Tuesday, July 10, 2012
Balzer + Bray (April 24, 2012) 288 pages
Stella is a 12 year old girl living with her aunt, Louise. Her mother is off "finding herself", and doesn't have time to raise her little girl. Living with them, as a foster child, is Angel. She seems angry at the world, and doesn't give Stella the time of day. When tragedy hits, the girls have to discover whether or not they can work together as a team.
I completely fell in love with Pennypacker's writing style in Summer of the Gypsy Moths. I love that she created such quirky characters and that she gave them intelligent, respectful voices. The descriptions were wonderfully vivid. I could smell the ocean, and the grilling food. I could feel their rumbling stomachs. I even loved hearing about the girls teaching/learning how to clean!
I found it to be a beautiful story. Surprisingly(you'll see why in a minute), this has became one of my favorite "middle grade" reads. Despite the serious overall tone, I found myself snickering quite a bit. I'm still trying to decide if I should feel bad for that.
I have to mention the cover, too. It fits AMAZINGLY with the story. I just love it!
*MAY cause you concern: I can't warn you without
A big part of the storyline involves a dead body. I won't lie to you. It gets a little gross at times and one part(very tiny) gets a bit creepy. Aunt Louise dies pretty close to the beginning. To prevent getting put in the foster care system, the girls bury the body in their backyard, but not until a couple of days later. It's summer. I'll let you fill in the blanks there.
The girls' actions were never condoned. The girls end up being truly sorry for their choices. They lie a great deal in order to keep their secret, but again, it wasn't condoned.
There's also a discussion guide for the book HERE.
**I was provided a review copy of this book through the Amazon Vine program in exchange for my honest opinion.