Monday, December 26, 2016

Secondhand Summer: One of the best Alaska Books this Year!

Excerpt from We Alaskans section of Alaska Dispatch News, December 25, 2016

Most Memorable Alaska Books of the Year:  
by David James
"Without a doubt, this year has been exceptional for northern fiction, the best I can recall in more than a decade of reviewing.  But I'm splitting my half-dozen favorite Alaska books of 2016 evenly between fiction and nonfiction."
 David James Three fiction selections were Alaska Laundry by Brendan Jones and The North Water by Ian McGuire, and Secondhand Summer which puts me in pretty good company. Here's what David James said about Secondhand Summer.
Secondhand Summer by another first-time novelist, Dan L. Walker, also shines. This young adult novel set in 1965 follows 14-year-old Sam Barger from Ninilchik, whose mother moves him and his sister to Anchorage after their father dies. Stuck in a low-rent apartment on Government Hill, Sam hits the streets and falls in with three other troubled kids. Initial acts of mischief lead to more serious offenses. Sam finds himself caught between his conscience and a need for acceptance that prevents him from saying no when he should. The kids in this book are stricken by family problems and low incomes. Some are trying their best, some don't even know how to try. Walker explores their motivations and decisions, while their interactions drive the storyline. As with the best teen fiction, this book about growing up under difficult but not impossible circumstances will leave adult readers reflecting on their own youths.

We also Made this list!
SOCIETY OF CHILDREN’S BOOK WRITERS & ILLUSTRATOR OFFICIAL READING LIST — WINTER 2016/2017     WEST (Washington / Oregon / Alaska / Idaho / Montana / North Dakota / South Dakota)
 This makes me glad I'm working on the sequel. This novel explores the relationship between Sam and his older brother Joe in the context of the Vietnam War. Then during a hunting trip the brothers confront even bigger challenges. 

1 comment:

  1. I cant wait for the sequels. This is a great book that I am thrilled to booktalk to my middle school students.