A Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2019!
A young girl finds herself—and so much more—during a summer stay with her grandparents in this tender novel from Newbery Award–winning author Patricia MacLachlan.
When Louisa (short for Louisiana) is sent to stay with her grandparents for the summer, she’s not looking forward to it. While her brother is determined to find a way to stay on Deer Island forever, Louisa would rather be off having adventures with their globetrotting ornithographer parents. She’s a writer, and there’s nothing on all of Deer Island to write about—right?
Louisa quickly discovers that small doesn’t necessarily mean quiet, and the island has plenty of scope for the imagination. It also has George, the boy who helps her see the world in a whole new light.
The end of summer is coming fast, and Louisa must decide what she really wants: travel the world with her parents, or stay on Deer Island with the people she’s only just learning to love?
Newbery Medalist MacLachlan again concisely and authentically conveys character and emotion in this novel about two siblings spending the summer on their grandparents' Deer Island farm. When redheaded Louisa, almost 12 and a "secret writer," resolutely tells her grandmother, Boots, "I hate change," the wise woman replies that change can help "you find out who you are." And change does, in fact, expand Louisa's sense of self and connection with others. Her innate bond with her grandfather Jake strengthens as he loses his eyesight, and when Jake introduces her to brown-skinned George, a young friend and neighbor whom he's teaching to drive, Louisa recognizes the perceptive and eloquent boy as a kindred spirit who "makes change sound more interesting to me." MacLachlan tenderly captures their instantaneous friendship, burgeoning attraction, and uncanny ability to communicate nonverbally a skill endearingly shared by Boots and Jake. Louisa's younger brother Theo, a sensitive bookworm who longs to live on the island full-time, instigates another pivotal change that rewardingly caps this resonant story of community, love new and old, and embracing the unknown. Ages 8 12.