A characteristically sensitive exploration of the emotional life of preteens from Greenwald.
Eleven-year-old Remy relishes her summers on Seagate Island with her best friends, Micayla and Bennett, and begins her first-person, present-tense story emphasizing her resistance to change. By summer’s end, she has moved to an acknowledgment that change can be positive, even becoming an agent for change on her beloved island. Remy’s grandmother, a year-round Seagate resident, died three years ago, but the death of Grandma’s dog, Danish, occurred more recently. Remy discovers a way to grieve for Danish with her first real summer job, as residents happily use her dogsitting expertise. Meanwhile, Remy slowly adjusts to the warm welcome Bennett gives to new kids on the island, eventually relinquishing her label of “the downers” for twins Calvin and Claire and even figuring out a way to honor the twins’ grandfather at an annual Seagate celebration. The book starts out slowly, but readers who continue with the story will find reward as they become familiar with an endearing protagonist, her human and canine friends, and the other residents of Seagate Island. The gentle humor and acceptance of the strong emotions that can arise from fairly benign situations—particularly in the world of preteens—are evocative of Beverly Cleary’s novels, with a comfortable injection of 21st-century technology.
Remy’s quiet tale of change and growth marks a promising start to a new series. (Fiction. 8-11)