Summerhouse Time

Summerhouse Time

4.8 7
by Eileen Spinelli, Joanne Lew-Vriethoff

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Every year a rented pink cottage full of family, swapping stories, and riding waves mean Summerhouse Time for Sophie. Best of all is sharing a room with her favorite cousin and laughing and trading secrets like two happy peas in a cousin pod. Sophie can't wait! But when she asks the now-a-teenager Colleen if she's looking forward to their time together, Colleen just…  See more details below


Every year a rented pink cottage full of family, swapping stories, and riding waves mean Summerhouse Time for Sophie. Best of all is sharing a room with her favorite cousin and laughing and trading secrets like two happy peas in a cousin pod. Sophie can't wait! But when she asks the now-a-teenager Colleen if she's looking forward to their time together, Colleen just says "I guess so." What? It's the best time of the year, the time they both love. In just a little bit, they will all be together in the cottage on the beach. Will this year be just as wonderful, just like always? Accompanied by charming black-and-white illustrations, classic growingup experiences radiate throughout the pages of this sunny, anytime story.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Carrie Hane Hung
Eleven-year-old Sophie Bolton excitedly waits for the family vacation in August. Sophie, her parents, and the pet cat Orange stay at a rented cottage by the beach with her relatives—aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents. There are many fun-filled summer memories and traditions that the family shares at the summerhouse, making August her very favorite month of the year. Sophie especially loves spending time with her fourteen-year-old cousin Colleen. Sophie can hardly wait for the vacation at the beach to tell Colleen about liking and meeting Jimmy, the new boy in the neighborhood. Once at the cottage, Sophie is confused by Colleen's lack of enthusiasm and her desire to be off by herself. In a house full of relatives, the traditions continue, but not everything is exactly the same. Besides Colleen's dark cloud attitude, Sophie's father is not quite his usual self at times, and her aunts and uncles have their problems. The past August summers do not seem like this summer; things are changing. Sophie's summer story is a collection of free verse poems that moves through her summer vacation at the beach.
School Library Journal

Gr 4-6 - Eleven-year-old Sophie can't wait for her family's annual vacation at the summerhouse on the beach. But this year, her favorite cousin isn't talking to her and won't come out of her room, her dad is mysteriously aloof, and her cat runs away. Writing in short free verse chapters entirely from Sophie's perspective, Spinelli has nonetheless created well-developed characters. The family dynamics are believable, even if a large extended family whose members all more or less get along and vacation together every year might seem idyllic to today's children. Readers will enjoy Sophie's first crush and her wise handling of her cousin's crisis. Spinelli even throws in a smattering of Italian (Sophie is learning the language because the object of her affections has an Italian name), and some arcane information about American history that will keep readers amused and allow them to impress their friends with their knowledge. This is a fun breezy read, perfect for a preteen summer.-Nancy Brown, Fox Lane High School, Bedford, NY

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Kirkus Reviews
All year, Sophie eagerly anticipates the month of August, aka summerhouse time, when her extended family rents a house by the beach. Unfortunately, this year's vacation is not off to the best start. For one thing, 11-year-old Sophie is in love for the first time, and she is not exactly happy to be leaving her almost-boyfriend behind. Plus, her favorite cousin Colleen is barely speaking to her, her cousin Cooper is afraid to go into the water, some of her aunts and uncles are fighting and her cat, Orange, plays a disappearing trick. Finally, while Sophie can't quite put her finger on it, she knows that something is not quite right with her father. Nonetheless, summerhouse time is full of warmth and magic, ice cream and walks on the beach, so as the month unfolds, despite the turmoil-and sometimes because of it-there are many moments to savor. Sophie's humorous outlook, combined with Spinelli's lyrical blank prose, makes for a book that's as light and satisfying as a summer breeze. (Fiction. 7-10)

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Product Details

Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 7.60(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

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Summerhouse Time 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have to say that this is my all time favorite book. I don't usually have favorite books but, this is by far the best book i have ever read. This book makes me feel like i am apart of Sophie's family. It reminds me of the good times i have with my family andd friends in vaction. I was first introduced to this book in fifth grade and i juat fell in love with it. It was one of those books that i judged by the bright colors of the cover and had no clue what it was about. But now i am in seventh grade and definatley do not regret judging this book by its cover. I actually live by eileen and her husband jerry but hve never met them before. I know that many people do not recognize eileen's masterpiece works of writing , but i'm recognizing it right now and thanking eileen fowriting a fantastic story for us to read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Guest More than 1 year ago
When you hear the name Spinelli in relation to children¿s literature, it instantly grabs your attention. However, Eileen Spinelli, author of the delightful Summerhouse Time, is the wife of the famous award winning author, Jerry Spinelli, of Maniac McGee fame. But obviously the great writing technique must be abundant in the Spinelli home as Mrs. Spinelli gives us a book that is a delight for children just learning to read chapter books. The style of writing in almost a diary like format, gives the young reader much confidence, as well as fun, as they can read though the ¿chapters¿ so quickly! Summerhouse Time is a story about Sophie who like most children that are 11 years old, can¿t wait for summer vacation. In the case of Sophie, she is anxious for her family to go on their yearly trip to the Jersey shore and spend the warm, fun summer days in the rented pink cottage with some of their other family members including her older cousin Colleen. Sophie adores Colleen as she looks up to her and likes to emulate her cousin. The trip as Sophie puts it is ¿better than Christmas¿. With Sophie¿s best friend, Katie Johnson gone to spend the summer with her dad, Sophie is even more eager for August to come so she and her family can leave for New Jersey. One wrinkle in Sophie¿s waiting for the best part of the year, is the ¿new boy¿ on the block with the wonderful laugh and beagle puppy named Dakota. Sophie arranges to ¿accidentally¿ meet this boy when he helps her climb down from a tree she is up, supposedly looking for her cat, Orange. Sophie is quite interested in Jimmy Gabbiano to say the least. Sophie goes so far as to try and learn Italian because she decides it would impress him. As summer moves on and a friendship grows between Sophie and Jimmy (a friendship that she imagines might become more as she daydreams about him wanting to kiss her), Sophie realizes she will miss Jimmy and can¿t wait to be able to introduce him to Katie when they all are back home before school starts. Sophie talks Jimmy into writing letters to keep in touch while she is gone. She doesn¿t think he is that keen about it but when her mom hands her a package left on the porch the afternoon before they leave, Sophie changes her mind. Jimmy has left her a silver necklace with a tiny silver spider on it. Jimmy has a great interest in spiders so this is symbolic to Sophie and the note attached wishes her a great time on her holiday! When Sophie and her family arrive at the pink house on the New Jersey shore, she runs to greet her idol, cousin Colleen, who is a bit standoffish to say the least. Colleen even says she is getting her own room this summer. When Sophie questions her aunt about why Colleen is mad, she is told the Colleen is ¿mad at the world¿. And so, Sophie begrudgingly rooms with Tammy, her 5-year-old cousin who calls her ¿Soapy¿. Sophie doesn¿t realize that to Tammy, she is the idol, just as Colleen is, or was, to Sophie. The rest of August is spent filled with everything from scary stories around the fire to worrying about Sophie¿s dad and his health. But most of all, the Summerhouse time is different this year, very different! Letters written to Jimmy that seem like they will never be answered and the sudden disappearance of Sophie¿s beloved cat, Orange, seem to be the straw that breaks poor Sophie¿s heart. Can Sophie really teach Tammy to swim and if so, why should she? Does Sophie begin to realize that Tammy looks up to her, like Sophie used to look at Colleen? Does the ¿secret¿ of the ¿bad thing¿ Colleen has done tear them apart or help to bring them closer as before? How the summer vacation winds down and how these questions and more are answered make for a delightful fun and easy read. Summerhouse Time is a great book for beginning chapter readers. Characters are real and situations are ones that children can learn from and enjoy at the same time. Overall, the fact that Sophie comes to realize that this vacation is all about family
Guest More than 1 year ago
Summerhouse time was sooo good. I loved it!! everyone should read it!!!