Seaglass Summer

by Anjali Banerjee

Wendy Lamb Books, May 10, 2011.
Hardcover, 176 pages.
ISBN: 037584399X
Ages 9-12

Seaglass Summer by Anjali Banerjee

Seaglass is glass from old bottles and other containers that has been smoothed and polished by water, sand, and salt. In the process of its long journey it becomes beautiful. Often washed ashore after a storm, seaglass is collected widely by enthusiastic beachcombers.

In any group of two dozen or more eleven year old girls, at least three or four will tell you that they intend to choose veterinary medicine for their careers. Their very natural instincts for nurturing the helpless are especially strong when it comes to animals. With this in mind Seaglass Summer is an excellent read for a girl facing a summer away from school and friends.

Poppy Ray is ready to go and spend her summer on Nisqually Island, just off the coast of Washington, working in her uncle Sanjay's Furry Friends Animal Clinic while her parents are in India visiting relatives. Poppy tells the story of her summer with a voice that truly reflects the point of view on an eleven year old girl. Events are recounted with all of the down to earth matter of factness of a girl of this age. Not yet embroiled in teenage angst, eleven year old girls seem wise beyond their age. Poppy sees things realistically and tells her story with honesty. When a lesson is learned or an insight is gained, she acknowledges it, muses upon it for a thought or two and then plunges into the next day's adventures with new insight.

The most important gift that Seaglass Summer has for the reader is the author's viewpoint that comes through gently. It is Uncle Sanjay who offers Poppy wise advice and practical experience. His many years as a veterinarian have given him understanding of people, as well as animals. The important thing for all of us to understand is that regardless of our culture or station in life, we all feel loss, grief, and the support of family and friends in much the same way. Seaglass Summer explores all the feelings of joy and loss, and leaves the reader with a realistic but hopeful attitude toward life.

--Sarah Reaves White

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