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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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Annine's World

Gold in the Days of Summer


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

"This is a great story for middle grade readers. I think folks who are more fans of real word issues and who don't want stories of magic will really appreciate the reality of the events in Annie's life that she has to navigate, think through, and deal with as she is growing up. It's a difficult age, often with a lot of conflict and/or inner turmoil, and I think readers older and younger than 12 will be able to relate to what she is experiencing. The book pulled at my emotions while reading this and made me want to tell her things would smooth out, being 12 is just exceptionally singular and difficult. I liked the conversations she has with the people around her and how she considers what they share with her. Seeing those interactions, the curiosity and desire to learn and think about things that Annie has makes her a really great character. This is a great book and will help a lot of folks gain empathy and find reassurance in here with Annie also."

- Judge, 30th Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards

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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