Cover image for The way to stay in Destiny
Title:
The way to stay in Destiny
Author:
Scattergood, Augusta, author.
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Scholastic Press, 2015.
Physical Description:
179 pages ; 22 cm
Summary:
Sixth-grader Theo leaves everything behind to live with his Uncle Chester, a Vietnam War veteran and loner, in Destiny, Florida, but he is drawn to play the piano in Miss Sister's dance school and soon makes friends with the feisty Anabel, a baseball fanatic who invites Theo to help solve a mystery.
Language:
English
Reading Level:
650 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 4.1 5.0 172683.

Reading Counts RC 3-5 3.7 10 Quiz: 65515.
ISBN:
9780545538244

9780545538251
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

From the author of the acclaimed Glory Be , a novel that celebrates baseball, fast piano, and small-town living in the wake of the Vietnam War. When Theo gets off a bus in Destiny, Florida, he's left behind the only life he's ever known. Now he's got to live with Uncle Raymond, a Vietnam War vet and a loner who wants nothing to do with this long-lost nephew. Thank goodness for Miss Sister Grandersole's Boarding House and Dance School. The piano that sits in Miss Sister's dance hall calls to Theo. He can't wait to play those ivory keys. When Anabel arrives things get even more enticing. This feisty girl, a baseball fanatic, invites Theo on her quest to uncover the town's connection to old-time ball players rumored to have lived there years before. A mystery, an adventure, and a musical exploration unfold as this town called Destiny lives up to its name. Acclaimed author Augusta Scattergood has delivered a straight-to-the-heart story with unforgettable characters, humor, and hard questions about loss, family, and belonging.


Author Notes

Former librarian and children's book reviewer Augusta Scattergood has devoted her life and career to getting books into the hands of young readers. Her reviews and articles have appeared in THE CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR, DELTA MAGAZINE, the ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, and other publications. Additionally, Augusta is an avid blogger. Please visit her at www.augustascattergood.com. She lives in St. Pete Beach, Florida.


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

It's 1974, and in two short weeks, sixth-grader Theo's life has changed dramatically. Gone are the familiar rhythms of life on his grandparent's farm and his beloved piano; instead, home is now a small, cramped room in a rooming house in Destiny, Florida, with an uncle he hardly knows. Named after Thelonious Monk by his music-loving parents, Theo is delighted to discover that Miss Sister, who runs the rooming house and dance academy, has a piano that he can play. However, for his gruff war-veteran uncle, the very sound of the piano brings up painful memories of his sister, and he forbids Theo to play. Distracting Theo from his difficult living situation is Anabel, an energetic girl whose love and knowledge of baseball rivals that of Theo's. Together, the two of them investigate a baseball mystery in Destiny. A well-crafted novel that explores such challenging themes as enduring the impact of war on families, establishing a new life, and understanding what love truly means, this will connect well with middle-school readers.--Gaus, Eve Copyright 2015 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

It's May 1974, and Theo M. Thomas is begrudgingly taken in by his gruff Uncle Raymond, a Vietnam vet, and brought from Kentucky to the small town of Destiny, Fla., on the Gulf Coast (Theo's parents died when he was young, and his grandparents can no longer care for him). They move into Miss Sister Grandersole's Rest Easy Rooming House and Dance Academy, where Theo is saddled with chores and ordered around by his uncle, who wants little to do with him. Theo isn't looking forward to starting sixth grade at a new school until he meets the mayor's daughter, Anabel, who shares his love of baseball. Miss Sister encourages Theo to use his talent for playing the piano at the academy's recital, but just when Theo feels that his destiny is at his fingertips, Uncle Raymond threatens to uproot him again. With an eye and ear for period details and dialogue, Scattergood (Glory Be) builds a cast of memorable, realistically flawed characters in an affecting story about holding on to one's dreams. Ages 8-12. Agent: Linda Pratt, Wernick & Pratt. (Jan.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


School Library Journal Review

Gr 4-6-Theo is a sixth grader who was raised by his grandparents but displaced when their Kentucky farm was sold after his grandmother's death. As the story begins, Theo is traveling with an unfamiliar uncle en route to a new life in Destiny, Florida. Theo's fear of being the new kid in a new place feels authentic, but are unfounded. Instead, he finds beaches, a baseball mystery, and a glorious piano owned by Miss Sister, proprietor of the rooming house where he and his disgruntled Uncle Raymond rent a room. Michael Crouch's narration lilts with the rhythm of the South, which immerses listeners in the hot Florida sunshine of Theo's new world. Some of the metaphors are a stretch, however: when asked to play piano for dance students, Theo thinks, "I thought I'd have more time to practice before being thrown to those leotarded wolves." And though the story seems simple and straightforward, things become complicated as relationships often do. Listeners will be pleased with the resolution, which, while not exactly a happy ending, finds Theo and his uncle managing to tentatively become a family. An author's note adds value by putting the struggle of returning Vietnam vets, such as Uncle Raymond, into context. VERDICT Recommended for those who enjoy recent historical fiction.-Toby Rajput, National Louis University, Skokie, IL © Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.