Posted in 2014-2015 Club, Not Mock Newbery

Where I Belong, by Mary Downing Hahn

Where I BelongSummary:  Brendan takes refuge from unkindness by immersing himself in books, drawing, carving, and daydreaming. When Brendan stumbles upon an old man near his tree house in the Virginia woods, he is quick to believe that this is the magical Green Man, guardian spirit of the forest. Brendan’s need to immerse himself in his fantasy world becomes more acute, until he meets a girl with secrets of her own who may just keep his feet on the ground.




2 thoughts on “Where I Belong, by Mary Downing Hahn

  1. This book is about a boy called Brendan who doesn’t fit in and doesn’t really want to, until he meets a man in the forest who he thinks is the mythical “Green Man,” guardian of the woods, and a girl named Shea. Because Brendan doesn’t want to fit in and is a bit depressed at the beginning of the book, the book itself is a little depressing and lackluster in the beginning. But after he meets Shea, Brendan begins fitting in more and the book gets better.
    I believe the two equally best parts of the book were the characters and the setting. The treehouse and the woods, where most of the story takes place, are well-described and three-dimensional. The characters are well-developed and I could see what makes them tick. Also, not every character had one side to them (except the three bullies, but even they were fairly believable).
    Overall, I enjoyed this book, but because of the beginning, I’m not sure it will win the Mock Newbery.

  2. Where I Belong tells the interesting story of a boy who doesn’t fit in. He never does his schoolwork, he is bullied, and overall an outcast. Brendan’s foster mother doesn’t understand him, and he feels slightly bullied by her. Brendan is also a target for bullies, which is spoken of a lot in the story. The beginning of the book seemed slightly lacking, as it focused far too much on Brendan’s depression and how he didn’t fit in. But once he started going to his treehouse that he built in the forest, met Shea and the technically homeless man who he thought was the mythical “Green Man” (mainly because he said his main job was to take care of the forest), the story gets better.
    It does get rather (and really, for some people) sad in the end, when one of the characters dies.
    I thought this was an OK book, mainly because of how lacking it was in the beginning and how it was so focused on how Brendan felt, even though I know it was just trying to give you insight, but the author could have made it more interesting. I enjoyed it but only in parts, which is the only reason I kept reading it to see if there were more curious sections.
    I don’t think it will win the Newbery, though, mainly because of the beginning being lacking and the book doesn’t seem like one to transfix the reader.

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