Monday, July 11, 2011

36. A Million Miles from Boston - Karen Day

Wendy Lamb Books, Random House, 2011
HC $15.99
for:  kids
genre:  CRF
218 pgs.
Rating:  4 (as a kid I would have loved this story)

Setting:  Southern coast of Maine, contemporary summertime

One Sentence Summary:  Lucy can't wait to spend her summer at the family cottage on the southern Maine coast, but is chagrined to discover a disliked (male!) classmate is also going to summer there, and her widowed father wants his girlfriend to visit.
The story centers on Lucy, the longing she feels for her dead mother, the responsibility she feels for her family, the unsettled feelings she has both toward her father's girlfriend, who's really very nice, and Ian Richards, a schoolmate who she's caught lying and who has gotten her in trouble more than once.  She helps take care of her younger brother, Buster, and is always accompanied by her dog, Superior.  She loves her connection to all the families on Pierson Point, babysitting and even preparing a morning summer camp for a handful of the younger kids.  However, of all the families on the point, there' no one else her age, until Ian arrives.

Most of the story is very believable.  Lucy is particularly mean to her dad's girlfriend.  Makes sense.  She's super nice to everyone else.  She figures out how other people think and expects fairness from everyone.  She's trustworthy - all believable.  There's one place where she apologizes to the girlfriend (darn but I can't remember her name) that I can't quite picture a kid doing, but this is a really good kid, so I shouldn't be such a doubting Thomas.  Everyone - except one person, Ian's sister Allison - is almost a little too nice.  There are a lot of nice people in this book.  A few too man?  Well this is MAINE after all!!

The setting is written so that I get a good feel for the place.  However, summertime in Maine (even on the coast) would have more discussion about bugs (mosquitoes especially) than just the fireflies that are mentioned.  That I know for a fact!  Black Flies- the Maine state bird.......

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