Summer of the Swans, The (Puffin Modern Classics)

( 32 )


Sara's life has always flowed smoothly, like the gliding swans on the lake, until her little brother Charlie disappears.  Then Sara is forced to see her life in a whole new way.

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

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Summer of the Swans, The (Puffin Modern Classics)

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Sara's life has always flowed smoothly, like the gliding swans on the lake, until her little brother Charlie disappears.  Then Sara is forced to see her life in a whole new way.

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: 9780142401149
  • Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
  • Publication date: 4/12/2004
  • Series: Puffin Modern Classics Series
  • Pages: 144
  • Sales rank: 522,753
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.05 (w) x 7.05 (h) x 0.50 (d)

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 intomy 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
( 32 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 6 of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 21, 2009

    A Lovely Book, 37 Years Later

    I first read this book in 1972, when I was in the fifth grade. I loved it because Sara's restlessness reminded me of myself at that time. I could really relate to Sara's impatience with her younger brother, Charlie, and her fierce loyalty to him as well; her envy of her beautiful, older sister, Wanda, her hatred of Joe Melby, and her exasperation with her Aunt Willie. I just finished re-reading the book with my son, a fourth grader. He really enjoyed it. He liked the characters, and the ending. I thought that the book really held up well after all these years (although my son wanted to know what kind of tv show "Green Acres" was!) I still feel that it captures the universal feelings and the inner conflicts of tweens and teenagers realistically, without being "preachy."

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted May 5, 2008

    Summer Of The Swans: an enjoyable, entertaining book... (not just for teenage girls)

    The Summer of the Swans was enjoyable and entertaining. A beautiful quick read with discriptive and illustrative chapters. It is a very good book for older girls going through changes but it would satisfy anyones 'need to read'. The characters and circumstances are very realistic. With many laughs and heart aches, the short novel consists of a girl of her teens, shallow and outward, finding a satisfing place after a crisis between what is really important in life and what is on the out side. Many would say it was written for female teens, but anyone could get somthing from this wonderful book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted February 10, 2011

    Summer of the Swans

    This book is about a 14 year old girl named Sara and she is having the most confusing summer that she is uncomfortable with. She feels upset all the time, and tired of her aunt, also jealous of her sisters beauty, but loves her brother the most. One day, she and her brother walked to the lake full of gliding swans, and they loved the lake. At night Charlie went out, he thought he saw a swan, confused, then got lost. They found out the next day and very worried, they were looking for charlie everywhere, his sister went out in the woods to find him. Aunt Willie was so worried that she called the police. But luckily Sara found him and cried out. Charlie was hurt, hungry, and sad but when he saw his sister, he cheered up.

    I think this book was okay, but kind of boring, there are not many characters to think of. The story had no funny parts that I like, and not as popping. But it was still good, I'd give the book 3 out of five stars.

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

    Posted September 27, 2004

    Look Back What We Leave Behide

    The Summer of the Swans by Betsy Byars is the realistic fiction about the family story that I feel warm ,and when I finish reading this book, we have to take a look back to our family. I spend about three days to finish this book but what this book give me back is much more three days. Actually, this is the children book, but I myself fall in love this book(I am 22 years old). This book gives me a great opportunity to realize whatever I do, it has affected to others in my family or not. Sara, the main character, is my favorite character. It's not because she has big feet loke me, but she has a handicape brother like me. However, I've never paid attention too much like her. So that I review myself as a bad brother. This book is appropriate to children in grade-3rd-6th. It would be great for them to read this family book because it can make them realize other people in the different ages and it can be a chance for them to look back to their family.

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

    Posted November 4, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing 1 – 6 of 7 Customer Reviews

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