From Ali Standish, award-winning author of The Ethan I Was Before, August Isle, How to Disappear Completely, and The Mending Summer, comes a captivating historical fiction middle grade novel about a boy on the home front in World War II who must solve the mystery of the disappearance of his best friend. Perfect for fans of Alan Gratz and Lauren Wolk, this riveting adventure explores what true heroism means.
"Multilayered, moving, and tremendously powerful.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Standish’s uplifting mystery tackles big themes of abuse, bullying, heroism, mental health, and prejudice.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“A heartfelt tale about what it means to be a hero and take a stand against injustice.”—Booklist (starred review)
Danny Timmons has looked up to Jack Bailey ever since Jack saved two small children from drowning during the Great Flood of 1940. Now, with his father away fighting in World War II and his mother about to have a new baby, Danny relies on Jack’s friendship and guidance more than ever.
So when Jack goes missing without a trace from their small Appalachian town, Danny is determined to find him. He wonders if Jack’s abusive father could be behind his disappearance, or if it has anything to do with Yonder—a hidden magical town Jack once spoke of, where flocks of rainbow birds fly through the sky and they’ve never heard of war. As answers elude him, Danny begins to fear that he didn’t know Jack as well as he thought.
Ultimately, Danny’s investigation forces him to reckon with even larger questions: What is America fighting for in this war? What role do each of us play in stopping injustices, big and small? And is there such thing as a true hero?
A Jane Addams Book Award Honor Book!
A Cybils Award Middle Grade Finalist!
A Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection
A Bank Street Books Best Children's Book of the Year for ages 9-12 in Historical Fiction and noted for outstanding merit (2023)
“Both timely and historical. An exploration of what it means to be brave and do good.” —Tae Keller, Newbery Medal–winning author of When You Trap a Tiger
"A thoughtful, eloquent, and honest examination of prejudice, loyalty, and what it means to be brave." —Alan Gratz, New York Times bestselling author of Refugee and Ground Zero
“A beautiful and important novel that explores what it means to be a hero and the role of each of us to stand up for what’s right.” —Karina Yan Glaser, New York Times bestselling author of The Vanderbeekers series
About the Author
Ali Standish, author of the critically acclaimed The Ethan I Was Before, August Isle, and Bad Bella, grew up in North Carolina and spent several years as an educator in the Washington, DC, public school system. She has an MFA in children’s writing from Hollins University and an MPhil in children’s literature from the University of Cambridge. She lives in Raleigh with her husband, Aki, and their two rescue dogs, Bella and Keeper. You can visit her online at www.alistandish.com.
“Both timely and historical. An exploration of what it means to be brave and do good.” — Tae Keller, Newbery Medal–winning author of When You Trap a Tiger
"What does it mean to be a hero, and when is it all right—necessary, even—to put your own well-being ahead of others? YONDER is a thoughtful, eloquent, and honest examination of prejudice, loyalty, and what it means to be brave. I loved it." — Alan Gratz, New York Times bestselling author of REFUGEE and GROUND ZERO
“A beautiful and important novel that explores what it means to be a hero and the role of each of us to stand up for what’s right. — New York Times bestselling author, Karina Yan Glaser
"Multilayered, moving, and tremendously powerful.” — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Set in small-town Appalachia during WWII, Standish’s (The Mending Summer) uplifting mystery tackles big themes of abuse, bullying, heroism, mental health, and prejudice…Through an elegant voice and a series of flashbacks, the mystery of Jack’s disappearance unfolds alongside the story of Danny’s friendship with him, the increasing clarity with which Danny sees life as far from perfect, and the small but meaningful steps he takes to discover what bravery means.” — Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“A heartfelt tale about what it means to be a hero and take a stand against injustice.” — Booklist (starred review)
"...The story ultimately serves as a sophisticated analogy for the self-serving and simplistic stories perpetuated about the role of the United States in World War II…The concluding message imparts there is no final horizon in the pursuit of peace and justice. Rather, like yonder, it is a direction." — Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“Standish...thoughtfully explores a number of nuanced themes, including friendship, loyalty, prejudice and the horrors of war.” — BookPage
“This is a…powerful story told through flashbacks over the span of several years.” — School Library Journal