Synopses & Reviews
Summer has begun, the beach beckons--and Francesca Schnell is going nowhere. Four years ago, Francesca's little brother, Simon, drowned, and Francesca's the one who should have been watching. Now Francesca is about to turn sixteen, but guilt keeps her stuck in the past. Meanwhile, her best friend, Lisette, is moving on, most recently with the boy Francesca wants but can't have.
At loose ends, Francesca trails her father, who may be having an affair, to the local country club. There she meets four-year-old Frankie Sky, a little boy who bears an almost eerie resemblance to Simon, and Francesca begins to wonder if it's possible Frankie could be his reincarnation. Knowing Frankie leads Francesca to places she thought she'd never dare to go, and it begins to seem possible to forgive herself, grow up, and even fall in love--whether or not she solves the riddle of Frankie Sky.
"Francesca Schnell, nicknamed Frankie, is a 15-year-old girl tormented by guilt over the death of her little brother, Simon, who drowned four years earlier when she was supposed to be watching him. Her devastated, withdrawn mother seems to blame her for Simon's death, and Francesca suspects her father is having an affair. But a babysitting job for a little boy, also called Frankie, offers a path to healing and forgiveness, and Francesca even wonders if he is her brother reincarnated. Sands's narration is excellent. Her youthful voice is a perfect match for teenage Francesca, and every word is full of heartfelt emotion, particularly when Francesca is upset and her voice trembles. Sands also creates distinctive voices for the other characters: Francesca's perky best friend, Lisette; Lisette's deep-voice boyfriend Bradley (whom Francesca has a crush on); Frankie, a bubbly boy; and Frankie's mom, who has a bright, melodic voice. Teens and lovers of well-written coming-of-age YA fiction will want to give this one a listen. Ages 12 up. An Algonquin Young Readers hardcover." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
“Polisner has a keen understanding of the suffering, maturing teen psyche; Frankies fragility and self-doubt are heartbreaking in their realism. . . . First-rate realistic fiction with plenty of heart.”
—School Library Journal VOYA
“The prose is gentle but evocative, and Frankie Skys childlike exuberance and occasional misconceptions add heart and humor. . . . [The Summer of Letting Go is] both hopeful and careful—like Francesca herself.”
—Kirkus Reviews AudioFile
“The characters of the story are all very well drawn, the dialogue realistic, and the story itself well written, with much for teens to think and talk about.”
“Sands expresses the terrible anger that Francesca has denied for years. Even stronger than this crescendo of a performance is Sands’s portrayal of the active, adorable Frankie Sky. His malapropisms and misunderstandings counteract Francesca’s pain—winning her heart and wowing listeners.”
How do you forgive the unforgivable—especially when the person in question is yourself and the unpardonable act was your own?
About the Author
GAE POLISNER is the award-winning author of The Pull of Gravity. She is a family law mediator by trade but a writer by calling. She lives on Long Island with her husband and two sons. When she’s not writing, she can be found in a pool or, in warmer weather, in her wet suit in the open waters of Long Island Sound. The Summer of Letting Go is her second novel for teen readers.