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Monday, June 13, 2011

The Summer of Moonlight Secrets by Danette Haworth

I had the opportunity to meet Danette Haworth at the NCTE convention in the fall and came back to school excited about the possibility of having her come speak to our students.  That plan is still in the works (ah, the joys of committees - LOL) but in the meantime, I am picking up her books to prep for the (hopefully) inevitable visit.  I gave away a few copies of this book to students at the end of the school year, and I hope they enjoyed it as much as I did!

Summary: The Summer of Moonlight Secrets by Danette Haworth was an excellent follow up to The Folk Keeper in my reading queue. Both have the same mythical creature in a central part of the story (not telling which – that would be a spoiler!). Both have an air of mystery and magic woven throughout. But where The Folk Keeper focused on one character’s perspective, The Summer of Moonlight Secrets switches between the thoughts of three characters.

Allie Jo Jackson loves her home, The Meriwether, an old and once high-class hotel built on Hope Springs in Florida. She knows all its secret passages and hidden hiding places, all its history and secrets. She spends her days enjoying life and helping out at the hotel, polishing brass railings and eating chef’s delicious blueberry pancakes.

When Tara mysteriously emerges from the springs one morning, Allie Jo is stunned and intrigued. Who swims fully clothed? Where did she come from? Who is she, really? And what or who is she hiding from?

Allie Jo and her new friend, Chase, a guest at the hotel, set out to discover the truth and end up finding answers they never dreamed possible. Can two modern day kids believe in magic, or is Tara just a disturbed runaway? What do you do when you have a secret you have to keep from everyone – even your parents who you’ve always shared everything with? How do you know who to believe when no one is telling the same story?

This is a great book – fun, suspenseful, and magical. Each year, the Florida Department of Education chooses recent books to be featured on the Sunshine States Young Readers program list, and The Summer of Moonlight Secrets would be a great addition to that list for next time. I’ll have multiple copies of this book on my shelf next school year!

Doing what is right

Age Appropriateness:
8 and up

Areas of concern (content):
Foul Language: none
Nudity/Adult Content: none
Violence: mild

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