The Summer of the Crows


Children - Grade 4th-6th
172 Pages
Reviewed on 06/02/2011
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Author Biography

Tony Ducklow grew up in North St. Paul, Minnesota. He had no clear goals in life and when introduced to his fiancée’s grandmother (whose husband was a college president) she replied dryly, “We’ve never had a janitor in the family before.” He eventually became focused and went into teaching. In 2009 he received a master’s degree in education. Shortly after going into teaching, he become aware of the lack of good local children’s programming on television and created the cable program Captain McCool and Friends. The show went on to win numerous awards for quality television.

After writing a memoir called, The Summer of Egg, author Skip Press suggested to Ducklow that he turn the story into a children’s novel with the possibility of a series. He took that advice and wrote The Summer of the Crows.

Ducklow lives in Minnesota with his wife and his four children.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Anne Boling for Readers' Favorite

Tucker and his friends, Crandal, Scotty, Benny and Josh, were looking forward to their annual School Is Out For The Summer sleep over. Tucker had a copy of the new video game, Revenge of the Rabid Leprechauns! The plan was to stay up most of the night fighting the Ninja Munchkins, Insane Robot Assassins and the Zombie Carp. Things got a bit out of hand at the party, and the boys (all but Crandal) were grounded from all electronic devices until September. The adventures grew as they found other things to do during summer vacation: took a ride in a flying castle, rescued simps from Evil Caesar, camped out in a field, went fishing, and told ghost stories around a camp fire. What began as the worse summer ever, quickly became the best summer ever. This summer made him realize he didn't want to build his life around any game.

Tony Ducklow offers children and parents a look at life without electronic devices such as video games, cell phones, television, and computers. We adults grew up playing on tire swing's; children have pasty colored skin from staying in the house and are missing out on fun things like a club house, playing ball, making mud pies, etc.

Ducklow recognizes the importance of being a child, playing outside and exploring nature. He is very careful not to say that video games should be eliminated, but that they should be limited. He has created characters that will appeal to 4th-6th graders. Tucker, Crandal, Scotty, Benny, Josh and Maddy are very realistic. Ducklow knows just what appeals to children; the antics of the gang are exciting and surprising. I like the way he included the police officers, proving that they are friendly, helpful and not out to get someone. The emotions the children go through were lifelike: anger, jealousy, hurt, and pleasure. I will be watching for more books by this author.