19 March 2012

the summer i learned to fly by Dana Reinhardt

Thirteen-year-old Drew Robin Solo spends most of her time helping her mom, Lizzie, in the Cheese Shop; she doesn't have many friends - not including her pet rat, Hum, of course - so there really isn't anything else to do. Her dad died when she was a baby and she only has a few things of his that helps her get to know him. She has an impossible crush on 18-year-old Nick who helps out in the shop when he isn't surfing. And she has three girlfriends who are all away for the summer (and who she doesn't much like anyway). But everything in her world changes when she finds homeless Emmett Crane eating the too-old-to-keep-on-the-shelf cheese late at night behind the shop. Emmett with the curly dark hair, who leaves notes folded up as paper cranes, who disappears for days without any word, and who hangs out on the beach with older kids with tattoos, cigarettes, and guitars. In one short summer, Drew learns a lot about her self and even more about the people in her life and the growing world around her.

I read this book in day, and thought I was going to be really sad and depressed by the ending, but was pleasantly surprised by a positive, inspiring, and completely more realistic conclusion. Recommended to most teen readers, especially girls with romantic hearts.

Reviewed by kate the librarian.

(Two books with pet rats in a week's time? Weird.)

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