On a hot summer’s day in her small Florida town, fourteen-year-old Beverly Tapinski sadly buries her dog Buddy with the help of her best friend Raymie. She then decides to leave town and hitches a ride with her cousin to Tamaray Beach. Carrying nothing with her but the clothes on her back and the flip-flops on her feet, she finds herself wandering around the new town with no particular plan in mind except to get away from her uncaring mom and memories of the dad who abandoned her seven years before. She expects nothing from anyone that she meets in the new place and makes no effort to curry favor with them. She knows her mind and speaks bluntly but honestly.
Despite all that, she manages on her first day in town to find a job busing tables at a fish restaurant, and she also makes the acquaintance of an elderly lady at a trailer park who offers to let her sleep on the sofa in her back porch area. As days pass she somewhat unintentionally builds a coterie of caring friends and coworkers who help her realize her self-worth and see the wide-open possibilities of her future. As summer winds to a close and the new school year beckons, Beverly finds herself missing the friends she had back home. Changing circumstances in Tamaray Beach lead her back home a changed and more confident person.
This is such a lovely book, well-crafted and written in clear, often poetic language that will resonate with all levels of YA readers, of all gender types. There is no objectionable content.
Categories: Art, Books We Recommend, Books with No Objectionable Content, Bullying, Death and Grieving, Dysfunctional Relationships, Navigating through High School, Parent Conflict, Peer Relationships, Political Activism