Middle school students have reading interests that run the gamut from Diary of a Wimpy Kid to Twilight. Sometimes as a parent it is hard to know what is age appropriate for your child. Through this blog, I will try to help parents make informed decisions about what is available in our library. I am hoping that this blog will be a resource for our parents, and that we can all work together to make our students life-long readers!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Memories of Summer

Memories of Summerby Ruth White
From the publisher:
"It’s 1955 when 13-year-old Lyric moves with her father and older sister, Summer, from a small Virginia town to the big industrial city of Flint, Michigan. Summer has always been a little odd, but shortly after the move, things take a turn for the worse when she starts talking to imaginary people and having frightening episodes of paranoia. When she slips out of reality and into the depths of schizophrenia, the devoted Lyric can no longer reach her.

Lyric loves her sister but is torn between taking constant care of Summer and enjoying her own youth. Soon a decision will have to be made that will affect their lives forever."

This book was simply.....amazing! Did I like it? Can you like something that rips your heart out? That makes you cry so much you have to take your contacts out? This author really speaks to me. Her writing grips me. Her words stay with me. I am a better person for having read this. I don't think I will ever look at mental illness the same way again. Now I will think of the families in the background, struggling to hold on to that person they love, even though it's not the same person anymore. There is a part towards the end that is so powerful, where Lyric (the little sister who is the voice of the book) goes through so many emotions - embarrassment, humiliation, anger - before she remembers the love she has for this sister who took care of her and always loved her.  This book was by Newbery Honor Winner, Ruth White, and it is based on her real-life experiences with her own sister, so it feels very real.  I highly recommend this book to adults and teenagers, but I'm not sure about children because of the incredible sadness and the disturbing images of mental illness. 

Suggested ages:
Publisher's Weekly - Ages 12+
School Library Journal - Grades 7+

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