Summer Sanctuary

Summer Sanctuary


Children - Preteen
193 Pages
Reviewed on 05/13/2010
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

An experienced trial attorney and child advocate, Laurie Gray is the founder of Socratic Parenting LLC (www.SocraticParenting.com) and the author of the young adult novel Summer Sanctuary (Luminis Books/May 2010), winner of a Moonbeam Children’s Book Award Gold Medal. Laurie has served on the faculty at the National Symposium on Child Abuse in Huntsville, Alabama, in 2009, 2010 and 2011. From 1986-1990 Laurie taught high school Spanish, working summers as an interpreter in Guatemala. She has also worked as a court-appointed attorney for children in the Child Welfare System and as a child forensic interviewer. Laurie lives with her husband and daughter in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Karen Pirnot for Readers' Favorite

Matthew fears a dull summer with his best friend Kyle away and his mother nearing completion of yet another pregnancy. Matthew decides to spend his summer in the library researching science and physics questions related to the dilation of time.

The first of four sons born to a preacher and homemaker, Matthew comes across an unusual girl named Dinah. The girl appears to be homeless and somewhat scary to the young preteen but Matthew dares to approach the girl and a friendship is initiated between the preacher's son and the homeless girl.

The children explore science, religion, family interactions, music and poetry as they dare to delve into the world of the other. Matthew begins to explore his feelings apart from what he is taught in his close-knit family and he discovers that, by reaching out, his ideas of love and honor grow even stronger.

As the summer draws to an end, the two friends part company and Matthew is left with feelings of having grown in ways important to his own development. The book is an easy read and is well written to trigger questions in the preteen. The author has dealt with issues of science, religion and interpersonal judgments in a kind and respectful manner which should delight parents wishing for their children to explore their own inner feelings.