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Matthew knows that this summer is going to be the worst ever. His best friend Kyle is gone, his younger brother Mark has surpassed him in size and athletic ability, and his mother is pregnant for the fifth time. The eldest home-schooled son of a preacher, Matthew plans to bury himself in books about the speed of light and Einstein's Theory of Relativity to see if he can prove his own theory about the dilation of time. Instead, he befriends Dinah, a homeless teenager seeking refuge at the library. Although from ...
Matthew knows that this summer is going to be the worst ever. His best friend Kyle is gone, his younger brother Mark has surpassed him in size and athletic ability, and his mother is pregnant for the fifth time. The eldest home-schooled son of a preacher, Matthew plans to bury himself in books about the speed of light and Einstein's Theory of Relativity to see if he can prove his own theory about the dilation of time. Instead, he befriends Dinah, a homeless teenager seeking refuge at the library. Although from very different backgrounds, Matthew and Dinah come to realize that they have a great deal in common—their love for music and for cans of olives and potato chips found in a supermarket dumpster that are just past the sell-by date... and maybe even for each other. Matthew struggles with his feelings for his own family as he helps Dinah avoid Child Welfare. And in the process, Dinah helps him discover that even the smallest acts of kindness can make a very big difference.
Posted March 6, 2011
Posted June 25, 2010
Facing a summer without his best friend, Matthew decided on a summer project using the speed of light and the theory of relativity to try and prove his own theory about the dilation of time. Using the library resources on a daily basis to prove his theory, he met a girl that turns out didn't really have anyplace to live or anyone to watch over her for a while. Sharing lunch with Dinah everyday, he would bring sandwiches and she would contribute anything she could find, even if it came from the supermarket dumpster. Wanting to help, he found a way to get her a warm, dry and safe place to stay - in his church basement. Discovering a friend who had a different back ground, a different family dynamic and outlook on life was one way for them both to grow and learn about thing from astrophysics to poetry, from each other and from themselves.
The tenderness and the acceptance that these kids show each other is very touching. If only there were more people that could be so different from each other and yet still help one another learn from those differences. This is a quick and easy story to read, it did have a lot of sitting around a tree talking, some religious overtones (Matthews father is a preacher), a little science and even some music. These kids are gentle and kind, they show warmth and encouragement and all of this in a young, pre-teen boy who is finding his own heart full of friendship and good will toward someone he has only just met. Sad is some parts but over all an uplifting story that could be read by any age group. The science gets a bit technical in places and then the end is abrupt, leaving just a small piece of me wondering if that was it.
Posted June 23, 2010
As a mom of high-ability readers ages 10 and 13, I am always looking for great books that challenge their thinking skills in an age appropriate way. We all read Summer Sanctuary and are better off for having done so.
Author, Laurie Gray, creates believable characters that tackle some tough questions in a sensitive but realistic way, revealing that sometimes living life isn't about having all of the answers. She does an excellent job balancing the tough realities of Dinah's life as a homeless teen with the joy found in the unexpected friendship she discovers with Matthew.
I appreciate the author's willingness to tackle real-life issues without over-sensationalizing them.
Posted June 13, 2010
Who doesn't remember what it's like to be stuck at home for the summer with nothing to do and no one to see?
At first, this is the prospect for twelve-year-old Matthew's summer. He wants to be hanging out with his friend, Kyle, going to the movies, or doing anything but what he is really doing - hanging out with his family or working on a summer home schooling project which involves being at the library. Every. Day. What a lame summer.
Then Matthew meets Dinah, a fifteen-year-old girl who is also hanging around the library. The two become friends and Matthew catches a glimpse of a world he has never seen before, only heard of. He's lived his entire life in the same town where everyone knows everyone else, especially him and his family, since his dad's the town preacher. Dinah shows him her world of uncertainties, an unstable mother, where meeting basic survival needs is a priority, not a given.
Matthew's family is busy with his other brothers and a baby on the way. They wouldn't be able to understand Dinah's situation, and she's not a Christian. Can Matthew see outside of his own world to accept one like Dinah's? And how is he ever going to tell his Dad he snuck Dinah into the church basement to stay for a while?
Find out what it's like to have your perspective on life challenged. Take a walk in someone else's shoes to see how the truths you know may not be true for others. And find a safe place and a safe person to share who you really are in SUMMER SANCTUARY.
Posted May 27, 2010
This is a great book for middle-grade readers. It has a lot of heart and a great deal of soul, and author Laurie Gray throws in her gentle sense of humor at no extra charge.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 14, 2010
My Take: I really enjoyed this book. I was curious about it when I first read the summary because I homeschool my daughter and homeschooled my two older children all the way through school. Beside a few spots where the author made Matthew a little naive ( seemed that he was that way because of his being homeschooled, Most homeschooled children that I know are more away of the entire world than the average child their age) I thought that the author portrayed a homeschooled child very well.
I was touched my how willing that Matthew was to watch after Dinah and how he tried to come up with solutions to her problems. They made a fine team. I was disappointed that he felt he needed to hide Dinah from his parents because I am sure that something could have been worked out that she wouldn't of had to go into child welfare.
Over all I thought this was a very enjoyable books and I am going to give it to my daughter to read next.
Posted July 7, 2011
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