Delia's summer is getting off to a terrible start. First, an inspector shows up at the house and threatens to condemn it. Then lightning strikes, literally, and Mama ends up in the hospital. To make matters even worse, with no other family to speak of, Delia is forced to move in with her nemesis, Tommy "as-dense-as-a-stump" Parker.
Not one to sit around doing nothing, Delia huddles with her best friend, Mae, and reluctantly recruits Tommy, to help. The three of them resolve to tackle the long list of repairs, one by one. But Delia quickly discovers that it takes more than energy and willingness to handle some problems. When things go from bad to worse, Delia has to take another tack, one that starts with admitting she just can't do what needs to be done without a lot more help.
The Summer of Hammers and Angels is the story of an amazing summer in a girl's life, a summer of surprises and challenges, of shocks and recovery, of discoveries and friendship, and of loneliness and community.
It sounds kind of cheesy to say this is a 'heart-warming story', but truthfully. . . that's exactly what it is. I realize that this book isn't geared towards my age group (pushing 30, if you must know), but I would recommend it to a person of any age.
The sweet girl in the story is Delia. She lives with her mother and they are struck (literally) with some bad luck which lands her mom in the hospital. As she recounts the ins and outs of their lives together, you start to get the feel that she craves love and most of all attention. Her mom is normally so caught up in her own problems that she forgets the most important thing in her life. I wanted to adopt this fictional girl and take her to eat donuts with me.
This book is great for Middle Grade (which is the target audience), but even for adults I think it is a compelling read. It serves as a reminder to adults that kids need our attention and how much they love the small moments. I will even divulge that there was a part at the end of the book that had me teary-eyed (in a good way).
Also, I don't want to forget to mention that the writing is wonderful! Shannon Wiersbitzky has a true talent for putting into words the very spirit of a young girl. I could go on and on about how much I loved it, but I think you get the point :-)
Publication Date: March 25, 2011
Genre: Middle Grade, Realistic Fiction
Source: Thanks so much to the author, Shannon Wiersbitzky, for my review copy!