Last year I joined a book club with some of the ladies I got to be really good friends with after moving back to the Midwest from Texas. This past month we decided to take a whole year and read children’s/MG lit. We did several YA books earlier this year and it helped us decide to veer from adult literature for awhile which was fine by me!
First up is…
Summer of the Gypsy Moths
"Stella loves living with Great Aunt Louise in her big old house near the water on Cape Cod for many reasons, but mostly because Louise likes routine as much as she does, something Stella appreciates since her mom is, well, kind of unreliable. So while mom 'finds herself,' Stella fantasizes that someday she'll come back to the Cape settle down. The only obstacle in her plan? Angel, the foster kid Louis has taken in. Angelcouldn't be less like her name --she's tough and prickly, and the girls hardly speak to each other. But when tragedy unexpectedly strikes, Stella and Angel are forced to rely on each other to survive, and they learn that they are stronger together than they could have imagined. And over the course of the summer they discover the one thing they do have in common: dreams of finally belonging to a real family." source: book jacket
Author:Sarah Pennypacker | Website
Publication Date: April 24th, 2012
Publisher:Balser + Bray
My Interest: Book club choice
Age Group | Genre: MG| realism
Series: No. Beautiful standalone.
When I found out this was August’s book blub pick, I was so excited. I have had Summer of the Gypsy Moths on my to-read list since it came out in April. Can I just tell you right now it is a wonderful book! Pennypacker’s writing is beautiful, and she has a way of weaving her words throughout the novel where she’ll talk about something, and then come back around to it. Her novel makes a full circle which is a beautiful thing in the literary world.
I don’t want to give away ANY spoilers with this book because it’s imperative that you find out everything as you read, but I will tell you that this is a heart-wrenching book as you read it from an adult perspective. Stella’s mom has practically abandoned her with her Great-Aunt because she just isn’t cut out to be a mother, and Angel is a foster child who has lost both of her parents. The girls themselves are looking for something–love, someone to want them, friendship. But then something terrible happens and they end up clinging to each other through the summer. It’s a book that shows us how kids can grow up way to fast when they are forced too.
Another character, George, is a tiny-bit unbelievable (you’ll understand when you read it) and that was the only real issue I had with this novel. Some talk surrounding the book is that it’s inappropriate for a classroom or even for kids to read, but I don’t think so for the latter part at least. I don’t think I would teach this book, but I would recommend it to a student or child who has either grieved in life, or who has gone through the foster care system. Pennypacker also weaves a lot of humor into the novel, and I think kids will walk away with more laughs and some deep thoughts about life rather than focusing on the issue at hand in the novel.
It’s a beautiful, metaphorical novel that will leave you clinging to the characters as you close the last few pages. It is one that I will definitely come back to again.
[for ratings system, please check out my Bookshelf]