The Way Back

  • Pages:168
  • Publisher:Orca Book Publishers
  • Themes:homelessness, crime, teen pregnancy, drug abuse, parenthood
  • Pub Date:09/01/2014
  • Age Groups:Fiction Ages 12+
  • Fry Level:3.8
  • Lexile:HL500L
  • ATOS:3.6
  • Fountas & Pinnell Text Level Gradient:Z+
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Colby Wyatt has had a rough year. Her dad disappeared, she doesn’t have a place to live, and she’s addicted to meth. Thankfully, her best friend Gigi’s grandma takes her in, and Colby helps out with the family business, selling stolen goods in Gram’s pawnshop—stuff that Colby and Gigi along with Gigi’s brother Milo steal when they break into people’s houses, which Colby is pretty good at.

Now she’s pregnant. Colby doesn’t tell anyone who the dad is. Instead, she checks herself into rehab so she can get clean and figure out how to keep the baby. Though Colby isn’t sure how to make a family, she’s determined to make things work, and she’s sure she can save Gigi too. But sometimes, no matter how hard you wish for something, it just doesn’t come true.
"The novel's quick pace and straightforward narration will appeal to reluctant teen readers as it pulls them immediately into Colby’s predicament. Mac treats the issues of teenage pregnancy, drug use, and homosexuality, with frankness. Nothing is glossed over or glamorized. Colby is a character to whom readers can easily relate to and with whom they can sympathize."
– CM Magazine
"Mac manages to deftly incorporate a myriad of threads into this straight-forwardly written story...While you are rooting for Colby to clean up her mess of a life, you are also falling a little bit in love with Milo as he tries to be a support to Colby and their daughter, Luna. I could easily see this being a popular Orca Soundings title."
– Resource Links
In the Margins Book Award list   | 2015  |  Commended
CCBC Best Books   | 2015  |  Commended