Wednesday, September 13, 2006

A Great New Book For Girls!

In the Children’s Department:
The Summer Sherman Loved Me, by Jane St. Anthony

Jane St. Anthony’s debut novel is a sweet and funny novel of first love among the almost teen. Set in the early 1960s, the author recalls the time and place of her own girlhood, but she gives us a story about the awkwardness and confusion of children at this age that feels familiar and timeless, as Margaret and Sherman try to piece out in their odd and blundering way exactly what it means to be a “boyfriend” and “girlfriend.” The characters are all finely observed, and the cross tensions and messiness of families ring true in St. Anthony’s beautifully drawn theater of suburban drama. You will not forget the risky and reckless antics of Sherman and his amazing pet squirrel. In Margaret we meet a young narrator with dimension, so different than the flat and improbable characters of popular fantasy and adventure novels for youth. She is unsentimental and vulnerable, intelligent and bemused, and she narrates her story with a sharp and honest voice. You will love all of the characters in this book, the families and neighbors in Margaret and Sherman’s small world that make it a vital and believable place, and serve to remind us that a first love is in so many ways mixed up with all the people we love in our own little corner in place and time.

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