Summer is supposed to be about lazy days, but for Johnny, summer doesn’t quite turn out the way he expects.
When his mother gets a job in upstate New York, too far from Hull, Vt., for commuting, rising freshman Johnny is sent to live with his aunt and her son for the summer. This wouldn’t be so bad except that his cousin, Remember Dippy, isn’t like other kids—his name is just the start. He likes his days to follow a certain order, and the introduction of excitement often has disastrous results. Johnny, on the other hand, enjoys the occasional adventure, especially when a certain pretty girl is a part of it. Despite Remember’s reluctance, risky escapades seem to find the two cousins: A pet ferret goes missing, a close friend suffers a fall, and a new love interest might change Remember’s life in ways he doesn’t even suspect. Author of the Sydney Taylor Honor–winning The Blood Lie (2011), Vernick displays both tenderness and humor in her story about an unusual relationship. By throwing challenges in the way of authentic, fully-formed characters, she invites readers to question assumptions about what young people are capable of, and she shows how willing they often are to view the world from a new perspective.
An enjoyable and provocative exploration of the clash between “normal” and “different” and how similar the two really are. (Fiction. 12-15)