The Summer Before Boys by Nora Raleigh Baskin
Review by Anna, Sonoma Valley Branch
The Summer Before Boys by Nora Raleigh Baskin is an… all right book. It’s about two girls, Eliza and Julia. Eliza’s mom is currently away to be an army nurse, something Eliza struggles with constantly. As a result, Eliza is staying with Julia for the whole summer. But their friendship will be tested once Eliza starts thinking about a local boy, Michael. It’s a tale of growing up and dealing with hard things, a book about an ordinary girl who makes a few mistakes in the summer of 2004.
I didn’t particularly like this book. I’ve always held the belief that if you’re going to spend your free time reading a book, that book should transport you to somewhere exciting and adventurous. In The Summer Before Boys you read about Eliza’s not very exciting life, and her minuscule dilemmas that are huge to her. However, it did get more interesting about halfway through the book, but even so, it did not make it into my favorites. I would recommend this book to kids with parents or loved ones in the army, because I think this novel would be good for learning how to deal with that.