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KYLE’S ISLAND by Sally Derby


by Sally Derby

Age Range: 10 - 13

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-1-58089-316-9
Publisher: Charlesbridge

When his family returns to their Michigan lakeside cottage for the summer of 1974, “almost” 13-year-old Kyle’s usual excitement quells as he confronts the realities of change. Kyle loves the lake and its summer rituals, so returning seems “like a homecoming” even though it’s different since his grandmother died and his dad moved out. After his mother unexpectedly lists the cottage with a realtor, Kyle feels like a “time bomb ready to explode,” until he opts to savor this last summer at the lake. He accepts a daily job taking an elderly neighbor fishing, teaches his younger brother to fish and swim and explores the lake’s mysterious island on his own. As Kyle traces his summer in the first person, he matures convincingly from a frustrated, angry kid into a thoughtful teen who accepts responsibility and wisely learns that “[m]ostly we don’t know, about other people.” A poignant coming-of-age story rooted in realistic family relationships and lovingly glossed with the wonders of summer on a lake. (Historical fiction. 10-13)