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Frenchtown Summer

Review

Frenchtown Summer

FRENCHTOWN SUMMER by Robert Cormier is an autobiographical series of vignettes in free verse. It is a searching look into the soul of a 12-year-old boy with all his fears and aspirations for the future, as he deals with his family, his friends, life, and death. Most importantly, however, the book tells the story of a son's relationship with his father in a world that will never exist again. "And we walked home together in the tender sunlight of a Frenchtown summer."

The story is told in intense lyrical verse. Robert Cormier uses words of haunting beauty to bring the sights, smells, sounds, and emotions of a magical time in his life --- the hot summer of 1938. It is a glimpse of Cormier's 12-year-old self emerging from Dr. Sampson's office, wearing his first pair of steel frame glasses. "Suddenly everything had sharp edges, the corners of buildings, the curbstones, a leaf tumbling from the maple in Monument Park." The glasses were wonderful until another kid shouted, "Hey, Four-Eyes." It is also a time for first love, his first paper route, piano lessons, and a frank look at death.

FRENCHTOWN SUMMER is a book for young people who are curious about what their grandparent's lives were like during this time period. But, it is also a book for adults, as they read about and remember the afternoons spent playing bid whist at the kitchen table, the iceman with his leather apron, and washing machines with wringers.

Reviewed by Audrey Marie Danielson on October 18, 2011

Frenchtown Summer
by Robert Cormier

  • Publication Date: June 12, 2001
  • Mass Market Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Laurel Leaf
  • ISBN-10: 0440228549
  • ISBN-13: 9780440228547