Sand Dollar Summer

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  • Twelve-year-old Lise watches her safe world fall apart when her strong, self-reliant mom is injured in a car accident. To recuperate, Mom takes Lise and her bright little brother to live in a rattletrap house on the beach in Maine for the summer. Although her mother grew up there, this is Lise's first experience with the ocean. She's terrified by what may be lurking in the cold depths and confused by the ways that Maine is changing her mother.

    As secrets from the past start spilling out, even the solid earth may not keep Lise safe anymore. Lise will have to learn to go with the flow -- or risk falling apart -- in this tender, funny, and wise novel...the story of one family's unforgettable summer.

    "A first-rate debut." --School Library Journal, starred review

    "A heartfelt debut; a coming-of-age story with a bit of pathos and a perilously climactic finale." -- Kirkus Reviews, starred review

    "This superbly written, thought provoking, and often very moving book is a joy to read" -- Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Review Read entire review


    Top Ten First Novels for Youth -- Booklist
    An ALA Best Books for Young Adults Nominee
    A New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age
    A Children's Book Council/NCSS Notable Social Studies Trade Book
    An IRA/CBC Children's Choice
    Great Stone Face Book Award Master List (NH)
    Nominee for the inaugural Truman Award (MO)

    Book Clubs

    A number of classes and book clubs have chosen to read Sand Dollar Summer together. Click here for some starter discussion questions for your group.