February 25, 1942
Cynthia Voigt has written fantasy books, as well as historical stories, but Voigt returns most often to Dicey and the other Tillerman children introduced in her contemporary novel Homecoming in 1981.
Homecoming begins the story of the fatherless Tillermans: Dicey and her siblings, James, Sammy, and Maybeth. Their mother leaves them in the car in a shopping center parking lot and never comes back. The oldest, Dicey, thirteen, quickly takes charge. Their mother must have gone to a relative's in Connecticut, she reasons. The quartet strike off, quickly exhausting their finances, occasionally complaining, but resourcefully making their way. They find their Connecticut cousin, but she is greatly disrupted by their presence. So the four take to the road again, looking for a grandmother they never knew they had. When they locate her, they must persuade her to let them stay on her dilapidated Maryland farm.
“Voigt tells it the way it is—what it's like to live close to the bone,” Joanna Shaw-Eagle observed. “She is a serious writer on serious themes. Her characterizations have dimension and depth. The reader really cares about the characters. Dicey is an example; her name is especially important, and it sums up the book: 'dicey' is the British slang expression for chancy, risky.”
Homecoming was nominated for the American Book Award in 1982. The sequel, Dicey's Song, won Voigt a Newbery Medal in 1983.