Even on historic Rock Island, “Where Time Stands Still,” things change.
When the four Fletcher boys and their two fathers arrive at their traditional August vacation cottage on a New England coastal island, they discover their beloved lighthouse next door fenced off and new Latino neighbors, the Galindos, who have two daughters, teenage Val and her younger sister, Alex. The cheerful disorder of a large family takes center stage in this companion to The Misadventures of the Family Fletcher (2014). Issues of adoption and same-sex parents recede into near invisibility as the boys face other challenges. The energetic third-person narrative makes use of alternating points of view to chronicle each boy's personal story. Blond, white Sam, 13, finds friends in the local theater and discovers Shakespeare; African-American Jax, now 11, pals around with Alex and experiences real bigotry for the first time; his white near-twin Eli has his 11th birthday and conquers his fear of kayaking; and 6-year-old Indian-American Frog struggles to teach their two cats to swim. Together with the Galindo girls, the four boys solve the mystery of the closed lighthouse and its unpleasant buyer-to-be. There is constant action and delightful humor, but there are also realistic present-day problems and happy solutions.
An old-fashioned summer adventure set in a very modern world, this lively family tale will leave readers impatient for more. (Fiction. 8-12)