Cedar thinks her mom might be crazy. They can’t afford a summer house on her mother’s teacher’s salary. But her mom feels a need to spend the summers in her home town, near her family. Cedar can understand that, since everyone desperately misses her Dad and brother Ben, who died in a car accident the year before.

So Cedar plays along – and discovers a strangely-dressed boy riding his bike along her new street. One day she follows him, and strikes up a friendship, lands a job, and starts a summer adventure she never anticipated. Along the way she learns what it is to live again, laugh again, and honor the memories of her dad and brother.

Phoebe Strole narrates Summerlost by Ally Condie fairly well. She doesn’t change voices too much between characters, but I don’t find that terrifically distracting.

Highly recommended for ages 10 and up.

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