The Distance to Home

For fans of Lynda Mullaly Hunt and Rita Williams-Garcia, Jenn Bishop’s heartwarming debut is a celebration of sisterhood and summertime, and of finding the courage to get back in the game.

Last summer, Quinnen was the star pitcher of her baseball team, the Panthers. They were headed for the championship, and her loudest supporter at every game was her best friend and older sister, Haley.

This summer, everything is different. Haley’s death, at the end of last summer, has left Quinnen and her parents reeling. Without Haley in the stands, Quinnen doesn’t want to play baseball. It seems like nothing can fill the Haley-sized hole in her world. The one glimmer of happiness comes from the Bandits, the local minor-league baseball team. For the first time, Quinnen and her family are hosting one of the players for the season. Without Haley, Quinnen’s not sure it will be any fun, but soon she befriends a few players. With their help, can she make peace with the past and return to the pitcher’s mound?

  • Hardcover published by Alfred A. Knopf / Penguin Random House
  • Paperback published by Yearling / Penguin Random House
  • Also reprinted through the Scholastic Book Club

Cover illustration by Erin McGuire  / ISBN: 978-1-101-93871-3 (trade) / 978-1-101-93872-0 (lib. bdg.) / 978-1-101-93873-7 (ebook) / 978-1-101-93874-4 (paperback)

Praise for The Distance To Home

A Junior Library Guild Selection

A Bank Street College Best Children’s Book

A 2018-2019 Iowa Children’s Choice Award Finalist

An Editor’s Pick

A School Library Journal Popular Pick

“Jenn Bishop rips the seams off this grand slammer of connections and revelations. At last, the sports story is back!” – Rita Williams-Garcia, author of Newbery Honor winner One Crazy Summer

“In a piercing first novel, Bishop introduces a family grappling with devastating loss . . . Bishop insightfully examines the tested relationships among grieving family members and friends in a story of resilience, forgiveness, and hope.” – Publishers Weekly [full review]

” . . . Readers will find themselves moved by the protagonist’s journey toward “home.” Recommend this poignant novel to fans of Keeping Score by Linda Sue Park and The Thing About Jellyfish by Ali Benjamin.” – School Library Journal [full review]

“Bishop’s vivid writing and compassionate touch bring the characters to life, and a handy glossary of baseball terms will help readers less familiar with the sport. A sensitive, well-wrought novel perfect for both sports lovers and fans of character-driven stories.” – Booklist [full review]

“With appeal to both sports- and drama-minded girls, this will make a good book club selection and pass-it-among-your-friends read.” – Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, Recommended [full review]

“Right from the start you find yourself rooting for Quinnen, an extremely likable but struggling young girl. This is a very believable and uplifting story.” – School Library Connection, Recommended

“The life-and-death themes are thought-provoking, but readers may love the book even more for its many digressions.” – Kirkus [full review]


Watch and listen to Jenn read the first chapter of The Distance to Home:

Click here for the classroom guide to The Distance to Home.

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  • Out of Left Field by Ellen Klages
  • See You at Harry’s by Jo Knowles
  • Nikki on the Line by Barbara Carroll Roberts
  • Right As Rain by Lindsey Stoddard