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Dicey's Song (1982)

by Cynthia Voigt

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Tillerman Cycle (2), Tillerman Cycle Chronological (2)

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2,691384,886 (4.03)58
Now that the four abandoned Tillerman children are settled in with their grandmother, Dicey finds that their new beginnings require love, trust, humor, and courage.

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» See also 58 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 38 (next | show all)
Still love this family and their journey through the challenges they face while striving to remain true to each other. It's especially nice to see the book tackle how the world reacts to various differences: in learning ability, body weight, race, finances, etc. ( )
  hissingpotatoes | Dec 28, 2021 |
When we catch up to the Tillerman family they are in Maryland living with the grandmother they never knew they had. Dicey is a teenager starting to come of age with homework and budding albeit reluctant friendships. Her brothers, James and Sammy, are in thriving in school. Only sister Maybeth is a musical prodigy. Her family is becoming self-sufficient. Everything should be great for Dicey. Her family is not on the run. They have a roof over their heads every night. They have food on the table at every meal. They have someone to look after them. But, for Dicey something is wrong. For the longest time she had control over her family. Keeping them together and safe was all she knew how to do. When her siblings start exercising independence Dicey isn't sure how to feel about it. She has to learn to let them go their own way, together but apart. At the same time Dicey deals with the confusion of becoming a young woman without her mother's guidance. My favorite moments were whenever Gram's hardened exterior began to soften as each child reached for her love. ( )
  SeriousGrace | Aug 17, 2021 |
After the events of the summer recounted in Homecoming, Dicey and her siblings are adjusting to life with their Gram in Maryland. Now no longer the sole one in charge of making decisions, Dicey deals with school and making new friends, while her Gram works on officially adopting the children knowing that their mother will probably never be well again.

I loved the Tillerman stories when I was younger - I don't know why, but stories about kids with hard home lives finding a place to call home appealed to me. This is very much in that vein, as Dicey learns to reach out a hand to others and allow them to become friends. It's much more focused on her character than any plot, running from the start of school to about Christmastime. I might be a slightly more harsher critic as an adult then I was when I first read it, but it's still a good story. Though it could technically be read as a standalone, I think it makes a little more sense to read Homecoming first because they quickly reference events of the summer a couple of times that don't have the same resonance with readers if you're not aware. ( )
  bell7 | Nov 28, 2020 |
Newbery Medal 1983. Dicey and her brothers and sister settle in with their Grandma after being left by their mentally ill mother. They learn to make friends in their new school and to truly contribute to a family life. ( )
  LindaLeeJacobs | Feb 15, 2020 |
The four Tillerman children, (feisty Sammy, sweet and slow Maybeth, brainy James, and relentlessly determined Dicey) are figuring out how to live with their odd and ornery Gram, who is adopting them. Dicey has never really had friends, and finds it difficult when a big, effervescent black girl, Mina, is determined to make friends with her, and also when a slightly older boy she sees after school, develops a crush on her. Maybeth struggles to learn math and reading, but picks up piano brilliantly, under the tutelage of Mr. Lingerle, a kind and obese music teacher who befriends the family.
Towards the end, Gram gets word from Boston about the children's mother, who has been in a state mental hospital in a vegetative state, and she packs up Dicey and takes off to the hospital. The children's mother is dying. ( )
  fingerpost | Nov 5, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 38 (next | show all)
Ann Philips (Children's Literature)
In the second book of Voigt's "Tillerman family" cycle, Dicey and her younger brothers and sister settle in with their grandmother on a stark homestead by the Chesapeake Bay. Their mother remains unresponsive in a Boston psychiatric hospital. Dicey is confused about where she fits into the family now that Gram has taken over responsibility for the youngsters, but she soon learns that the family still needs her resourcefulness and solid good sense. Dicey and Gram steady one another as each reaches out, breaking Tillerman tradition. Gram is a hard, proud woman who has lived to regret her isolation and the scattering of her children. Gram makes overtures to town folk and her world expands. Dicey tries to remain aloof at school, but neither Jeff the musician nor the forceful Mina relents until Dicey allows them into her circle of caring. In her spare time, Dicey is restoring a derelict sailboat, meticulously sanding down layers of old paint. Metaphorically, her emotional defenses wear away as she slowly opens to hope, friendship, expressive writing, and finally to an acceptance of her mother's death. When Gram and Dicey bring her mother's ashes home, the broken family is nearly healed. Written in fine, spare prose, this outstanding Newbery Medal winner belongs in every school and community library collection. Readers will be eager to pick up the rest of the series. 2003 (orig. 1982), Aladdin/Simon and Schuster, $5.99. Ages 10 to 14.
added by kthomp25 | editChildren's Literature, Ann Philips

» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Cynthia Voigtprimary authorall editionscalculated
Slagt, MachteldTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Taylor, GeoffCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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What a day, Dicey thought.
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Now that the four abandoned Tillerman children are settled in with their grandmother, Dicey finds that their new beginnings require love, trust, humor, and courage.

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Now that the four abandoned Tillerman children are settled in with their grandmother, Dicey finds that their new beginnings require love, trust, humor, and courage.

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