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The Summer of the Swans

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Overview

"The longest day in the life of a 14-year-old girl--the summer day her loved, mentally retarded brother is lost, the day she discovers compassion is a friend. A compelling story."--Publishers Weekly. Newbery Award Book.

A teenage girl gains new insight into herself and her family when her mentally handicapped brother gets lost.

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Overview

"The longest day in the life of a 14-year-old girl--the summer day her loved, mentally retarded brother is lost, the day she discovers compassion is a friend. A compelling story."--Publishers Weekly. Newbery Award Book.

A teenage girl gains new insight into herself and her family when her mentally handicapped brother gets lost.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781561371143
  • Publisher: Novel Units, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 2/28/1999
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Betsy Byars began her writing career rather late in life. "In all of my school years, . . . not one single teacher ever said to me, 'Perhaps you should consider becoming a writer,'" Byars recalls. "Anyway, I didn't want to be a writer. Writing seemed boring. You sat in a room all day by yourself and typed. If I was going to be a writer at all, I was going to be a foreign correspondent like Claudette Colbert in Arise My Love. I would wear smashing hats, wisecrack with the guys, and have a byline known round the world. My father wanted me to be a mathematician." So Byars set out to become mathematician, but when she couldn't grasp calculus in college, she turned to English. Even then, writing was not on her immediate horizon.

First, she married and started a family. The writing career didn't emerge until she was 28, a mother of two children, and living in a small place she called the barracks apartment, in Urbana, Illinois. She and her husband, Ed, had moved there in 1956 so he could attend graduate school at the University of Illinois. She was bored, had no friends, and so turned to writing to fill her time. Byars started writing articles for The Saturday Evening Post, Look,and other magazines. As her family grew and her children started to read, she began to write books for young people and, fortunately for her readers, discovered that there was more to being a writer than sitting in front of a typewriter.

"Making up stories and characters is so interesting that I'm never bored. Each book has been a different writing experience. It takes me about a year to write a book, but I spend another year thinking about it, polishing it, and making improvements. I always put something of myself into my books — something that happened to me. Once a wanderer came by my house and showed me how to brush my teeth with a cherry twig; that went in The House of Wingscopyright © 2000 by Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers. All rights reserved.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 116 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(49)

4 Star

(33)

3 Star

(23)

2 Star

(8)

1 Star

(3)

Your Rating:

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 86 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 9, 2008

    Okay

    The book was okay. I liked it but saying the retarted really I think ofended some readers. By saying Charlie was retarted I thought was little cruel. I would have said he needed more attention than others or had special needs. I understand that this takes place in 1996-1997 because people don't have cell-phones.If you enjoy books that are surprising and you want gasp then read this book.

    3 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 25, 2010

    Love it! Shows how real girls feel

    I loved it! Who wouldn't it? Anyway this is the BEST i've read.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2009

    Summmer of the swans

    I think this book was kind of cruel talking about a mentaly challenged child and about the family not actually caring. With out the cruel parts it is a good book for the 6th-7th grade reading level. Good comprehention story and makes an actual point in the book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 11, 2009

    What I Think

    I think that the book was great for a 7th grade level reader. At the beginning I could really relate to this book. The way Sara's family acts is kinda the same way my family acts. And at the end it was very exciting. The way the story was told you could actualy see it in your mind.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 11, 2007

    Summer of the Swans

    I think that The Summer of the Swans was pretty good book. It was becauseit was intereting, true for some teens, and I always wanted to see what happened next. I think that if you read this novel that you will enjoy it too!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 22, 2007

    The difference between kids and adults

    This story tells kids, precisely, that there is no prejudice with kids as there is with grownups, and that a poor child with one background can be the friend of another with a completely different background.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 18, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    this book was ok

    This is not the best book I have ever read.But it was ok the book was everything i was hopeing it would be.But I guess I was expecting more then that.If i would ever tell any of my friends to read this book they would probibaly like it.But thats because they are so much girlier then me.I guess this book was not for me but I would highly recommend this to any one who is girlier then me.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 18, 2009

    The Summer of the Swans review!!!

    I think The Summer of the Swans is a adventerous but realistic story. The characters seem very unique and very heart-boiling, they make you feel like your there with them and you want to speak to them tell them whats going on. Sometimes you want to write a sequal with you in it and help out with the problems, but you know you cant but you can write the sequal with it and talk about it with them and let them think it for thereselves just break it down for them. I think Charlie needs to break his quietness of his mother dying i broke it for my grandmother so i am pretty much like Charlie in his situation and i think im sorta in Sara shoes too. I thik aunt Willie needs to focus and keep working hard with the children. Wanda needs to focus on her family and not much on her boyfriend Frank and help out with Charlie. Joe Melby seems like a cool guy to hang out with and talk to a lot when she has problems or needs help with Charlie.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 18, 2009

    The Summer Of The Swans

    I think that the book is ok but yes I like'd it.It was a little bit of drama in it but it was fun and at the end it was nice reading,that part of the book.Your going to feel like reading more of the book!! It's really fun reading that book because it was just like real life arguing in the book like any normal family.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2009

    The Summer Of The Swans

    What I think about the book is I think it was a great book. It made me think I was in the story because I was so into it I could not get my eyes off of it. I hope in the future people will read it and enjoy it as much as I did.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2007

    A reviewer

    Summer of the Swans Book Review I think the Summer of the Swans was boring and dull. It was dull because every chapter goes back and forth between Charlie and Sara¿s point of view. It was boring because they spend about three or four chapters on one topic. Also the book was based on two whole days. That¿s why I think the book was boring and dull.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2007

    The Summer of The Swans

    I think this book was okay. The ending was bad. I think the book is a little short. The middle chapters are very good to read. The book gets boring towards the end. It is better than The Pearl though. The characters are well developed especially Sara. This book is good to read if you are bored.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2007

    'ONE OF THE GREATEST BOOKS EVER'

    ¿ONE OF THE GREATEST BOOKS EVER¿ I think the book, ¿The Summer of the Swans¿, is a great book except for the end of it. This book really gets your attention. Parts such as when Charlie got lost make you want to keep reading. This is a story you¿ll want to read over and over again. I hope you will enjoy as much as I did.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2007

    A book that was poorly written

    This book, The Summer Of the Swans, is just like any other book. It has the same plot (someone missing) and then being found and everybody is happy. That¿s why I rated it an okay. Overall it was a reasonable book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2007

    A reviewer

    I recommend this book to a class who is interested in adventurous stories where characters develop and change. It was slower in the beginning and picked up by the end. Overall the main characters are Sara and Charlie. Also in the beginning I didn¿t like Sara¿s attitude or how protective she was of Charlie. But this changed in the end. I¿d say this is a great book to read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2007

    i thought it was good

    This book was a high-quality book to me it had a nice mixture of funny, serious, and it also realistic in one book. The book was the perfect length it was not to long and not to short. It was about a girl name Sara and her family 'her sister Wanda, her brother Charlie, and her aunt Willie'. Sara and Charlie go to look at the swans and Charlie are amazed by them. He was so amazed that he did not want to go so he sat there. When Sara and Charlie went home Charlie went to bed but no to sleep. He saw something white out side and thought it was a swan. He went out side and that it wasn¿t a swan. So he on a journey to see a swan but gets lost. You will have to read the book to see what happens????

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2007

    'Summer of the Swans'

    ¿The summer of the swans¿ was a great novel. I would recommend it to anybody that plans on reading an interesting book about a brother and a sister that care about each other. Charlie gets lost and Sara tries to find him. Your eyes will be glued to the book for hours. You will never want to stop reading.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2007

    The Best Book

    I have just read the book summer of the swans in my 6th grade reading class. I thought that it was a great book. It is a good literary experience for children with a condition like Charlie going through hard times. It is a book basically a book about three children who lost their mom and their dad works far away and they live with their Aunt Willie. Sarah, Charlie and Wanda love to go see the swans. But Charlie has a desire to see the swans so much that he gets himself in a tough situation. This situation is resolved near the end but not in a very good way. Overall the end of this book is the worst part of this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2007

    Summer of the Swans

    Over all I thought ¿The Summer o the Swans¿ was a bad book. The ending was poor. And Charlie¿s dad never came to see him. That was unrealistic. Also 2 or 3 chapters were wasted on looking for Charlie. It wasn¿t very interesting. One part I did like was when Charlie and Sara went to see the swans at the lake. I thought that was sweet for Charlie and Sara to watch the swans together. Also another part I didn¿t like was when Aunt Willie didn¿t go out to look for Charlie when everyone else did.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2007

    A reviewer

    ¿The Summer of the Swans¿ is an okay book. The ending isn¿t that great and they don¿t give many details in between chapters when Charlie gets lost. They don¿t really tell you much about the relationship between Sara and her father Sam. But, overall it was good. It kept me interested and it made me want to keep reading on to find out what would happen next. I would recommend this book to someone who likes to be interested in something and likes to get suspicious. This book will keep you interested and trying to guess what will happen next. That is why I rated ¿The Summer of the Swans¿ 3 out of 5 circles which is okay, but not great.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 86 Customer Reviews

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