A Million Miles from Boston

A Million Miles from Boston

Twelve-year-old Lucy is not comfortable with change and she's about to experience a lot of it. She's anxious about leaving the comfort of her elementary school, where she had an extra year, while a new junior/ senior high school was built; and her father has been dating a woman that Lucy just calls "the PT" and refuses to get to know. She's looking forward to fleeing Boston for The Point and the beach house that has been in her father's family for years. She's also looking forward to starting her summer camp, spending time with her dog and fleeing from the irritating Ian, a popular boy who makes her feel small.

When Lucy arrives, she discovers that even her beloved Point is not immune to change. Over the winter, one of the cottages was torn down and replaced by a MacMansion. She's horrified to learn that it is Ian's family who is moving in. Also, her father seems intent on taking his relationship with the PT, Julia, to a higher level and invites her to visit, often.

Even though her mother died when she was six and she's nearly thirteen now, Lucy still grieves and feels partially responsible. She is also a bit of a control freak and rigid in her assumptions. And she can also be downright rude -- to Ian, to her father and to Julia. So, this is a novel about change and friendship and belonging. It's a nice summer read set in a beach community in Maine. There's a strong sense of place and Lucy is realistically drawn. Her father handles the springing these weekends with Julia on his children a bit ineptly. Lucy's little brother is much more accepting of Julia. It is clearly Lucy who has the problem and Julia is very patient. So is Ian, for that matter. Sure, he's loud, but he has a good heart and the reader learns that Lucy can come off as Little Miss Perfect, so he might have some good reasons for giving her a hard time.

This is definitely a tween girl novel, but it is nice to have something to give to the reader who wants a little drama and the possibility of some romance.

Recommended by Brenda Kahn, Librarian, New Jersey

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Seventh grader Lucy had hopes that her summer vacation in Maine would give her refuge from her problems. Instead, Ian a bully classmate, will also be in the same place. Additionally her widowed father  will have a new lady friend visiting. All Lucy wants is to earn enough money at her summer camp to be able to purchase a two-man kayak for her father. Short chapters should help hold young readers'  attention.

Recommended by Frank Hodge, Emeritus Booktalker of HODGE-PODGE Books, New York, USA

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