Seaglass Summer

by Anjali Banerjee

While her parents go to India to visit family, eleven-year-old Poppy Ray is staying... read more

While her parents go to India to visit family, eleven-year-old Poppy Ray is staying with her Uncle Sanjay, a veterinarian on an island off the Washington State coast. Poppy wants to be a veterinarian too, so she can’t wait to help her uncle at work, even if her responsibilities are limited to animal grooming, cage cleaning, and other basic tasks. Over the course of the summer, Poppy gets to know her Uncle Sanjay better and slowly develops a friendship with Hawk, son of the gruff woman who manages Uncle Sanjay’s office. Poppy also discovers that her uncle’s work involves more than just caring for animals—it’s about being part of a community and developing relationships with people, too. She also learns that being a vet is emotionally demanding. It can mean helping a severely injured animal that may or may not recover, or euthanizing someone’s beloved but aging and ailing pet—a plot element handled with realism and compassion. This appealing novel is written with a light touch but has plenty of substance, including a strong cast of intriguing secondary characters. (Ages 7–10)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2011

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