Ali Standish tells the story of Georgia and her summer at her great-aunt's house in her book, The Mending Summer. When alcoholism begins to consume Georgia's father so that her mother must work and study extra hard to support their family, Georgia is sent to live with her great-aunt in the countryside. There, she makes a new friend, Angela. Together they discover a magical lake in the woods near Georgia's great-aunt's house. This mystical lake appears to be the solution to all of Georgia's problems, but Georgia's home life worsens and the powers of the lake are abused. Georgia must find a way to reckon with her emotions regarding her father and learn important lessons about friendship and family. I liked this book. The figurative language that Standish used transported me into Georgia's forest paradise. I also appreciated the way both magical and realistic elements were intertwined in this story. That said, the plot was pretty predictable. Georgia was also a more childish character in comparison to most characters in other young adult novels. I would recommend this book to those who enjoy reading both realistic fiction and fantasy.— Sophie C (Teen Book Crew)
Perfect for fans of Orphan Island and Wishtree, The Mending Summer is the next stunning middle grade novel from Ali Standish--author of the Carnegie Medal nominee The Ethan I Was Before and August Isle, Bad Bella, and How to Disappear Completely--about a girl who is struggling to deal with her father's alcoholism when she discovers an enchanted lake...
Some summers are meant to break your heart. Others to mend it. Every once in a while, a summer rolls around that does both.
For Georgia, this summer is shaping up to be a big disappointment. Mama is busy studying for her biology degree. Daddy is working nights, and often the man who comes home isn't Daddy. He's a man who looks like Daddy, but walks a little wobbly. Who sounds like Daddy, but sings a little too loud. Georgia calls him the Shadow Man.
So now, instead of riding horses with her friends at camp, Georgia is sent off to the country to stay with her mysterious great-aunt for the summer to avoid her parents' fighting.
There, a lonely Georgia meets a mysterious friend named Angela and together, they discover a magical lake--one that can make wishes come true. At first, the lake offers Georgia a thrilling escape from her worries and hope that she can use its magic to heal her family. But as things grow worse at home, a troubled boy appears at the lake and the wishes threaten to spiral out of control . . .
Award-winning author Ali Standish explores the courage it takes to piece your heart back together again when those closest to you break it.
Standish has created a timeless tale of discovery, growth, and relationships. A powerful story about an important topic. --School Library Journal (starred review)
"Readers will be drawn into this story of friendship, magic, and the heartbreak--and healing--of addiction." --Kirkus
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