The Winner of Alex J. Cavanaugh's
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Today's offering: THE SUMMER BEFORE BOYS by Nora Raleigh Baskin
Julia and Eliza are best friends, spending the summer together. Julia's mother is serving in the National Guard and Julia spends all of her time trying not to think about what could happen. So the girls lose themselves in their summer, hanging out at the resort where Eliza's father works. But when they meet a new boy, neither one of them is prepared for what it does to their friendship.
Honest truth: I read this because I had access to the ARC. I did not expect to like it. Julia and Eliza are 12. And even though I read YA, middle grade is hit and miss for me. But I don't even think of this book as being middle grade. I think of it like Shrek: existing on 2 levels. As a kid, you see one thing. As an adult you see another.
I really identified when the boy started to come between Julia and Eliza. Not because I've done that, but because I've been guilty of putting my priorities in the wrong place, and letting others down. I think we all have.
Another thing was that this story is intertwined with a narrative about Julia's mother, who is fighting in Iraq. I'd never imagined the ambiguity of feelings. Julia wants everyone to remember her mother's in Iraq, but she doesn't want them to bring it up. She wants to be able to cry, but she doesn't want anyone's pity.
THE SUMMER BEFORE BOYS was a wonderful offering that might take you back to your pre-teen days or might teach you a thing or two about the world, or even yourself.
To win, let me know: have you ever priotised wrong and hurt someone?
Contest open until Wednesday 11.59 pm EST.