Summer in the City
by Marie-Louise Gay and David Homel; illus. by Marie-Louise Gay
Intermediate Groundwood 151 pp.
4/12 978-1-55498-177-9 $15.95 g
e-book ed. 978-1-55498-200-4 $15.95
Sixth grade is almost over, summer’s approaching, and Charlie’s parents haven’t revealed the family’s summer plans yet. What great adventure is in store? In the past, they’ve been caught in a revolution in Mexico, gotten sandblasted in the desert, ridden out hurricanes on the coast, and faced down hungry alligators in a swamp. As it turns out, times are a little hard this year, so Charlie and his younger brother Max will have a “stay-cation”: they will have to make their own fun in their hometown of Montreal. And so they do, with each chapter relating adventures that inevitably become misadventures. The summer begins with relatively tame efforts — rescuing cats, walking dogs, camping out in the backyard — but escalates to dirty, tattooed Santas riding motorcycles; a thrilling rescue from a stranded car during the storm of the century; a goldfish named Jaws landing in the toilet; and a baseball game interrupted by medieval knights. Who needs trips abroad with so much happening right at home? With energy and enthusiasm, spelled out with many an exclamation point and with added black-and-white illustrations for visual appeal, Summer in the City continues the adventures related in previous novels Travels with My Family and On the Road Again!
From the May/June 2012 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.