Beaty, Andrea. 2008. Cicada Summer.
There were many things I loved about this one. It was a sad and bittersweet novel, yes, but it was such in a very good and I'm-so-glad-I-read-this way.
First paragraph: Some people think the cicadas bring trouble when they come to town. I don't think that's true. I think trouble finds its way without any help at all.
Narrated by a young girl, Lily, Cicada Summer is a bittersweet novel about a broken family living in a small town. Lily doesn't say much. In fact, she doesn't speak at all. Not since that horrible day when her brother Pete died. Some folks think that Lily is brain damaged. That she's unable to speak. But Lily knows differently. There is nothing physically wrong with her or her mind. She's just a young girl broken by a tragic accident. She lives alone with her father. And Lily is good at being invisible.
"It's not my skin that makes me invisible. It's my silence. My silence and the trick I do with my eyes where I never look anybody in the face. You can tell everything about a person by looking in their eyes. I don't want anybody to know anything about me, so I look away." (6)
Besides being quiet and observant, Lily is a reader. She LOVES to read and takes great comfort in books and the library. (I feel like we're kindred spirits already.)
Read this snippet from chapter two and see if it doesn't draw you into the book:
I'm reading in the shade under the cottonwood tree when Nancy Drew finds a big clue that's going to help her solve the mystery. It's a secret message stitched right into the design of a quilt. It's as big as day staring Nancy right in the face, and she doesn't even see it. I guess that's the best kind of clue--the kind you can't see right in front of your eyes. I wonder if you have to be ready to see clues like that before they appear. Or maybe they have to be ready for you to find them. (19)
Cicada Summer is part-mystery, part coming-of-age, and all heart. I loved this one.
Other reviews: Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast, Semicolon, Jen Robinson, Shelf Elf, Welcome to My Tweendom, Flamingnet, Patchwork of Books,
© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews
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