Children's Literature - Alexandria LaFayeThe "Holiday Five" started at Camp Wildwood when five girls from various parts of the Chicago area made a pact to get together over the holidays to maintain their friendship until their return to camp. In Star Spangled Summer, they're struggling to hold their group together as several members face conflicts that may make it impossible for them to go back to Camp Wildwood. Kathy's father wants her to go with his new wife and stepchildren to Europe. Jill is given the chance to go to a skating camp and must decide between skating as a hobby and skating as her vocation. Erin, unlike her wealthier friends, comes from a family that cannot afford to send her to camp and there are no scholarships like the one she received the year before. The summer friendship joined together a diverse group of girls who would have otherwise never met and allows these girls to discover the importance of good friends when it comes to making important decisions. The book is light and entertaining and a quirky addition to a new series by the author of "The Hollywood Wars" series.
School Library JournalGr 5-8-Five friends who met at camp and created a club called The Holiday Five are now planning for their next summer at Camp Wildwood. However, three of the girls may not be returning. Erin's family cannot afford to send her, causing her to resent her more affluent friends. Jill, with an eye on the Olympics, must decide between Wildwood and an ice-skating camp. Kathy's father and stepmother have arranged a trip to Europe for the family. Though harsh realities seem to loom in the way of a summer of fun, it is clear by the end that many lessons have been learned. This is a typical coming-of-age story for today's youth. Many of the characters are struggling with various crises. The plot addresses such issues as divorce, parental absenteeism, and the subtle effects of class differences. The story also imparts the importance of friendship, family, and honesty. Readers are able to observe the characters make mistakes and/or important decisions and live with the consequences. A good read.-Carrie A. Guarria, Lindenhurst Memorial Library, NY
Sally Estes(It is "Booklist" policy that a book written by a staff member be given a brief descriptive announcement rather than a full review. Gr. 47. It's back-to-camp time, and sixth-graders Lia, Kathy, Maddy, Jill, and Erin, the Holiday Five, can't wait. But when obstacles get in their way, it is up to the girls to make sure their summer plans aren't ruined.
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