A SUMMER OF SILK MOTHS by Margaret Willey


Age Range: 12 & up
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A thoughtful, complex and moving story about loss and discovery of identity, love and the ability to change and the restorative powers of nature. Seventeen-year-old Pete Shelton is working “shoulder-to-shoulder” with Abe McMichaels, a “silent type” who lived with Pete’s adoptive family for six years. They’re creating a public nature preserve along the St. Joe River in Buchanan, Mich., in memory of Abe’s older brother Paul, a gifted naturalist who died in a car accident 15 years earlier. The past is stirred up with the unexpected arrival of Nora, Paul’s never-before-seen teenage daughter who is fleeing a “creepy stepdad” and a tempestuous relationship with her embittered mother. Like Gene Stratton-Porter’s 1909 classic A Girl of the Limberlost, which inspired Willey, it is anchored by a young person’s passion for collecting North American silk moths and excitement about science; there are other parallels as well. It’s an absorbing mystery, some of which unfolds via Paul’s moth journal written 18 years earlier, and ultimately a love story. The believable characters and the insights into their awakening emotional lives will carry readers along. (Fiction. 12 & up)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-7387-1540-7
Page count: 264pp
Publisher: Flux
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 2009


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