Those Summer Girls I Never Met

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Drew isn't looking forward to spending two weeks trapped on an ocean liner with his ill-tempered sister Stephanie and Connie, the grandmother he hardly knows. But once the cruise begins, Drew is quick to change his mind. Self-assured Conniean aging big-band singeris unlike anyone Drew has ever met. Even rebellious Stephanie falls under her spell. And in the days that follow Drew and his sister come to a deeper understanding of what it means to be a family. Though Drew and Stephanie's initial reluctance to go on the cruise is rather mystifying, for the most part this warm account of an unusual family rings true. Drew's rapid-fire narration is deceptively lighthearted: his goofy, glib voice proves capable of expressing a great range of emotion. Ages 12-up. (September)
School Library Journal
Gr 6-10 Drew and his friend Bates had been putting the finishing touches on their summer fantasies of girls and cars when Drew's single parent mother bursts his balloon, telling him that he and his 14-year-old sister Steph (whom he sees as a meddlesome bother) are expected to accept an invitation from their never-before-seen grandmother to be her guests on an all-summer cruise from London to Leningrad. Much to their surprise, Drew and Steph become attached to their grandmother, Connie Carlson, a singer-entertainer who made her mark in the '40s and '50s. Connie brings together Steph and Drew, and they learn about their mother, their grandfather (an alcoholic piano player on board), and about themselves. They also learn the tragic truth about Connie. Drew's first-person narrative is permeated with an appealing mixture of sarcastic and self-deprecating humorsimilar to Robert Lipsyte's teen heroes. The sub-plots of Steph's shipboard friend's family reuniting in Russia and Drew's attempts to help his grandfather complement the main plot, and Drew's very funny amorous misadventures add a counterbalancing levity to what is basically a serious and believable coming-of-age story. Jack Forman, Mesa College Library, San Diego
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780440204572
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 9/1/1989
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 192
  • Age range: 12 - 15 Years
  • Lexile: 670L (what's this?)

Meet the Author

Richard Peck
Richard Peck
Richard Peck created Grandma Dowdel in a short story called "Shotgun Cheatham's Last Night Above Ground," which became the first chapter of this book.  He says, "Grandma is too sizable to be confined in a single story, to sizable and mystifying to her growing grandchildren, who in each visit discover in her a different woman."
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 28, 2001

    what a great book!

    I loved how it expressed the feelings of the charecters. it tugged on my heart strings. i was crying when i found out the grandma had cancer, and the drunk was their grandfather. it was funny when he went skinny-dipping in the hot tub.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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