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published: April 2012
ISBN:9781554982004

Summer in the City

by Marie-Louise Gay & David Homel

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0 of 5
0 ratings
rated!
rated!
list price: $3.99
edition:eBook
also available: Hardcover
published: April 2012
ISBN:9781554982004
Description

An OLA Best Bet for 2012

Charlie can't wait for school to be over. But he's wondering what particular vacation ordeal his parents have lined up for the family this summer. Canoeing with alligators in Okefenokee? Getting caught in the middle of a revolutionary shootout in Mexico? Or perhaps another trip abroad?

Turns out, this summer the family is staying put, in their hometown. Montreal, Canada. A "staycation," his parents call it. Charlie is doubtful at first but, ever resourceful, decides that there may be adventures and profit to be had in his own neighborhood.

And there are. A campout in the backyard brings him in contact with more than one kind of wildlife, a sudden summer storm floods the expressway, various pet-sitting gigs turn almost-disastrous, and a baseball game goes awry when various intruders storm the infield — from would-be medieval knights and an over-eager ice-cream vendor to a fly-ball-catching Doberman. Then of course there's looking after his little brother, Max, who is always a catastrophe-in-the-making.

About the Authors

Marie-Louise Gay

MARIE-LOUISE GAY has won awards, including the Governor General\s Award for her children\'s book illustrations.'
Author profile page >

David Homel is a writer, journalist, filmmaker, and translator, and the author of seven novels. He has translated many French-language books into English and is a two-time recipient of the Governor General's Literary Award for Translation. He lives in Montreal.

Author profile page >
Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
Age:
7 to 10
Grade:
2 to 5
Reading age:
7 to 10
Awards
  • Commended, OLA Best Bet
Editorial Reviews

"...this volume is made even livelier and more enjoyable by the numerous pen-and-ink/watercolour illustrations that have made Marie-Louise Gay such a recognized name in Canadian children's literature. "

— Montreal Gazette

Marie-Louise Gay and David Homel, both award-winning writers, have created a fast-paced, entertaining read, complete with amusing black-and-white illustrations, humorous stories and likeable protagonists.

— CCBN

"An upbeat summer idyll likely to draw chuckles whether read alone or aloud."

— Kirkus Book Reviews

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Reader Reviews

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Canadian Children's  Book Centre
Librarian review

Summer in the City

In Summer in the City we are presented with a much more lighthearted book, becoming reacquainted with sixth grader Charlie and his little brother, Max, from Travels with my Family (Groundwood Books, 2006).

Charlie is disappointed when his parents admit that, funds being tight, the family will spend their vacation at home in Montreal instead of visiting one of the more rarefied places his parents usually favour. This does not bode well for an exciting time, especially when Charlie has to keep an eye on Max, who has a penchant for getting into trouble at every turn.

Charlie then recounts, in his own voice and through his own eyes, the adventures that occur that summer. These include efforts to make some holiday money, babysitting a friend’s goldfish (which Max kills with loving kindness), getting caught in the storm of the century, walking dogs and camping out in the garden. While the stories are presented in a fairly staccato style, children will relate to them as they are all well within the realm of possibility and each promises a delightful and predictable disaster.

Despite all his failures and misadventures, one has a lot of respect for Charlie who never loses his sense of humour or his optimism that the next adventure will be the one that will bring him success. With all the setbacks, he seems to maintain an energetic and upbeat approach to life. His laconic, tongue-in-cheek narrative, told in the first person, endears him to us and he manages to make the adventures both comical and suspenseful. While his little brother constantly infuriates him, he really cares about pesky Max — and it is always Charlie’s practicality and ability to think on his feet that rescues them from more dire consequences. Typical of his age, he speaks of his caring parents with tolerant disdain, while recognizing the freedom and security they provide for him as a background from which he can carry out his misadventures!

Charlie and Max’s summer in the city turns out to be anything but boring and he realizes that you can have adventures anywhere. The realism of these everyday adventures harks back to days when childhood had a simpler agenda. Marie-Louise Gay and David Homel, both award-winning writers, have created a fast-paced, entertaining read, complete with amusing black-and-white illustrations, humorous stories and likeable protagonists.

Source: The Canadian Children's Bookcentre. Summer 2012. Volume 35 No. 3.

Canadian Children's  Book Centre
Librarian review

Summer in the City

In this sequel to Travels with My Family and On the Road Again!, Charlie and his family stay home, so Charlie figures no travel means no wild adventures. But Charlie couldn’t be more wrong! With wild animals in the backyard, the perils of summer jobs and spying on an ax murderer, Charlie realizes you don’t need to go looking for adventure, it just finds you.

Source: The Canadian Children’s Book Centre. Best Books for Kids & Teens. Spring, 2012.

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