The Forget-Me-Not Summer

352p. HarperCollins. May 2015. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780062318695; ebk. ISBN 9780062318718. LC 2014027413.
Gr 5–7—Marigold, Zinnie, and Lily Silver live in Los Angeles with their screenwriter dad and editor mom. When both parents get out-of-town jobs, the girls are unwillingly shipped to the coastal town of Pruet, MA, to stay with their Aunt Sunny. Twelve-year-old Marigold is livid. She has just gotten an agent for her budding acting career plus an opportunity to audition for her favorite book-turned-movie, Nite Sprites. Spunky Aunt Sunny merrily greets the trio with the distressing news that there is no cell phone reception, no TV, and a slow internet connection. But the house is inviting, Aunt Sunny cooks delicious pancakes, and the girls are allowed to go to the beach by themselves. The sisters excitedly learn that Philip Rathbone, the producer of Nite Sprites, has a Pruet summer home. A community talent show seems like just the thing to catch his eye, so Zinnie goes about writing an original play that will spotlight Marigold's acting ability. The producer turns up to judge the show, along with catty teenage megastar Amanda Mills, forcing Marigold to make a crucial choice. Should she stay loyal to the family and town she has learned to love or turn her back in order to impress the Hollywood glitterati? The cozy, connected characters and activities of Pruet, complete with clambakes, amateur talent shows, and first kisses, are the perfect antidote for a girl caught up in the empty allures of technology and stardom. Zinnie also makes self-discoveries—she may not have the traditional beauty and acting talent of Marigold, but she is creative and resilient. The real-life dynamics between the sisters is humorous and touching.
VERDICT This heartwarming story is hard to put down.

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