Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 10 to 14
- Grade: 5 to 9
A famous rock star, a family secret and a boy with a great smile make for one unforgettable summer.
It's 1962, and thirteen-year-old Reenie Starr comes alive the minute guests begin to arrive at her family's summer resort. She dreams of the day she can run Sandy Shores, and she spends her time helping out at the resort, swimming, climbing trees, and singing under the stars.
One day, Reenie's mother announces that she thinks the resort could use some entertainment. She invites Gwen, her best friend's almost-grown daughter, to come and teach a dance class. Although Gwen seems sad and remote, Reenie's thrilled to have her there.
As Reenie starts to learn more about the world beyond Sandy Shores, she comes up with a plan that could really put it on the map. She also finds herself caught between the simpler world of her childhood and all of the wonderful new discoveries (boys) and heartaches (boys) that growing up can bring. Reenie thought she wanted Sandy Shores to never change, but after this summer nothing will ever be the same again.
With the same humour and insight that she brought to the acclaimed Words That Start With B, Vikki VanSickle expertly captures those lazy, hazy, crazy days of the last summer before high school. Though set in a different time, Summer Days, Starry Nights is sure to resonate with all young readers on the verge of adolescence.
About the author
écrit des livres et des pièces de théâtre pour les enfants. Elle est
diplômée de théâtre de l'Université de Queens, et de littérature pour
enfants de l'Université de Colombie-Britannique. Elle possède une solide
expérience dans le domaine des camps de vacances : elle travaille dans les
camps organisés par le théâtre local, mais aussi comme conseillère et
directrice d'activités au Camp Rimp Rock de Virginie Occidentale. Elle a
participé à plusieurs comédies musicales, et elle a dirigé, en 2005, la
production de Crazy for You. Ses écrits ont été publiés dans
Chameleon, un magazine pour enfants.
VIKKI VANSICKLE is the author of Words That Start With B, Love Is a Four-Letter Word, Days That End in Y and Summer Days, Starry Nights, which was nominated for a Red Maple Award. She is an active member of the children's literature community, presenting at academic conferences, reviewing books, and managing her popular children's lit blog. Currently, she splits her time between writing and working in marketing and publicity. Vikki lives in Toronto, Ontario. Visit her online at www.vikkivansickle.wordpress.com.
- Commended, OLA Best Bets
- Commended, Best Books for Kids and Teens, Canadian Children's Book Centre
Excerpt: Summer Days, Starry Nights (by (author) Vikki VanSickle)
From Summer Days, Starry Nights:
The songs were catchy, and I recognized most of them, thanks to Gwen's musical education. All around me people were nodding and singing along. I watched them just as much as I watched the band, fascinated by their reaction. A group of girls clutched each other off to the side, gazing so longingly at the musicians that I felt embarrassed for them. One of them appeared to be sobbing into her friend's shoulder. Between songs, people clapped and cheered and called out requests. Paul taunted them, pretending not to hear, or making fun of their song choices, but in the end he always relented. A few times I looked over and caught Ray looking at me. I blushed and looked away, pretending not to notice. But inside my chest, my heart was off to the races. I had never had a boy look at me like that, and a cute boy to boot. The crowd was so close that sometimes, as we swayed, shifting to the music, our arms touched. By the end of the performance, I was hoarse from cheering and the back of my neck was damp with sweat. I was breathing hard, as if I had been running around on stage, but I felt like I could keep going all night. People begged and pleaded for more, and I joined in their chorus, but Paul dropped to the ground and played dead, not even moving when some joker pretended to kick him in the ribs. Ray touched my shoulder and leaned down, speaking directly into my ear, "I'm going to go check on my rock stars. Don't go anywhere."
Praise for Summer Days, Starry Nights
"Through Reenie's innocent eyes, author Vikki VanSickle beautifully captures the novel's time and place . . . It's hard not to fall in love with Reenie's favourite place. And it's just as hard not to fall in love with Reenie." -Quill & Quire
"Summer Days, Starry Nights examines the delicate balance between individuality and preserving our sense of home." -The National Post
"This latest offering from Vikki VanSickle is a perfect summer read, capturing all of the magic and warmth and dreaminess of summer as we all long for it to be." -Open Book Toronto