Tillerman Cycle

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The Tillerman Cycle is a series of children's novels by the author Cynthia Voigt. Currently there are seven titles in the series.


Titles in the Cycle

  1. Homecoming (1981)
  2. Dicey's Song (1982) – winner of Newbery Medal (1983)
  3. A Solitary Blue (1983) – winner of Newbery Honor Award (1984)
  4. The Runner (1985)
  5. Come a Stranger (1986) [1] [2]
  6. Sons from Afar (1987)
  7. Seventeen Against the Dealer (1989)

The series does not follow a strict chronological order. Dicey's Song, A Solitary Blue, and Come a Stranger are interlocked and overlap. The Runner is a standalone novel and the events in it take place about ten years before Homecoming.


In Homecoming, the four Tillerman children search for a new home after they are abandoned by their emotionally ill mother. Dicey and her younger brothers and sister eventually settle in with their grandmother ("Gram") on a stark homestead in Crisfield, Maryland on the Chesapeake Bay.

In Dicey's Song, 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. In her spare time, Dicey works at 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 acceptance of her mother's death. When Gram and Dicey bring her mother's ashes home from Boston, the broken family is nearly healed.

The Runner is about Samuel "Bullet" Tillerman, Gram's son and the children's uncle, and takes place before any of the other books in the series.

A Solitary Blue covers events in the life of Jeff Greene, Dicey's love interest.

Come a Stranger covers events in the life of Wilhemina Smiths, Dicey's best friend.

In Sons from Afar, James enlists his brother Sammy's help to find Francis Verricker, who may be the father who deserted them long ago.

Seventeen Against the Dealer resumes Dicey's life story.

Main characters

Recurring supporting characters

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  1. "Come a Stranger (review)". PW. Retrieved 25 October 2013.
  2. "COME A STRANGER". Kirkus Reviews. Retrieved 25 October 2013.