Hawes (Black Pearls: A Faerie Strand) transforms carelessness into redemption in a summer story that begins after a group of teens break into and throw a raging party at a beloved local poet’s cottage, trashing it and nearly burning it to the ground.(A note explains that the story is partly inspired by a similar 2008 incident involving Robert Frost’s summer home.) Sarah, Hawes’s wide-eyed narrator, has an innate poetic bent and only reluctantly took part in the break-in because of her popular boyfriend, Fry. Though Sarah’s relationship with Fry is central to the plot, the real romance is one of words. The teens are sentenced to restore the cottage and take a poetry course—taught by the house’s elderly owner, Rufus Baylor, who becomes a mentor to Sarah. Full of poetry and ideas, Sarah’s narration has an exuberant innocence, bringing a fresh and joyful quality to a story about a girl learning to love the possibilities that come with independence: the chance to discover one’s true self and desires, while forging a path forward that might fulfill them. Ages 12–up. Agent: Ginger Knowlton, Curtis Brown. (May)
Reviewed on: 03/07/2016 Release date: 05/31/2016 Genre: Children's
During the Covid-19 crisis, Publishers Weekly is providing free digital access to our magazine, archive, and website. To receive the access to the latest issue delivered to your inbox free each week, enter your email below.