SUMMER OF THE SKUNKS by Wilmoth Foreman

SUMMER OF THE SKUNKS

Age Range: 8 - 12
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KIRKUS REVIEW

A sweetly episodic novel parses the events of one key summer in the life of a ten-year-old, Jill, emotionally marooned by her sister Margo, 16, and her (almost) 14-year-old brother Calvin. When a family of skunks moves in underneath the house, it starts the siblings on summer-long exploration and rediscovery of their relationships. Calvin and Jill provide secret shelter to an alcoholic family friend; the family’s idyllic day of gigging frogs goes awry when they lose the car keys; a pushy relative who overstays his welcome requires drastic action to remove. These might seem to be the raw ingredients for that tired old sub-genre, the sensitive, southern coming-of-age story—complete with quirky family—but newcomer Foreman scrupulously avoids the saccharine, allowing Jill’s voice to carry the novel with its emotional honesty and growing understanding of her family’s dynamics. The summer ends with tragedy, comedy, and bravery large and small, and Jill understands that she can change even as the rest of her world does. Warmly, quietly memorable. (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: May 30th, 2003
ISBN: 1-886910-80-4
Page count: 156pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15th, 2003