By Susan Freinkel
By Dana Reinhardt
Ages: 11 and up
In the passage from childhood to adulthood, there’s a point when discovery about oneself and the world begins to take root. For Drew Solo, the heroine of this book, that point takes place in the summer before eighth grade. It's 1986 and she's 13, living in a small California town with her mother, who runs a gourmet cheese shop. Drew loves the adults in her life and her pet rat, but she yearns for a friend her own age. That friend arrives in the unexpected person of a slightly older boy, Emmett Crane. At first Emmett tells her little about himself, but eventually he reveals his secret dream: to find a legendary spring said to have healing waters. Joining Emmett on his quest brings new understanding about belief, family, what it means to have a friend, and to be one.
Bottom line: The Summer I Learned to Fly, is the perfect pick for readers who like stories centered around relationships.
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