THE SUMMER KID
Myrna Neuringer Levy
Volume 19 Number 5
Ten-year-old Karen is spending two weeks at the cottage with her grandmother while her brother recovers from a broken leg. She resents being forced together with the "little kid" and his mother who are renting her family's cottage during this time.
Tommy is about the size of Karen's six-year-old brother and she assumes he is the same age. She becomes increasingly puzzled by him. His behaviour and speech do not match his obvious skills in building and drawing. She participates with him in a sand castle building contest but is upset to learn that Tommy has a "severe language delay." In the end she supports him in front of others and comes to terms with her own feelings about him.
The author achieves a sensitive portrayal of both children in this first novel. Karen is believable in her anger and impatience with the "summer kid." Her confusion when Tommy does not fit her expectations is also realistically presented. Levy handles Tommy's language difficulties well, without detracting from his character development or the flow of the story.
The format of the book is very readable with generous margins and illustrations. Alice Priestley's pencil sketches appear throughout the text with one drawing reproduced also in colour on the cover. She maintains a nice consistency of features for her characters while creating a soft, hazy atmosphere.
Jennifer Johnson, Ottawa, Ontario
1971-1979 | 1980-1985 | 1986-1990 | 1991-1995
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