Gold in the Days of Summer

"Pogorzelski captures the sense of a girl holding onto the last days of a waning childhood...Relatable family dynamics enrich this promising debut."
- Publisher's Weekly -
 
Children's Fiction Finalist,
2015 International Book Awards
 
Children's Category Winner,
2014 International Rubery Book Award

 

The summer of 1979 should have been a magical time of panning for gold in the creek and catching fireflies in a jar. Instead, nothing is turning out the way 12 year old Annie expected: her best friend is away at camp, Connor Bartlett barely notices her anymore, and her parents and sister, trying to protect her from the reality of her grandmother's illness, only seem to further isolate her.

Desperate to find a sense of meaning in an ever-changing world, Annie turns to an unlikely confidant: a reclusive young veteran at war with his own past. As the summer days pass and her 13th birthday draws closer, Annie discovers that growing up doesn't always mean leaving everything behind.

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GOLD IN THE DAYS OF SUMMER

ANNIE'S WORLD

Editorial Reviews
 

"It's the summer of 1979, Annie's 13th birthday is approaching, and change is in the sweltering air--none of it welcome. It's Annie's first summer without her best friend Ava, who is away at camp; the Vietnam veteran who lives next door, a confidante and adviser, is moving away; Connor, her neighborhood crush, seems smitten by the new girl moving into the vet's house; and her grandmother is sinking into dementia, something her parents try to shield her from. Annie's soulful attempts to sort things out are insightful and realistically muddled. Pogorzelski captures the sense of a girl holding onto the last days of a waning childhood--Annie prefers her memory-stained old sneakers to a new back-to-school pair, and she pans for gold in the local creek, which holds only rocks ("maybe everything was gold if you just looked at it the right way")--but who also recognizes that her life is at a turning point and that she's growing up. Relatable family dynamics enrich this promising debut. (Ages 12-18)" - Publisher's Weekly

 

An excellent, well-written and atmospheric story that looks at growing up, family life, love and understanding.  The book is suitable for the older child/young teenager,  and while there is no great adventure here, it has a charm that keeps you turning the pages. - International Rubery Book Award, Children's Category Winner

A beautifully observed snapshot that brings the angst of youthful thoughts to the fore, Pogorzelski's characters simply come to life as she creates picture perfect images of her young protagonist's summer of change... Captured in flowing prose, we are reminded of the different spheres we inhabit as children, often adrift in the orbit of older siblings and parents as we make sense of the world into which we evolve... A timeless telling with all the hallmarks of a classic, Gold In The Days Of Summer, is a superb example of a novella and is recommended without reservation. - BookViral


Reader Reactions
 

"If you loved shows like Gilmore Girls, movies like My Girl and Flipped, or books like A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, you will LOVE Gold in the Days of Summer." - Amazon Review

 

"I've always thought that the realization of mortality was one of those huge epiphanies just waiting to strike during adolescence, but the idea of change and how people change--adopting such different identities throughout a life, however gradual that change is--might just be a little more fitting." - Amazon Review

 

"A beautiful coming of age novel. Really, truly lovely."  - Amazon Review

 

"The story is a delicate balance of humor and sadness, very well done!"  - Amazon Review

"In my experience, it's rare to find a book that touches me on so many levels." 
- GoodReads Review

"I highly recommend this book -- it presents a very poignant perspective on the kinds of change that we all have to deal with in our own way." - GoodReads Review

 

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© 2020 by
Susan Pogorzelski.

 

Who we used to be and who we are now

Gold in the Days of Summer