The Hidden Summer
By Gin Phillips
(Dial, Hardcover, 9780803738362, 208pp.)
Publication Date: June 13, 2013
Other Editions of This Title: Paperback
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After a falling out between their mothers, 13-year-old best friends Nell and Lydia are forbidden from seeing each other for the whole summer. Nell struggles with the thought of not only losing her best friend, but also losing the only person in whom Nell finds refuge from the difficulties she faces at home. Determined to find a place of their own, Nell and Lydia spend the summer hiding out in an abandoned golf course where Nell and Lydia find mysterious symbols scattered throughout the grounds. As they reveal the secret of the symbols, Nell discovers she isn't the only one seeking haven and begins to uncover what’s really been hidden all along, finally allowing herself to be truly seen.
Hidden Summer is a quietly beautiful coming of age story about self-discovery, family, and friendship. An elegantly written children’s book debut from an award-winning author in the vein of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and for fans of Moon Over Manifest.
Gin Phillips has written critically acclaimed books for adults, and is now making her foray into children’s literature. Her first novel, The Well and the Mine won the 2009 Barnes & Noble Discover Award. Gin worked for many years as a freelance magazine editor, and now lives in Birmingham, Alabama with her husband, children, and their dog.
"A story of leisurely self-discovery and emotional survival, a serene, thoughtful mix of family difficulties and summer magic." - The Horn Book
"The girls are sympathetic, credible characters, and readers will enjoy their successful execution of a common childhood fantasy." - Publishers Weekly
"Phillips’ prose is both fluid and plainspoken, evocative in a way easily accessible to preteen readers; her Alabama golf course is a blend of secret garden and Crusoe-esque island, simultaneously giving her protagonists both peace and adventure." - The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"Readers will be gratified that Nell’s resolve and courage in ultimately standing up for herself result in a hopeful conclusion." - School Library Journal
"A satisfying psychological journey." - Kirkus Reviews