By Andrea Beaty
Amulet Books, 2008
Lily won’t speak. She has said a word since the death of her brother because she feels like it was her fault that he died. She doesn’t have a mother, but her dad, who is very caring, is still very involved in her life. The cicadas have come out for the summer and drown out the town with their loud song, but Lily’s summer is filled with mystery and secrets when a new girl comes to town. Lily spends time everyday in Fern’s store where she listens to the men of the town gossip about what’s going on. She spies and puts clues together like Nancy Drew would do. But when Tinny comes to town, she creates trouble for Lily. She accuses Lily of stealing and gets her Aunt Fern to kick Lily out of the store. As the summer toils on, we learn more about the death of Lily’s brother, and about what’s really going on in Tinny’s life that makes her the way she is.
Even though Lily doesn’t talk, we still get to hear the story through Lily’s viewpoint. Readers will be drawn into to loving Lily, her dad, and all of the old ladies in town who want to take care of her family. Cicada Summer draws you back into small-town life where the hub of town is the old country store and where people still have time to sit on the porch.
This is a heart-warming middle grade read. It will be available June 1, 2008.