School's out! That means Lucy is off to her favorite place: Pierson Point, Maine, where she spends summers with her family. And as she tries to forget her worries about starting middle school and about Dad's new girlfriend, Lucy can't get there soon enough. Pierson Point is where she feels most like herself, and where memories of her mother, who died when Lucy was six, are strong and sacred.
But this summer, nothing is the same. Ian, a boy from home in Boston, comes to Pierson Point with his family. Ian is loud, popular, and mean. He and Lucy can't stand each other. To top it off, Dad wants his girlfriend to become a bigger part of Lucy's life.
Karen Day's engaging novel shows that people aren't always what they seem, and that friendship can be found in the most unusual places.
Day delivers a well-paced, realistic "summer of change" story. Lucy's family has been vacationing at Pierson Point in Maine since her father was young, and Lucy, anxious about entering middle school, is looking forward to the kind of summer she's always enjoyed with him, her younger brother, and her faithful black Lab, Superior. Pierson Point also holds warm memories of her mother, who died of cancer when Lucy was six, and Lucy is passionately attached to the Point's comforting traditions and age-worn edifices. This year, however, two figures threaten her peace of mind: Julia, her father's increasingly serious girlfriend, and her aggravating classmate, Ian, from home, whose family has bought a house on the Point. Day (No Cream Puffs) sympathetically portrays Lucy's overriding sense of responsibility for everybody's happiness, especially her father and the kids in the informal "day camp" she runs ("More than anything, I wanted the kids to be happy. I wanted them to have great memories of camp, that summer, the Point"), and Day persuasively renders Lucy's uneasiness with her complex shifting emotions and memories. Ages 8 12.