It is the 1960’s… the age of white go-go boots, John Lennon hats, The Ed Sullivan Show and childhood innocence . Lee is part of a school writing club and is told by her teacher that she has a ‘gift’. Taking her teacher’s words to heart Lee incorporates all the components of good writing and begins on her first story. In her ‘Author Notes’ she remarks that writers embellish the truth a little to make it better or maybe a little worse and that it will be up to the reader to determine which parts of her story are true and which are embellished. This phrase becomes the starting point for Lee’s story ” of a summer that was both wonderful and terribly sad” .
Lee’s mom is a firm believer in the traditional role of women and sniff’s her disapproval as Lee continues writing or asking questions that “ladies should not be asking”. Writing and reading are Lee’s escape and after being introduced to Anne Shirley and Green Gables, her daydream of a kindred spirit is on the brink of becoming reality with the arrival a ‘possible orphan’ named Cassandra.
Our aspiring writer’s unorthodox approach to Cassandra develops into a friendship where both girls gain the courage to trust themselves enough to do daring things . At this point Lee says that “suddenly it was like being struck by lightning” and both girls realize that their sanctuary is not a physical space, but that it would be a place with them always …if they just look inside themselves.
Lee’s brave honest approach to life will resonate with readers both young and old ……and bring a smile to your face! A true ‘Gutsy Girl’ book!
Reading ability: Junior (Grade 5,6)
Genre: Realistic fiction
Theme: Acceptance, Courage, Grief, Death, Friendship: Social issues; Coming of age; Writing
Similiar Reads: Books by Judy Blume