Cover image for The way to stay in Destiny
The way to stay in Destiny
Scattergood, Augusta, author.
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Scholastic Press, 2015.
Physical Description:
179 pages ; 22 cm
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.
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.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
J FICTION Juvenile Fiction Central Closed Stacks
J FICTION Juvenile Fiction Open Shelf
J FICTION Juvenile Fiction Open Shelf
J FICTION Juvenile Fiction Open Shelf
J FICTION Juvenile Fiction Open Shelf
J FICTION Juvenile Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



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 Chester, 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 rumoured 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, humour, 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 . 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-When 12-year-old Theo's grandparents become too elderly and ill to care for him, his surly uncle Raymond, a Vietnam War vet, reluctantly takes him from the family home in the hills of Kentucky to the small town of Destiny, FL. They end up residing at the Rest Easy Rooming House & Dance Academy, which is owned and operated by the lovely Miss Sister Grandersole, a former Rockette. Theo (whose full name is Thelonius Monk Thomas, after the jazz musician) finds in Miss Sister a friend and advocate, who also encourages his musical prodigy on the piano even though his uncle forbids it. Set in the 1970s, the town of Destiny is awash in steamy southern atmosphere and baseball history-Hank Aaron and others are purported to have stayed and practiced there. The cast of lively characters, including spunky Anabel who befriends Theo, come to life under author Scattergood's talented hand. A heartwarming story of friendship, family, and finding one's place in the world despite hardship and heartache.-Madeline J. Bryant, Los Angeles Public Library (c) Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.