THE “I LOVE SUMMER STORIES” GIVEAWAY!
COMMENT HERE ON MY INSTAGRAM POST FOR A CHANCE TO WIN A COPY OF EITHER THE FAMILY FLETCHER TAKES ROCK ISLAND OR THIS WOULD MAKE A GOOD STORY SOMEDAY*
I admit it, in the summer my books take a beating. Expect to see them warped and wonky after being left outside in the rain, or filled with sand that spills out when pulled from the bottom of a beach bag. Reading in the summer is a bit of a contact sport, for me. Bug spray, sunscreen, water, sand…even some ice cream has been known to find its way onto the pages of my favorite summer books.
Sorry not sorry.
Reading — and rereading — wonderful books in the summer is one of my great pleasures. Even though I’ve been out of school for a looooooong time, something about summer still feels…different. Freer. Like my regular life is suspended, and somehow the rules are different. I reread old favorites. Put down a book that isn’t grabbing me and start a new one. Read three books at once. Why not? It’s summer!
Maybe it’s because I live in New England, where the winters are long and cold. Maybe it’s because school wasn’t always easy for me as a student, or as a parent, and summer promised a break. Whatever the reason, I always feel summer is a time of freedom.
Below are a couple of summer stories that I’ve loved, that maybe you’ll love too. And don’t forget to comment for a chance to win one of my summertimes books! Simply comment here or on the Instagram post (linked here) and you’re entered to win of of these two books!*
This Would Make a Good Story Someday: What if you planned on the perfect summer with your friends, getting new and improved for middle school? And what if your moms suddenly informed you that, instead, your entire family — including your loud younger sister, your political activist older sister, and her oh-so-annoying boyfriend — were traveling cross-country by train? For Sara, writing it all down in her journal is the only escape. But as they criss-cross the country she makes unexpected friends, sees the world outside the train windows with new eyes, and might just come home new and improved after all.
The Family Fletcher Takes Rock Island: The Fletchers love returning every year to Rock island, where nothing ever changes. Except this year, when Sam, Jax, Eli, and Frog Fletcher and their dads arrive, things are different. New neighbors, a Keep Out fence around the beloved lighthouse, and still more surprises await them. Maybe time can’t stand still, even on Rock Island, but the Fletcher boys learn that some changes can be downright amazing.
A Very Incomplete List of A Few of My Favorite Summer Stories
by Dana Alison Levy
The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall:
This book is a modern classic, and does an amazing job of bringing us into the heart of this hilarious and loving family of four sisters. The adventures they have in Arundel, in the gardens, the pond, the meadows, and beyond, make me want to join the fun. P.S. The whole series is fantastic, and another one, The Penderwicks at Point Mouette, is another magical summer story.
One Crazy Summer by Rita Garcia-Williams:
Wow I love this book! Three sisters travel across the country to spend the summer of 1968 with their mother in Oakland California, where they wind up attending a summer program hosted by the revolutionary Black Panthers. Full of important history that doesn’t get talked about enough, and funny and poignant enough to keep everyone reading. P.S. Once again, the rest of the series is amazing too!
The Parker Inheritance by Varian Johnson:
Pretty much the world’s most perfect middle grade novel. A mystery, a family story, a friendship story, historical fiction, social justice, puzzles, questions about race, secrets, LGBTQIA identity…this book pretty does it all, and does it beautifully. Candace Miller and her mother are spending the summer in Lambert South Carolina, and when she and her neighbor Brandon find a letter waiting for her, it’s the beginning of a puzzle about her family and the town that may reveal secrets some folks aren’t ready to give up. Also, it made me go back and reread Ellen Raskin’s The Westing Game (the ultimate puzzle book), and that’s just another bonus.
The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora by Pablo Cartaya:
Like I said, I’m a New Englander, and I love our summers. But this book takes place in Miami, and offers such an incredible sense of place and how the rhythms of summer play out there. It’s about community and food and family and poetry and, for me at least, Arturo is not even remotely an epic fail; he’s totally awesome.
Dana Alison Levy was raised by pirates but escaped at a young age and went on to earn a degree in aeronautics and puppetry. Actually, that’s not true—she just likes to make things up. That’s why she always wanted to write books. Her novels for kids, The Misadventures of the Family Fletcher, The Family Fletcher Takes Rock Island, This Would Make a Good Story Someday, and It Wasn’t Me have garnered multiple starred reviews, been named to Best Of lists, and were Junior Library Guild Selections. Also her kids like them. Find out more ator follow her online at , , or .
*Giveaway is US only! (Apologies to the international crowd). Winners will be picked at random and contacted via email or DM.