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4.0 1
by Colby Rodowsky

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Seventh grade has just ended, and Cassie's older sister is about to have her first baby, when Cassie sees her sister's husband with another woman at a party. Cassie has always adored her handsome brother-in-law, and when Mickey tells her she must have been mistaken, she wants badly to believe him. But over the course of the summer, her sister's marriage falls apart


Seventh grade has just ended, and Cassie's older sister is about to have her first baby, when Cassie sees her sister's husband with another woman at a party. Cassie has always adored her handsome brother-in-law, and when Mickey tells her she must have been mistaken, she wants badly to believe him. But over the course of the summer, her sister's marriage falls apart, and so does the security of her home, as Cassie's grandmother decides to sell the seaside bed-and-breakfast that has been the family's home since Cassie can remember. Bolstered by a fierce sense of justice, Cassie is determined to tight the changes. Will she be left behind as her family moves beyond these troubled times?

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Once again Rodowsky (The Turnabout Shop) writes with sensitivity and understanding in profiling an adolescent girl confronting change. Thirteen-year-old Cassie anticipates another tranquil summer in Bethany Beach, Del., her quiet, seaside resort community. Soon, familiar guests will be returning to the Spindrift, the bed-and-breakfast inn where Cassie lives with her mother and grandmother. Cassie also looks forward to becoming an aunt; her sister, Cindy, is expecting a baby any day. But the summer brings anything but happiness. First Cassie spies Mickey, Cindy's husband, embracing another woman. Then, just after giving birth, Cindy wants out of her troubled marriage and moves back to the Spindrift for good. Next Cassie is devastated by the news that her grandmother has sold the inn. The author gently and wisely emphasizes not Cassie's short-lived effort to alter outcomes, but rather her ability to survive disturbances within her household and accept unpleasant truths. A sturdy and steadily involving work. Ages 10-14. (Mar.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature - Children's Literature
According to Cassie, there are two important things to know about her--she doesn't eat anything that has a face, and she fixes things. Unfortunately, her thirteenth summer brings two problems she can't fix--her adored brother-in-law is cheating on her older sister, and her grandmother makes plans to sell the seaside bed-and-breakfast that is Cassie's home. Of course, she tries to fix things anyway. This coming-of-age story realistically depicts a young girl's struggle to come to terms with adult problems. Cassie's loyalty and strong emotional attachments make her an entertaining and sympathetic character in spite of her often selfish approach to family difficulties. But that's the point--the very real traumas she faces are what help her grow out of that self-centered world. Young readers will understand how hard those adjustments are, and enjoy Cassie's slow, but successful journey. 2000, Farrar Straus and Giroux, Ages 10 to 14, $16.00. Reviewer: Betty Hicks
VOYA - Voya Reviews
Thirteen-year-old Cassie Barnett sees herself as a fixer of everything--from lopsided castles on the beach to hurt feelings. During the summer after seventh grade, she runs into two problems that might be beyond her ability to fix. Cassie sees her beloved brother-in-law, Mickey, caressing a strange woman at a party while her nine-month pregnant sister is at home. She also learns that her grandmother is selling her East Coast beachfront bed-and-breakfast. The Spindrift always has been home to Cassie and her mother. Because Cassie's father died when she was an infant, her penchant for clinging to Mickey seems believable, even when it becomes clear that he might have betrayed the family's trust. Grandfatherly writer Will, a regular at the Spindrift, also seems to fill in as a strong male in Cassie's life. Cassie's summer journey is stormy as she tries desperately to hold to her childhood convictions amid the turmoil that pushes her inexorably toward growing up. Narrated in Cassie's determined first-person voice, this story will appeal to those readers looking for an emotional journey, much as in Rodowsky's Hannah In Between (Farrar, 1994/VOYA October 1994), which also focuses on family struggles. Cassie's bull-headed insistence on working things out and making things fair will ring true to the middle school audience for whom fairness is so important. The story is absorbing and moves quickly. Readers will be curious to see if Mickey is the king of betrayal or the charming prince of a brother-in-law Cassie loves. VOYA CODES: 4Q 4P M (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; Broad general YA appeal; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8). 2000, Farrar Straus Giroux, Ages 12 to14, 112p, $16. Reviewer: Mary Ann Darby
To quote KLIATT's March 2000 review of the hardcover edition: It's the summer after seventh grade, and Cassie is looking forward to spending it the same way she always has in the little seaside resort town of Bethany Beach, Delaware. She plans to help out at her grandmother's lovely old bed-and-breakfast, the Spindrift, where she lives with her mother and her grandmother, and to hang out with her friends on the beach. But when Cassie spots her brother-in-law pawing a woman who clearly isn't his wife, Cassie's very pregnant sister Cindy, she begins to feel her security threatened. Cassie has always adored Mickey, but now she suspects that he is not to be trusted. Change is in the air, much as Cassie resents it, and while she wishes that everything would remain the same, other people's plans alter her life. Cindy has the baby and leaves Mickey to move back into the Spindrift, while Cassie's grandmother plans to get married and to sell the place. Like it or not, Cassie must learn to go along with the changes in her family. This is an affecting story about a 13-year-old's eye-opening summer as she begins to leave childhood behind and to understand the world of adults a little better. Cassie's disillusionment with Mickey rings true, as does her squabbling with her older sister. Rodowsky, the author of many books for YAs and children, succeeds in painting a sympathetic portrait of a small town and a young girl's coming of age. KLIATT Codes: J�Recommended for junior high school students. 2000, HarperTrophy, 136p.,
— Paula Rohrlick
School Library Journal
Gr 5-8-For Cassie Barnhart, the summer after seventh grade is a season of shattered illusions, inescapable change, and emotional growth. When her sister's marriage collapses, the girl refuses to accept the deceit and infidelity of the brother-in-law she idolizes. When Cindy and her new baby crowd into the family home at the Spindrift, her grandmother's beach bed-and-breakfast inn, Cassie is resentful. Then her grandmother announces that she has sold the inn, and the child is even angrier and more resistant. Nevertheless, Cassie recounts her experiences with candor, vitality, and humor. Sympathetic friends, a perceptive mother, a supportive grandmother, and a wise guest help her to get through a difficult time. Her understanding, acceptance, and self-discovery unfold gradually and believably. The seaside Delaware setting is vividly evoked. Readers will find Cassie an appealing, though imperfect character who does not easily accept the changes around her. With time and introspection, however, she learns to adapt to circumstances beyond her control. This well-paced, affectionate story offers a compelling account of how one family and one teenager cope positively and optimistically with several of life's hurdles.-Gerry Larson, Durham School of the Arts, NC Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
5.12(w) x 7.62(h) x 0.28(d)
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Megan and Tommy and I were up on the board walk after supper, eating frozen yogurt to celebrate the end of school and the beginning of summer, and that we'd made it through seventh grade and particularly Mrs. Quattlemayer's English class. �Move onward and upward, ladies and gentlemen,� she had said that afternoon as she collected the test papers. �Onward and upward, with nary a mixed metaphor among you.�

�Onward and upward,� said Megan, her tongue darting around the edges of her cone to catch the dribbles.

�I'm not even sure I'd know a mixed metaphor if I met it head-on,� said Tommy.

�She accidentally let the cat out of the bag and really put her foot in her mouth,� I said.

�Who?� they said at the same time.

�Not who but what,� I said. �That's it. A mixed metaphor. I think.�

Megan groaned and Tommy said, �Give it a rest, Cassie. School's over.� And we all three slouched down on the bench, propping our feet on the railing in front of us and staring out at the ocean.

Now, to clarify a bit (Mrs. Quattlemayer is big on �clarification, ladies and gentlemen, clarification�): Megan Mallonee and Tommy Layton and I have been best friends since kindergarten, when we were the only three kids in our grade who lived right in town and not scattered around the county someplace. We've always done just about everything together and have made a blood pact to stay friends forever, do something incredibly dramatic when we grow up, and never leave Bethany Beach. Which is going to be hard to do because Bethany isn't all that exciting. Except, to us it is.

The thing about Bethany is that it really is the�quiet resort� it's known as. I mean, there aren't any roller coasters or boardwalk trains or glitzy hotels. Instead, there are houses, and a lot of little shops that sell T-shirts and frozen yogurt and books and film. There are restaurants, a couple of small motels, a handful of churches, a post office, and a library. There are also shells and sand and seagulls, and the ocean waves that just keep rolling in.

And in the winter things get even more quiet. When we were younger, Megan and Tommy and I used to walk the boardwalk end to end on cold windy days, making up an elaborate story as we went, all about how we were the last people left in Bethany (and on Earth) -- and how we would survive.

As for me, I'm Cassie Barnhart -- tall, basically shapeless, and with sort of chopped-off straw-color hair that mostly looks windblown. Two important things to know about me are: (1) I don't eat anything that has a face; and (2) I fix things: smooshed-down sand castles on the beach, lopsided bird's nests that the birds have long since abandoned, clocks, and sometimes life. At least I try.

After we'd been sitting there awhile, Tommy stood up and stretched, saying, �Let's go. There's nothing happening here and I have to start work at seven tomorrow.�

�At least you have a job, a real one,� said Megan, shoving the end of her cone into her mouth and pitching the paper napkin into the trash.

�Only because my parents own a bakery,� said Tommy. �And because they got me working papers and are making me work the early shift, which means I have to get up at 6 a.m. all summer.�

�Okay, but they're also paying you,� said Megan.

�Yeah, minimum wage and all the jelly doughnuts I can eat, but hey, I'm not complaining. It's steady minimum wage. I think my folks finally figured out that they had an untapped labor source right under their roof. Anyway, Megan, think of the money you'll be raking in baby-sitting all summer.�

�Yeah, sure, it's not exactly easy money, baby-sitting for a bunch of kids who think being on vacation means never having to say they're tired,� said Megan.

�Makes no difference, on account of there's good money to be made from the invasion of the touri, right?� said Tommy.

The invasion of the touri is what we call it every June when the tourists arrive from Wilmington and Philadelphia and Washington and Baltimore. When they fill up the houses that have been closed and empty all winter long, swarm into TCBY after supper for their frozen yogurt, and plant their umbrellas and sand chairs on the beach that the three of us like to think of as mostly our own.

�And speaking of the touri, I'll be working at the Spindrift again, naturally,� I said.

�Same old stuff?� asked Megan.

�Same old stuff,� I said. �Changing beds and doing laundry and cleaning up rooms.�

The Spindrift is the bed-and-breakfast that my grandmother Emma has run since before I was born, and where Mom and I still live. Where Cindy, my sister, lived too, until she married Mickey, my favorite and only brother-in-law'and moved into his house a couple of miles out of town.

A bed-and-breakfast is a place to stay for people who don't like big hotels. What's cool about the Spindrift is the rooms look like real rooms and have names instead of numbers (Ebb Tide or Sandpiper), and everybody eats breakfast together, either in the dining room or out on the porch. There's a piano in the living room, and a TV, and a whole shelf of games and puzzles for rainy days. I used to close my eyes and try to count up all the people who had stayed at the Spindrift since I was little, but I gave that up a few years back. Some I remember, and some I don't...

Spindrift. Copyright � by Colby Rodowsky. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Meet the Author

Colby Rodowsky is the author of Remembering Mog, and ALA Notable Book, Hannah In-Between, an ALA Best Book, and many other highly regarded books for young readers. She lives in Baltimore, Maryland.

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Spindrift 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Spindrift, by Colby F. Rodowsky, is a book about a girl, whose name is Cassie, who lives in Bethany, Delaware, in a bed and breakfast called Spindrift. It all starts when Cindy marries one of their customers, who fixed their clothes washer, Mickey, and becomes pregnant with their daughter, Erin. Cassie sees Mickey with another woman, but tries to believe it is not true. Later, Mickey tells Cassie that she had seen his double. Even when Cassie finds a red and white polka dot bikini that is not Cindy¿s in Mickey bedroom, she tries not to believe it. Still when she hears a fight going on in Cindy and Mickey¿s room she tries not to believe it. After that, Cassie¿s grandmother Emma tells her that they will sell the Spindrift. In an unrealistic way, Cassie becomes angry that they will sell the Spindrift. She had wanted Erin to grow up at the Spindrift. This makes her worry about Erin¿s not knowing her father. The book is interesting, but a bit unrealistic. Cassie doesn¿t really act like her own age. The book is very interesting, though, and I recommend it.