Rave Reviews Log: Realistic Fiction

August 30, 2007

Summerhouse Time

By Eileen Spinelli
Rating: 3 3/4 stars
Reviewed by Noelle

Sophie loves Summerhouse Time, when each August, her extended family go to a house by the beach for an entire month. But this year, things don't seem as wonderful as she remembers. Her older cousin, Colleen, mopes around and no longer treats Sophie like a friend, her aunt gets laid off from her job, her father seems ill, and her cat Orange gets lost. But even with the problems, the warm and supportive family deals with each one as it comes, making the Summerhouse Time come back to a happy ending. Told in free verse, the story moves along quickly and is easily swallowed in a gulp. The one misstep is Sophie makes a new friend, Jimmy, before she leaves for the beach, and she claims to be in love. But her letters to Jimmy result in only a single return letter, and we hear no more of their relationship, which is a bit disappointing. Still, this is an easy and enjoyable read about a likeable family. Good summer fare.

August 28, 2007


By Jerry Spinelli
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Noelle

Nine year old David has moved with his father to his grandmother's house after the death of his mother. David desperately misses his mother and stubbornly refuses to make friends. He believes if he follows any and every rule, his mother will somehow be able to return to him. Then David meets teenager Primrose. Primrose has never met her father, has a mother who pretends to be a psychic, and uses an old van as her bedroom. Primrose despises her mother and breaks every rule there is. But somehow, these two outcasts become friends. They snap and fight constantly, call each other names, yell "I hate you!" but somehow, they still end up together the next day. And slowly, as the months pass, David and Primrose learn that sometimes you need to let someone inside your hurt, inside those walls, if you want to be able to go on living. An interesting story about an unlikely duo who end up learning some hard lessons about life and friendship. Plus it is a Jerry Spinelli book, so you can't go wrong!