Book Reviews

The Summer I Learned to Fly- Dana Reinhardt



Drew’s a bit of a loner. She has a pet rat, her dead dad’s Book of Lists, an encyclopedic knowledge of cheese from working at her mom’s cheese shop, and a crush on Nick, the surf bum who works behind the counter. It’s the summer before eighth grade and Drew’s days seem like business as usual, until one night after closing time, when she meets a strange boy in the alley named Emmett Crane. Who he is, why he’s there, where the cut on his cheek came from, and his bottomless knowledge of rats are all mysteries Drew will untangle as they are drawn closer together, and Drew enters into the first true friendship, and adventure, of her life.

My Review:

This is a simple, sweet tale about a girl struck in the awkward stage of adolescence.  Her so-called friends are at an acting camp, her mother expects her to work full-time at the cheese shop without pay, her crush has gone and found a crush of his own…It’s not looking like the best summer ever…until she meets a boy around her age named Emmett Crane. Emmett is unlike anyone she’s ever met- he’s mysterious, he eats the discarded cheese from her mother’s shop, he doesn’t think she’s strange for having a pet rat…basically he’s perfect for Drew. Just a heads up that you may want to have a box of tissues on hand as you near the end of this novel.

I’ll be a middle school librarian in the fall and if my library doesn’t have this novel, I’ll definitely order several copies. It’s refreshing to find a story that is age and school appropriate as well as relatable for adolescents.


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