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

PW's starred review of Lily's Crossing by Patricia Reilly Giff, a 1998 Newbery Honor book, said that the WWII homefront novel, about Lily's growing friendship with a Hungarian refugee, "has all the ingredients that best reward readers." Willow Run follows Lily's best friend, Meggie, when her family must move to Willow Run, Mich., to work in a factory and help the war effort. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 4-7-Willow Run (Wendy Lamb Books, 2005) by Patricia Reilly Giff is about 11-year-old Margaret "Meggie" Dillon, Lily's friend from Lily's Crossing (Delacorte, 1997). Meggie's brother Eddie is serving in the army in Europe. Her father moves the family from Rockaway, NY, to Willow Run, MI, where he will work in a factory making B-24 Bombers. Meggie has to leave her friends and her German-American grandfather back home. Listeners are transported into life in 1944 America, where everyone is doing his or her part for the war effort. Giff provides great insight into the pervasive influence that the war has on everyday life. Meggie tries to live a normal life, writing letters, entering contests, and befriending other children whose parents are also working at the factory. Everything changes when a jeep pulls up in front of their home and her brother Eddie is reported missing in action in Normandy. Meggie is an endearing character because she has inner strength, great loyalty, and love for her family and friends. This is a beautiful story filled with nostalgia, innocence, heartbreak, love, and hope. But don't look for any neatly tied up endings here. Actress Staci Snell reads this first person account with youthful determination, while using slight changes in her voice to breathe life into all of the supporting characters. A worthwhile choice for historical fiction collections.-Jo-Ann Carhart, East Islip Public Library, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.



Chapter One The wheels made a horrible sound; no wonder. The wagon belonged to Joey Kind down the block, who hadn't used it in years; the whole thing was a rusted mess. And the nerve of Joey to say, "You be careful, Meggie Dillon. Don't ruin it." Too bad, I wanted to tell him, keep your old wagon. But I had to borrow it. It was all for the war effort. And right now rattling along in the center of the wagon was Big Bertha, Mom's iron statue that had a clock in her stomach. She'd been rusting away in the attic forever, just like Joey's wagon. Big Bertha was going to war. Mr. North at the junkyard would pay me a quarter and Bertha would be melted down into bullets. Poor Bertha. It was almost dark so I began to hurry. I chugged past Grandpa's house but I knew he wasn't there. He was at my house waiting for Dad to get home from work. Dad had news, that was all Mom would tell us, and we'd hear it over a late supper of salad greens and flounder in tomato sauce: greens we'd grown in Grandpa's garden, and flounder Grandpa and I had caught this morning. Poor flounder. Poor me for having to eat it with every single one of its skinny bones getting caught in my teeth. Someone was moving along the side of Grandpa's house. My mouth went dry. Here we were in the middle of a war. Suppose it was a spy? As quietly as I could considering the squeak of the wheels, I shoved the wagon into a pile of bushes and tiptoed up the driveway. I went slowly, ready to tear back to the street and across the lawn to one of Grandpa's neighbors before the spy shot me. A pair of shadows. I clapped my hand to my mouth so I wouldn't make a sound. Then I realized I knew them both. One was Joey Kind's older brother, Mikey, and the other was a kid I had seen down at the beach flexing his muscles as if he were Charles Atlas, the weight lifter. His name was Tommy or Donny or . . . I wasn't sure, but I remembered my friend Lily Mollahan nudging me, asking, "Did you ever see such an idiot in your life?" He was not only an idiot, he was big. They were both big, sixteen or seventeen, and tough, and I shivered thinking what would happen if they caught me following them. But what were they doing? They had an open can of red paint and a couple of brushes, and they began to dab something on Grandpa's kitchen window. "Hey!" I yelled, without stopping to think. They spun around. Mikey looked embarrassed, but the muscle guy kept going with the brush. It looked as if he were painting a spider . . . but then I saw. He was painting a swastika, the Nazi sign, on the glass pane. "That's what we do to Nazis around here," he said. "He's not a Nazi!" I could feel the anger in my chest, a pain so sharp it was almost hard to breathe. "He's American," I managed. "Sounds German to me." The muscle guy was grinning. And then he was imitating Grandpa, mixing up his fs and his vs, sounding the way the Nazis did in the movies . . . . . . sounding like Grandpa. I had a quick picture of Grandpa in my mind, Grandpa sitting on a bench down at the canal, his head back, that awful red hat on his head, his face sunburned, singing "Mairzy Doats" with a German accent. "Get out of here, both of you!" I yelled, almost forgetting it would be dark in about two minutes and I was alone with them back there. "You're lucky," Muscle Man said. "If this were anywhere else but Rockaway, they'd probably put him in jail. He's got to be a spy." I picked up a stone, ready to throw it, but Mikey took a step toward me. "You know what, Meggie? I think you want the Nazis to win the war. You and your Nazi grandfather." My arm went down to my side. "That's not true. You know that's--" "Anywhere else, something would happen to him. Worse than jail," Mikey said. "Worse than anything. And to you, too." Why was he saying this? Maybe because I'd told the lifeguard at the beach that he was out too far. But maybe not. He'd always been mean. Or maybe that was what people really thought, that Grandpa was a spy, that I . . . Somewhere down the block I heard a door slam. The two of them slipped past me along the side of the house. When they were halfway down the driveway I plunked the stone after them, hitting the pail of paint. "Crummy aim," Muscle Man said, and Mikey called, "Heil Hitler." "Watch out, next time--" and then I broke off because it looked as if they were going to come back after me. I darted around back, but now I heard them marching up the street yelling, "Heil, heil," with that same accent. I went up to Grandpa's window and put my finger on the painted swastika. It was thick and still shiny wet, and I could feel that my cheeks were wet, too. Grandpa was the biggest pest in the whole world, calling me Margaret every two minutes instead of Meggie, whispering during movies so I couldn't even hear what was going on, saying bah whenever he didn't agree with me. So why was I crying? From the Hardcover edition. Excerpted from Willow Run by Patricia Reilly Giff All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.