You may have noticed that I am doing daily reviews this week, as opposed to my typical weekly post, and that is for several reasons. First of all, I have a lot of book reviews to catch up on! Secondly, school vacations are the perfect time for tweens and teens to read for fun, and I wanted to help out the people who might want/need extra suggestions. Last but not least, I realized that I was inadvertently on a roll with books that took place in summer… Since I still have a few more books that fit the bill, I decided it would make sense to keep with it and to help us all escape the winter blues, one book review at a time. 🙂
Back in elementary school, I was a HUGE fan of The Baby-Sitter’s Club. For some reason, though, it took a long time before it occurred to me that Ann M. Martin would have written other books for tweens and teens. I’m talking working as a Children’s Librarian before it occurred to me long. It actually took kids asking me for The Doll People books for it to register. (It’s things like this make me question my own intelligence at times!) I kept telling myself that I would read another of her books someday, but we all know what they say about the best laid plans. Luckily, when I stumbled upon this audiobook over the summer, I didn’t put it off any longer. I started listening when I went out to mow the lawn one morning, and then I found myself looking for every opportunity to plug in my ear buds and keep listening!
Hattie Owen’s parents owned and operated a boarding house, so she spent a lot of time around adults and was fairly comfortable in adult company. During the summer of 1960, when Hattie turned 12, she met an adult unlike any other she’d ever known. He was her Uncle Adam and, prior to that summer, she didn’t even know Adam existed. Why? Because he had been sent away to a school for “special” kids when she was only a toddler. (As I recall, Adam had both schizophrenia and autism.) When Adam’s school closed, her grandparents had to bring him home until they could find a new place for him. Adam was easily excited and sometimes got out of control, but Hattie didn’t seem to understand why the rest of her family found Adam so embarrassing. She simply loved him for who he was and did her best to help in any way she could. I think this story would be an excellent title for a book discussion or book display during Autism Awareness Month (April).