A Million Miles from Boston

( 4 )


School's out! That means Lucy is off to her favorite place: Pierson Point, Maine, where she spends summers with her family. And as she tries to forget her worries about starting middle school and about Dad's new girlfriend, Lucy can't get there soon enough. Pierson Point is where she feels most like herself, and where memories of her mother, who died when Lucy was six, are strong and sacred.
But this summer, nothing is the same. Ian, a boy from home in Boston, comes to Pierson ...

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A Million Miles from Boston

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School's out! That means Lucy is off to her favorite place: Pierson Point, Maine, where she spends summers with her family. And as she tries to forget her worries about starting middle school and about Dad's new girlfriend, Lucy can't get there soon enough. Pierson Point is where she feels most like herself, and where memories of her mother, who died when Lucy was six, are strong and sacred.
But this summer, nothing is the same. Ian, a boy from home in Boston, comes to Pierson Point with his family. Ian is loud, popular, and mean. He and Lucy can't stand each other. To top it off, Dad wants his girlfriend to become a bigger part of Lucy's life.
Karen Day's engaging novel shows that people aren't always what they seem, and that friendship can be found in the most unusual places.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Publisher's Weekly, March 8, 2011:
"Day delivers a well-paced, realistic 'summer of change' story."

, March 15, 2011:

"Day captures childhood’s pain and hope deftly in this satisfying tale."

The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, April 2011:
"There’s a solid, old-school feel to the story...and a gentleness to the timeless world of summer vacations, where kids pelt around together under minimal adult supervision...A classic summer-growth story."

School Library Journal, June 2011:
"Day has written a great book that deals with a variety of believable interpersonal relationships and transitions...[Lucy's] grief is thoughtfully interwoven throughout the story."

Publishers Weekly
Day delivers a well-paced, realistic "summer of change" story. Lucy's family has been vacationing at Pierson Point in Maine since her father was young, and Lucy, anxious about entering middle school, is looking forward to the kind of summer she's always enjoyed with him, her younger brother, and her faithful black Lab, Superior. Pierson Point also holds warm memories of her mother, who died of cancer when Lucy was six, and Lucy is passionately attached to the Point's comforting traditions and age-worn edifices. This year, however, two figures threaten her peace of mind: Julia, her father's increasingly serious girlfriend, and her aggravating classmate, Ian, from home, whose family has bought a house on the Point. Day (No Cream Puffs) sympathetically portrays Lucy's overriding sense of responsibility for everybody's happiness, especially her father and the kids in the informal "day camp" she runs ("More than anything, I wanted the kids to be happy. I wanted them to have great memories of camp, that summer, the Point"), and Day persuasively renders Lucy's uneasiness with her complex shifting emotions and memories. Ages 8–12. (Apr.)
Children's Literature - Jennifer Lehmann
Lucy has just finished sixth grade. Before starting middle school, she will spend the summer at Pierson Point, and she can hardly wait. She loves the time she spends with her dad and her little brother Bucky, and she finds it easy here to remember her mother, who has been dead for several years. This summer, she plans to run a day camp for the younger kids. Not everything goes as she has planned, though. Her dad's girlfriend Julia is around too often, and Ian, the annoying boy from her class, has moved in two doors down. His dad is a builder who finds problems with the Big House, the community gathering place, and wants to tear it down, along with Lucy's memories. Only after she accepts her own faults can she begin to see the good things in Ian and Julia. Lucy deals with many complex issues during one short summer. Day ties the storylines together well, but they all resolve neatly at about the same time. The frequent analysis of herself and the younger children combined with references to the time of the story as "that summer" give the book the voice of an adult looking back, instead of the voice of a child. The pace of the story is weighed down by her introspection and exposition, but the characters are a bright spot. The frustration and concern of Lucy's father and Julia are clear. The love that the family members have for each other and their neighbors is genuine and realistic. The admiration the younger children have for Lucy is shown subtly, and the reader takes as much joy in this expression as Lucy does. Reviewer: Jennifer Lehmann
School Library Journal
Gr 4–7—Every summer 12-year-old Lucy, her father, and her little brother head up to Maine, where they are far from their usual cares and able to take solace in the familiarity and traditions of their seasonal community. However, this year, Ian, an obnoxious boy from back home, and his family take up residence close by. On top of trying to deal with her mixed emotions about him, Lucy is trying to run a camp for the younger kids, fit in with the older kids, and, at all costs, avoid her dad's new girlfriend. Day has written a great book that deals with a variety of believable interpersonal relationships and transitions. Lucy is a sweet girl who is trying to do the right things, while juggling the confusing world of tweendom. Playing a major part in the story is the fact that her mom died when she was six and her grief is thoughtfully interwoven throughout the story. Over the course of the summer, Lucy learns a variety of lessons about family, growing up, and judging others, although the book is far from preachy.—Kerry Roeder, The Brearley School, New York City
Kirkus Reviews

With sixth grade—and elementary school—finally over, Lucy is excited about summer. As usual, she'll be spending it with her widowed father and younger brother in the family's summer cottage in a tight-knit coastal vacation community in Maine. But two major changes threaten to ruin her vacation. Annoying, almost-a-bully classmate Ian and his family are new summer neighbors, and the PT, her father's girlfriend (she began as his physical therapist), will be visiting—a lot. Lucy has plenty of issues with the PT, mostly related to her unresolved grief over her mother's death six years ago. Ian also has issues, which seem to be tied to his high-school–aged sister, Alison. Is she what she first appears—smart, talented and a lot like Lucy—or perhaps a bullying, manipulative liar? To raise money for a kayak, Lucy has carefully organized a babysitting camp for the community's younger children, patiently dealing with their problems, and she introspectively examines her relationship with Ian in her first-person narration. These signs of maturity make her frequent outbursts over the PT's gentle overtures out of character. As the summer progresses, Lucy gets to know both Ian and the PT better, discovering that things and people aren't always what they first appear. A pleasant but never compelling effort that captures the flavor of preteen-hood even if it misses the mark with its protagonist.(Fiction. 9-13)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780375859748
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 6/12/2012
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 1,456,031
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 7.60 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Karen Day is the author of Tall Tales and No Cream Puffs. She grew up in Indiana and now lives in Newton, Massachusetts, with her husband and three children. Her love of reading, writing, and literature has taken her through careers in journalism and teaching. You can visit Karen at her Web site, KLDay.com.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 4 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 20, 2011

    Amazing book

    Ive read it, and it is one of the best books. Ever.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 21, 2011

    This is a great book!!!!

    I thought I would switch my reading up a bit. I read a young adult novel by Karen Day. It is called A Million Miles from Boston. I have to say I liked the cover it but don't let that comment fool you. I liked the book to. The book's main character is Lucy and she is going into the 7th grade. I saw myself in her want for things to stay the same. She is going through a bit of a change as she will be going to middle school. She is leaving the librarian and teachers she has know behind for a much bigger school and it scares her. She also has to deal with Ian her former science partner who is a jerk. With all this change she is looking forward to the two months on Pierson Point the same place the she spends every summer. It is a small town where ever thing is the same. She has her faithful dog and her sketch book that she has had since forever and she is ready for a peaceful summer and a camp that she plans to run to earn money to buy her dad a birthday present. As life would have it she is forced to look at things in a new light over the summer from the death of her mother when she was six to the new love of her Dad life Julia aka PT. She learns a lot this summer. What this book did for me is take me back in time to my middle school years and remind me of that no matter how I like thing to stay the same life always stays the same and change can be good. I did win this book from Good Reads and the opinions in this review are my own.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 16, 2011

    This is a GREAT book!

    I've read all of Karen Day's work and really love it but "A Million Miles From Boston" is her most universally powerful book yet. Her realistic treatment of the emotional subtleties associated with Lucy (12 yr old - main character) is BRILLIANT. Her writing is alive because she portrays life as it is and I find myself engaged in the emotional unfolding of her characters while engrossed in the story/setting.

    I also love that I want my children to read this book. I look forward to the family discussion about the elements that are relevant to all -- home, comfort, conflict, anticipation, responsibility, hope, generosity, belief, impressions, companionship, trust, risk and change.

    Highly recommend to all.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 17, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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