Monday, August 13, 2012

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday - Summer of the Gypsy Moths

Welcome to Marvelous Middle Grade Monday! I had every intention of posting this last Monday, but had to postpone until today. If you're still looking for one more book to enjoy this summer, read on!

SUMMER OF THE GYPSY MOTHS
by: Sara Pennypacker
Balzer + Bray 2012

First the description from the jacket flap:

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 and settle down. The only obstacle to her plan? Angel, the foster kid Louise has taken in. Angel couldn'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.


This book packs quite an emotional punch. The tragedy that strikes at the beginning of the story sets the events in motion for Stella and Angel. Over the course of the summer, they learn that the differences they both thought stood between them actually are the ties that make them perfect together. As they grow and mature, much too early for most 12 year-olds, they start to understand each other and figure out how to live as a family.

What I loved about this book was Stella's personality. She loves order and routine and uses her clippings of tips and advice from Heloise (a Martha Stewart character) to help get through the day. She acts and behaves much older than she should and by the end of the book is finally given a chance to live like a child again.

The setting of Cape Cod was a secondary character in the book as well. I felt like I was by the ocean as I read. A good portion of the book also focuses on Louise's garden, especially her blueberry bushes. The description and attention to the detail of this setting and how it fits into the main characters' lives really makes the book for me.

I definitely recommend Summer of the Gypsy Moths, especially if you want to escape to the Cape for a bit!

Have a great week!  And for those of you that are writers, maybe I will see you around the Forums of WriteOnCon in the next few days.

For other MMGM links I love, check out  my list to the right.