cover image Forever This Summer

Forever This Summer

Leslie C. Youngblood. Little, Brown, $16.99 (336p) ISBN 978-0-7595-5520-4

Though Georgie, 11, wants to spend the summer creating dance routines with her best friend, she instead finds herself headed from her home outside Atlanta to Bogalusa, La.—a small town that, thanks to the local paper mill, literally “stinks.” While Georgie’s sister Peaches, who’s recovering from meningitis, stays with the girls’ father, Georgie and her mother will be helping great-aunt Vie, whose Alzheimer’s has recently accelerated, and working to keep Sweetings, the diner Vie established, operational. But Georgie’s stuck at Vie’s home doing chores until meeting 12-year-old Markie Jean, a girl with a limb difference who works at the diner. As Georgie and Markie become close, and Georgie begins to win some independence from her protective mother, she makes it her duty—with mixed results—to find Markie’s biological family, raise community awareness about Alzheimer’s, and save the family’s restaurant. Crafting a largely Black tween cast embarking on a summer full of family secrets, friendship, soul food, and life lessons, Youngblood (Love Like Sky) delivers a well-paced look at the importance of family legacy. Ages 8–12. [em]Agent: John Rudolph, Dystel, Goderich & Bourret. (July) [/em]