SUMMERSPELL by Jean Thesman


Age Range: 12 & up
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 Thesman (Nothing Grows Here, 1994, etc.) paints a convincing picture of a young girl running scared from a life that has suddenly turned chaotic. Jocelyn grew up in a safe, loving home with her grandparents and her great-aunt; they spent summers together at the remote lakeside cabin, Summerspell. All that has changed; now living with her half-sister and her overbearing, fundamentalist brother-in-law, Jocelyn runs away when he makes sexual advances toward her. She waits at Summerspell until her great-aunt can regain custody of her, but doesn't tell her the whole story. Her secrecy proves misguided; it takes a tragedy to make her understand that some secrets ``should be shouted at ever street corner until someone listens.'' There are contrived twists in the plot, but the characters are well-drawn and believable, and the budding relationship between Jocelyn and her classmate, Baily, who has followed her to Summerspell, is nicely understated. The setting plays an important rolethe cabin becomes an almost magical place, full of bittersweet memories of happier times. A solid novel about speaking up. (Fiction. 12+)

Pub Date: June 1st, 1995
ISBN: 0-671-50130-5
Page count: 169pp
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1st, 1995


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