The Wrong Way Home (Hardcover)

The Wrong Way Home By Kate O'Shaughnessy Cover Image

The Wrong Way Home (Hardcover)


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Twelve-year-old Fern believes she's living a noble life--but what if everything she's been told is a lie? This is a huge-hearted story about a girl learning to question everything—and to trust in herself.

Fern’s lived at the Ranch, an off-the-grid, sustainable community in upstate New York, since she was six. The work is hard, but Fern admires the Ranch's leader, Dr. Ben. So when Fern’s mother sneaks them away in the middle of the night and says Dr. Ben is dangerous, Fern doesn't believe it. She wants desperately to go back, but her mom just keeps driving.

Suddenly thrust into the treacherous, toxic, outside world, Fern thinks only about how to get home again. She has a plan, but it will take time. As that time goes by, though, Fern realizes there are things she will miss from this place—the library, a friend from school, the ocean—and there are things she learned at the Ranch that are just...not true.

Now Fern will have to decide. How much is she willing to give up to return to the Ranch? Should she trust Dr. Ben’s vision for her life? Or listen to the growing feeling that she can live by her own rules?
KATE O’SHAUGHNESSY is a book nerd, animal lover, former chef, and an outdoor enthusiast. When she’s not writing, you can find Kate in her garden, eating good food, hiking with her dog, and chronically mispronouncing words she’s read but never heard said aloud. She lives in California with her family.
     Don't miss Kate’s other books: The Lonely Heart of Maybelle Lane, and Lasagna Means I Love You.
Product Details ISBN: 9780593650738
ISBN-10: 0593650735
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: April 2nd, 2024
Pages: 336
Language: English
★ "Gripping. A strong, emotionally intelligent story."
Kirkus Reviews, starred review

★ "The suspenseful story is immediately intriguing, skillfully conveying the high-stakes situation and effortlessly drawing the audience in. A tremendous testament to the power in plotting your own course."
—Booklist, starred review

★ "Lovingly crafted with depth and compassion. Nuance suffuses this story of discovery, as Fern’s blind faith grows tenuous." 
— Bulletin, starred review

"Driven by a growing self-awareness that she can choose who and what she believes, this is a moving portrait of a girl undergoing drastic change." —Publishers Weekly

"This coming-of-age story centers a girl trying to decide what is right as she struggles to change from one culture to another. The first-person narrative is believable and thought-provoking as Fern reconsiders everything she’s thought to be true." —School Library Journal

"O’Shaughnessy presents a high stakes situation and zeroes in on a child narrator’s believable emotions. That tight focus on the narrator even when she is misguided or doesn’t have all the facts allows readers to draw their own conclusions." — The Horn Book Magazine

“Kate O’Shaughnessy is an extraordinarily talented author whose gift is an innate understanding of the inner life of twelve-year-olds.”
—Gennifer Choldenko, Newbery Honor Winner for Al Capone Does My Shirts

“To leave behind a world that seems totally secure and safe and comfortable, for a world in which you make your own decisions and claim your own life—that is one of our great journeys.  In The Wrong Way Home, Fern has to battle her own fear, elaborate illusions, misunderstandings, and the past mistakes of others to get on with that journey—and, dear reader, you will not be able to turn the pages fast enough to see if she makes it.  Plan on reading this in one sitting; matters of the human soul don't bear interruption.”
—Gary D. Schmidt, Newbery Honor Winner for The Wednesday Wars

“Young readers will cheer for Fern as she finds the courage to confront the troubling doctrines she has been raised with and reinvent her ideas of home.”
—Jacquetta Nammar Feldman, author of Wishing Upon the Same Stars and The Puttermans Are in the House