SUMMER LION by Liza Fosburgh


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In her third book, Fosburgh presents a slice-of-life summer in which a 14-year-old boy learns the difference between appearance and reality in people's lives. Leo has a job as summer companion to Mr. Bathes, 81, who lives with his sister and two grandchildren at the exclusive Beaver Mountain Club, an upper New York State preserve. At first, Leo is intimidated by this family that seems above him both socially and economically, a fact complicated by his dislike for his present situation: living with his mother and her boyfriend, who manages a nearby hotel. As the weeks progress, however, he discovers that things are not as smooth for the rich as they seem: Pookie, the granddaughter, close to his age, smokes grass habitually; her mother is absorbed in a new life without her children; Mr. Baines has not had the easy life Leo assumed and still must face pain and rejection. Leo also discovers his own strengths, which can help the Baines family and also bring him new understanding of his own situation. Though the plot is slight, this is distinguished by the portrayals of the characters, especially Mr. Baines, Pookie, and Leo, who grows more likable as the book progresses--and by gentle humor and a rich comprehension of the people and issues involved. A solid growing-up story.

Pub Date: Oct. 14th, 1987
Page count: 224pp
Publisher: Morrow