Gemini Summer

Iain Lawrence, Author . Delacorte $15.95 (261p) ISBN 978-0-385-73089-1

Lawrence (Ghost Boy ) creates a poignant family drama that will pull the heartstrings of anyone who has looked up to an older sibling or has fallen in love with a dog. The story opens in the summer of 1964 in rural Hog's Hollow and focuses on young Danny River, who longs for a dog but isn't allowed to have one. The other members of Danny's family have dreams of their own. His mother wants to write a novel. His older brother Beau wants to become an astronaut. His father, convinced that the Vietnam conflict is going to escalate into nuclear war, obsessively digs a fallout shelter in their front yard. Soon tragedy strikes: Beau falls into the dugout and dies. Danny will not be consoled until he becomes convinced that a bedraggled stray dog that arrives at the Rivers' door is his brother brought back to life. Readers will empathize with the young hero as he unsuccessfully tries to persuade his parents and others that what he believes about the dog is true. The book's sharply delineated characters and dramatic tension (much of it emanating from the villainous Creepy and Dopey Colvig) will keep pages turning, and the love among family members will be strongly felt. If some events (as when Danny meets Gus Grissom and rides in the famous astronaut's plane) appear a bit strained, they pave the way for a gratifying conclusion. Ages 8-12. (Oct.)

Reviewed on: 09/04/2006
Release date: 10/01/2006
Genre: Children's
Paperback - 261 pages - 978-0-440-41935-8
Open Ebook - 164 pages - 978-0-375-89215-8
Library Binding - 261 pages - 978-0-385-90111-6
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