A Summer to Die

A Summer to Die

4.5 59
by Lois Lowry, Jenni Oliver
     
 

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Thirteen-year-old Meg and her sister Molly couldn't be more different. Molly is beautiful and popular, and Meg is brainy and introverted. Accepting these differences has always been difficult for Meg. When Molly falls ill, however, Meg must learn not only to accept Molly and her life, but to accept death.

Overview


Thirteen-year-old Meg and her sister Molly couldn't be more different. Molly is beautiful and popular, and Meg is brainy and introverted. Accepting these differences has always been difficult for Meg. When Molly falls ill, however, Meg must learn not only to accept Molly and her life, but to accept death.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Not simply another story on a subject currently in vogue, this book is memorable as a well-crafted reaffirmation of universal values." Horn Book

"A warm picture emerges of a family bound together by caring and closeness. . . . Meg's sorrow as well as her joy comes pouring out in this perceptive tale."—Booklist, Starred review
Children's Literature - Sarah Maury Swan
Sometimes reading or rereading a well told story from years ago is so much better than reading a new story. This book is indeed such a joy. Meg and her sister, Molly, move from their comfortable home in town, where each has her own bedroom, to a small cottage in the country where they must share a bedroom so their dad can finish the book he’s writing. Neither girl is happy with the move at first, but then Molly finds a boyfriend at her school and Meg meets an old man, Will Banks, who helps her find her way. The family dynamic changes when Molly gets seriously ill and has to spend time in a hospital. When she comes back, she is not the same and Meg does not know why. In the meantime, Meg begins to take photography more seriously, encouraged by Will Banks, who gives her his German camera from World War II. Will owns the three houses on his farm: the cabin he lives in; the cottage he rents to Meg’s family; and the large house he grew up in. Unfortunately, his only living relative wants to sell the farm for a profit, saying Will can live his life out there. When Will sells the large house to a nice young couple, Maria and Ben, his nephew threatens to sue. Will is key to Meg’s dealing with Molly’s impending death. Plus, Maria and Ben want Meg to take pictures of the birth of their child. Though she and her parents move back to their house in town after Meg’s dad finishes his book, Meg does keep in touch with Will, visiting him when the blue gentian blooms. The book will make your heart both sad and happy. Reviewer: Sarah Maury Swan; Ages 8 to 12.
Children's Literature - Christina M. Desai
This reissue of a 1977 classic deals with themes that are just a relevant today: birth, transition, death, and renewal. Over the past thirty years, children's literature has evolved in many ways. It has become much more open about unpleasant matters such as disease and dysfunctional families. Still, children like Meg, the main character, are not always ready for brutal honesty. In this novel, the seriousness of her sister's illness unfolds by degrees as Meg gradually allows the unthinkable to make its way into her consciousness. Natural surroundings provide mute clues leading her toward gradual understanding. For example, February's barren whiteness, when sky and horizon become indistinguishable, mirrors Meg's confusion and lack of direction. The vacant old house, with blank window-eyes, represents emptiness—and also possibilities for renewal and fulfillment. The novel abounds in these layers of meaning drawn from its New England setting. Were it written today, we would expect some evidence of diversity, but this novel maintains an inward focus on the crisis facing this white, nuclear family. A thirteen year old's first person narrative today would be less polished, more reflective of teen idiom: unlike more contemporary treatments of this topic such as Jenny Downham's acute YA novel Before I Die, there are no ugly moments to confront here. But Meg's articulate account is no less moving for all that. Like her growing acceptance of Molly's imminent death, the novel's impact gradually intensifies toward the climax, but only after healing forces are also in place and Meg is ready to accept them. The novel is a keenly sensitive look at the death of a sibling, especiallyappropriate for the younger "young adult." Reviewer: Christina M. Desai

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780544668416
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
05/10/2016
Pages:
192
Sales rank:
192,945
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range:
12 Years

Meet the Author

Lois Lowry is the author of more than thirty books for young adults, including the popular Anastasia Krupnik series. She has received countless honors, among them the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award, the Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award, the California Young Reader’s Medal, and the Mark Twain Award. She received Newbery Medals for two of her novels, NUMBER THE STARS and THE GIVER. Her first novel, A SUMMER TO DIE, was awarded the International Reading Association’s Children’s Book Award. Ms. Lowry now divides her time between Cambridge and an 1840s farmhouse in Maine. To learn more about Lois Lowry, see her website at www.loislowry.com.

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A Summer To Die (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition) 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 60 reviews.
AlexH More than 1 year ago
I picked this book up at the library a while back because of the cover. I had no clue what it was about. I thought that the title was interesting and I began to read it. I found this book to be both enjoyable and depresing. This novel is about a family of four. The father is a writer and professor. He has a wife named Lydia and two daughters, Molly and Meg. Both, he and his wife decide to rent a house in the country, so that Dr.Chalmers (the father), can complete the book that he is in the process of writing. They rent a house from a man named Will. He is a free spirited 70 year old man. Both he and Meg share a passion for photography. Meg becomes friends with Will and meets his new renters across the field. Ben and Maria are a couple with a child on the way. Of course Molly loves this, because her dream in life is to get married and to have a child. Molly can not wait for the child to be born and be able to see it, but Molly become very sick and is hospitalized. Will Molly be out in time for the birth of Ben and Maria's child? What will Molly's fate be?
Guest More than 1 year ago
When I first saw this book in the library, I had thought it would be a good tragedy book that would take a while for me to read. Turns out that the book was not what I expected it to be, because Meg and Molly are both sisters and are not alike, at all! Meg is very jealous of molly until she finds out her sister is going to die. The family goes up-side down and everything is a wreck. I liked this book for many reasons: it had a great mortal, it was a great, flowing, and easy to read book. Its a book everyone should love to read!!!
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Best book ever.. sad and heartbreacking....funny also
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book us one of the sadest books I've read but one of the greatest!! This book had a few mistakes but other than that it was a very good book! Its worth the ten dollars for sure!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Raul Esqueda More than 1 year ago
Amazing book!!!! Loved it:)
Charnetta_ More than 1 year ago
I remember reading this book when I was either 11 or 12 years old. It had a lasting impression on me particularly now as I am an adult. Because I have been suffering with nosebleeds, for some reason, this book came back to my mind after all of these years. A really GOOD BOOK. Although I remember feeling sad after I read it.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved reading this book because it had suspenese, love, and of course genuine sister-love. I was sad when Molly got sick, and really happy when the baby was born. I would reccomend this book to ANYONE. I loved this book and so would you. I like the way Lois Lowry writes because she makes you feel like you are the main character in the story. I loved this book
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was really sad but it is one of the best books I have ever read! You should definately read this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I definitly loved this book.It was very touching and showed how to sisters think they might hate each other but at the end you know you really care about them.I totally recomend this books for preteens and teenagers who want to be popular and have all the boyfriends but in reality it shows you that you should admire everything you've got.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I thought that this book was an extremely good read. It was so sad but it had happy parts in it, and those are the kind of books I love to read.