FARAWAY SUMMER by Johanna Hurwitz


Email this review


In the summer of 1910, when cars begin to replace horses, and librarians still check for clean hands, New Yorker Dossi finds herself bound for a small town in Vermont, courtesy of the Fresh Air Fund, the charity for poor city children. The ""city girl who doesn't know a weed from a window"" is inducted into a world of milking cows and picking berries, not to mention experiencing mosquitoes and (unbelievably) dew for the first time. The familiar plot line has Dossi learning about egg yolks and burning wood, ice houses and chicken coops; she mistakes fireflies for sparks and eats raw rhubarb from the garden. Tension mounts as Dossi tries to win the affection of tight-lipped Emma, the farmer's daughter who leaves Dossi's precious library book out in the rain. Not only is the landscape unfamiliar to Dossi, but the expressions of country folk sound strange to her ear, and her host family eats ham when Dossi's religion forbids it. Postcards and letters to her sister Ruthi, as well as inscriptions from Dossi's autograph album, are interspersed between chapters, breaking up the rather formal tone. Although Dossi is 12, she sounds younger, making this book suitable for fans of the American Girls audience. Pastoral woodcuts garnish each chapter with old-fashioned country still lifes.

Pub Date: April 1st, 1998
Page count: 148pp
Publisher: Morrow