Three Bird Summer

by Sara St. Antoine

Twelve-year-old Adam is spending the first summer since his parents’ divorce... read more

Twelve-year-old Adam is spending the first summer since his parents’ divorce at his grandma’s cabin in northern Minnesota. That means it’s just him, his mom, and Grandma, not his dad and the many cousins who used to join them. Adam’s grandma is having memory issues, causing a great deal of tension between her and Adam’s mom, who is worried about her mother living alone. Adam doesn’t mind the quieter vacation — he often felt overwhelmed by his cousins in the past — and so is at first a bit resentful of Alice, the new girl at the cabin nearby. But she turns out to love the outdoors and science and doesn’t seem obsessed with cute clothes and popularity, a pleasant surprise for Adam, who isn’t high on the social food chain. In this quiet, understated novel, Adam and Alice develop a friendship with a hint of romance while trying to unravel the mystery of the notes Adam’s grandma keeps leaving around the cabin. They seem to be intended for someone in her past, but not his grandfather, who died before Adam was born. A treasure hunt following decades-old clues marks both change and continuity in a novel that beautifully captures the feel of a stretched-out summer in the woods, and a boy’s growing confidence in being himself. (Ages 9–12)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2015

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