cover image Summer Endings CL

Summer Endings CL

Sollace Hotze. Clarion Books, $13.95 (165pp) ISBN 978-0-395-56197-3

Hotze's second YA novel (after A Circle Unbroken ) has the charm as well as the episodic quality of an old scrapbook. Covering the summer of 1945 as it affects 12-year-old Christine Kosinski, it concentrates on moments of great import, such as the day Christine catches the home-run hit outside Chicago's Wrigley Field and meets a Cubs player--which is also V-E Day and Christine's birthday. But all is not sunny: Christine's family are Polish refugees, but her father has remained behind, a political prisoner, and there is no news of him. Her mother works as a housekeeper, her thoroughly Americanized older sister works in a parachute factory and dances with servicemen at the Aragon Ballroom, and Christine, meanwhile, launches an ill-fated money-making scheme with her friend Arlene, wonders about sex and death, and spends a memorable Saturday night scooping ice cream at the drugstore. Although the period atmosphere is not as dense as in Judy Glassman's The Morning Glory War , Hotze's characters are magnetic and inventively drawn, and their concerns will help illuminate difficult historical events. Ages 9-12. (Apr.)