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Reviewed by Trudi LoPreto for Readers' Favorite
Dancing on Seaside by Julius James DeAngelus is a warm, nostalgic story told with love. It takes place in 1977 in Atlantic City with flashbacks to the late 1950s. The storytellers are Hope, the mother of Jamie and Liz – aka the lizard - and Jamie, the young boy sharing his summer vacation at the beach with his best friend Nicky and Benita, the girl he has a huge crush on and maybe is in love with. Hope talks about her memories of the summers at the beach, the closeness she shared with her brother Max and the losses and guilt she still carries 20 years later. We spend time with Jamie and Nicky as they live each day in carefree fun on the beach; catching crabs, enjoying the Steel Pier and all it offered, fighting off bullies, falling in love, and saying goodbye.
I was lucky enough to visit Atlantic City in the late 1950s and again in the late 1960s which made this story very relatable and very real. Julius James DeAngelus must have also enjoyed the sandy beach because his descriptions were so vivid and accurate. Since I can think back fondly on my summers at the beach, I can easily relate to Nicky and Jamie, but mostly with Liz and Benita and the feelings of a young girl. If you have ever spent time at the beach, shared a summer with a best friend, discovered your first love, then this is a must-read for you. Whatever your age and gender, this is a story that will make you cry, laugh, smile, remember and just enjoy. Dancing on Seaside is a wonderful story!