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Caterpillar Summer de Gillian McDunn

Caterpillar Summer (edição: 2019)

de Gillian McDunn (Autor)

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776270,399 (4.08)1
Since her father's death, Cat has taken care of her brother, Chicken, for their hardworking mother but while spending time with grandparents they never knew, Cat has the chance to be a child again.
Título:Caterpillar Summer
Autores:Gillian McDunn (Autor)
Informação:Bloomsbury Children's Books (2019), 304 pages
Coleções:Sua biblioteca

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Caterpillar Summer de Gillian McDunn


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Mostrando 1-5 de 6 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
A very heartfelt story through the eyes of a girl who takes responsibility for her little brother and how she gains her independence. through a series of event Cat and Chicken help their mother and grandparents work through issues that have kept them apart for way to long. By talking about loved ones who have passed Cat and her family is able to heal hard feelings of misunderstanding from the past. ( )
  cloub | Dec 7, 2020 |
When the family's summer arrangements go awry, Cat and Chicken's mother sends them to North Carolina to stay with her parents whom the kids have never met. Clearly there is some kind of estrangement between daughter and parents. Cat struggles to connect with her grandfather and tries to figure out what happened between him and Mom. ( )
  Salsabrarian | Mar 20, 2020 |
Touching MG summer read about family and finding time for oneself. ( )
  bookwyrmm | Mar 16, 2020 |
I'm generally suspicious of realistic fiction in middle grade, especially anything that's heavily blurbed as "heartwarming" or "lyrical" especially when it includes dead parents. I've found that only a few kids pick these up on their own; if a teacher reads it in class it will go (witness the sudden run I had on Kelly Yang's Front Desk when a teacher read it in class) but just on the shelf, no.

However, this was blurbed by Melissa Fox, who is a reader and bookseller I trust, and once I started the book I found it both mesmerizing and beautifully written.

Caterpillar and her younger brother Chicken (their nicknames come from her mother's series of children's books) have always been together. Cat is responsible for Chicken, who is on the spectrum, and sometimes she feels responsible for everything as they try to keep their family running after her father's death. She's anticipating a few weeks of relaxation when they go down south to spend time with her best friend, Indian-American Rishi. Then, at the last minute, the Krishnamurthys have to go to India to take care of their sick grandmother. Cat's mother makes a difficult decision and sends Cat and Chicken to stay with her parents in North Carolina, on an island, for three weeks while she teaches a class.

Cat starts to feel overwhelmed almost immediately. Why doesn't her mother get along with her parents? If she dislikes them so much, why is she willing to leave Chicken and Cat with them? She feels responsible for her brother, whose sensory difficulties and growing propensity for running away both feed her protective instincts but also make her long for independence. Her gruff grandfather is hard to understand - does he like her or not? She also comes up against culture clashes, moving from their home in San Francisco to rural North Caroline and prejudice against her brother and herself, who are biracial.

There are no perfect and happy endings, but a slow growing of understanding and sense of family. Cat gains the sense of self she longs for, finds more independence, and stands her ground, requiring the adults in her family to stop depending on her so much. Although all the misunderstandings aren't fixed, Cat's mom talks to her parents and they forge new bonds. Cat makes it clear that, while she loves her brother and will always take care of him, and that her grandparents do need to recognize his different needs and listen to her experience, she also wants more independence and a life of her own.

Dunn's debut is a worthy effort indeed. She blends her own experience growing up in California with a special needs sibling, living in North Carolina, and the feelings of being a preteen girl, yearning for more independence and yet still a child to create a pitch-perfect book. Her careful inclusion of what if feels like to experience prejudice and Cat's identity as biracial feel authentic to me - she references the different reactions of people, both well-meaning and otherwise, and things like Cat's different needs for her hair.

Verdict: Recommended as a serious but hopeful summer read for middle grade lovers of realistic fiction. Dunn's characters ring true and readers will have both mirrors and windows in this excellent debut.

ISBN: 9781681197432; Published April 2019 by Bloomsbury; Galley provided by publisher; Purchased for the library
  JeanLittleLibrary | Aug 3, 2019 |
Cat spends a lot of time looking after her little brother Chicken. He's different than other kids and she knows what he likes and how to treat him when he has a "meltdown". After their father passed away their mother works a lot, so Cat is used to being responsible. When a long promised vacation together has to be cancelled, Cat is upset to find out her mother is dropping her off with grandparents she's never met on a coastal island in North Carolina. For the first time in years, Cat has the time and space to reflect on life, make friends and take care of herself for a change. What will this mean for her family?

This was a beautiful book. I wasn't sure how I would take this middle grade summer adventure, but McDunn pulls from her own personal experience to create a dynamic between Cat and Chicken that is realistic and elevates 'Caterpillar Summer' above most summer stories. What I liked the most was the honesty about the frustration as well as the joys of having a loved one who is different. Different is special and difficult at the same time and there are not many authors that can pull that off, especially in a way that younger readers can understand and appreciate. ( )
1 vote ManWithAnAgenda | Apr 7, 2019 |
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Since her father's death, Cat has taken care of her brother, Chicken, for their hardworking mother but while spending time with grandparents they never knew, Cat has the chance to be a child again.

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