Forever This Summer

Little, Brown. (Love Like Sky). Jul. 2021. 336p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780759555204.
Gr 4-6–In this sequel to Love Like Sky, Georgie “G-Baby” is spending her summer in Bogalusa, LA, so her family can help care for Great Aunt Vie, who has Alzheimer’s. Feeling stuck, treated like a baby but with adult expectations, Georgie meets Markie while helping out at the family diner in town. Georgie’s mom is reluctant to let her spend time with Markie, who is a foster child with a big personality. As Markie and Georgie become friends, they find great purpose in their summer looking for Markie’s biological mother and organizing a talent show as an Alzheimer’s benefit. As Markie uncovers more of her history, the friends discover that the truth is often complex and painful, though not without hope. Youngblood writes an optimistic story bursting with heart, strategically weaving discussions of equity, race, and relationships into the well-paced narrative. Nearly the entire cast is Black, and Markie has a limb difference. Many characters, especially Markie, masterfully demonstrate respect and communication in a way that will benefit all readers. While the ending may be idealistic, it is the ending tweens will want and it is beautifully delivered. Readers need not have read Love Like Sky to thoroughly enjoy this title.
VERDICT Packed with important life lessons, this story is also a captivating tale of summer adventure and mystery. A dynamic cast, intriguing plot, and essential advice make this a recommended purchase for all libraries.

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