The year is 1944 when Margaret "Meggie" Dillon leaves her grandfather and her best friend Lily behind in Rockaway, New York and moves to Willow Run, Michigan, so her father can work at a factory building airplanes. Her older brother Eddie is fighting the war in Europe and Meggie misses him terribly. To make matters worse, her new house looks like a long box with few windows and no grass or trees in the yard. Her home in Rockaway had been near the sea; she used to hear the call of seagulls and breathe in the fresh, salty air. All she has to remind her of home are a few seeds from her grandfather's vegetable garden.
Slowly Meggie begins to make friends and rebuild her life. She meets Patches and Harlan, along with other kids who are in a similar situation. Their parents brought them to Willow Run so they could find better work in a factory building war planes. Meggie knows that this arrangement is not permanent because everyone keeps telling her that it is just for the duration.
Patricia Reilly Giff fills the book with vivid details that keep the reader anchored in time. Meggie is always entering wartime jingle writing contests and watching war newsreels at the movie theater.
Giff, a former reading teacher, is the author of many books for children, and several of her novels for young adults were named ALA Notable Books and ALA Best Books, including THE GIFT OF THE PIRATE KING, ALL THE WAY HOME, and NORY RYAN'S SONG.
Meggie Dillon lived during uncertain times, just like many young people today. Readers will learn about the power of friendship and hope to pull us through difficult times when they pick up a copy of WILLOW RUN.
Reviewed by Renee Kirchner on September 13, 2005
- Publication Date: September 13, 2005
- Hardcover: 160 pages
- Publisher: Wendy Lamb Books
- ISBN-10: 0385730675
- ISBN-13: 9780385730679