Saturday, October 2, 2010

Sand Dollar Summer
by Kimberly K. Jones

Sand Dollar Summer
Kimberly K. Jones
Grades 5 and up

Annalise, Lise, is a tenacious twelve, almost thirteen-year-old. Her world revolves around her friends and family. It is just her mother and younger brother Free. They form a close bond, balancing each other out. Her brother is extremely bright but does not speak. Their mother and Lise are sure he will speak when he is ready.

In a single moment life as Lise knows it is forever changed. After their mother’s car accident, their mother decides they will retreat to Maine, her childhood home, for her to recover. Lise is not happy with the decision because it ruins her plans for the summer. Lise does not like the ocean. It is too cold, its loud, the waves rough and you never know what lies beneath the surface. She is completely unhappy, unwilling to change. Enter Ben into her life. Ben, a member of the Passamaquoddy Native American tribe, and Lise become friends. A hurricane is approaching Fiddle Beach and everyone evacuates but Ben whom Lise daringly tries to rescue during the climax of the story.

This story is a coming of age sorts of story. Through first person narrative, the story comes alive through Lise’s eyes. I enjoyed the use of symbolism and metaphors throughout the novel. While it seemed a tad predictable, it still was interesting enough to keep me reading. I think Lise’s character is a very believable character. The story is retrospective, so it may help ease younger readers Lise will be okay despite her battling the hurricane to try to save Ben.

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