A Summer to Die

A Summer to Die

4.5 59
by Lois Lowry
     
 

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Thirteen-year-old Meg envies her sister Molly's beauty and popularity, and these feelings make it difficult for her to cope with Molly's illness and death. "Not simply another story on a subject currently in vogue, this book is memorable as a well-crafted reaffirmation of universal values." -- Horn Book See more details below

Overview

Thirteen-year-old Meg envies her sister Molly's beauty and popularity, and these feelings make it difficult for her to cope with Molly's illness and death. "Not simply another story on a subject currently in vogue, this book is memorable as a well-crafted reaffirmation of universal values." -- Horn Book

Editorial Reviews

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
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

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780553243895
Publisher:
Bantam Doubleday Dell Books for Young Readers
Publication date:
08/28/1999
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

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