Summerlost by Ally Condie is a novel about a young girl who recently lost her younger brother and father in an accident. The author tells the story of a girl named Cedar who returns to the town of Iron Creek for the summer. Upon settling into their house in Iron Creek, Cedar meets a boy named Leo who changes her world. Her summer is filled with a budding friendship and attempting to solve the mysterious death of a Hollywood actress.
Being an adult, I felt my perspective was slightly skewed because of my age. I wanted to find a middle school student who could review the book from a different perspective.
Clara, a 5th grader stated “I really liked the book SUMMER LOST. It is more realistic than most books because it doesn’t have all good or all bad characters. It doesn’t really have a villan or an entirely “Happily Ever After”. Cedar did things she shouldn’t have done, and there was lots of conflict. But it turned out almost perfect in the end. I wonder whether the book is based on a true story. Also, will there be a sequel, it was so good.”
From time to time, I like to share books for older children, specifically those in older elementary and middle school. A book such as Summerlost can open up some in depth conversations with your child. Since it’s a longer and more complex read, it can be discussed over time. Discuss the different characters and the various relationships that develop within the story. Ask your child about Cedar’s process in grieving the loss of her brother and father. Reading a book such as Summerlost with your child can be a bonding experience because it can be a common topic that can create a conversation about losing a loved and how Cedar’s life changed with the growing relationship with other characters in the story. Ask your child about their friendships and how they compare with the relationship between Cedar and Leo. This can be an excellent way to talk about friendships with your child.
Want to learn more about the book? Check out this trailer below: