THE SUMMER WE FOUND BABY, by Amy Hest, Candlewick Press


Set during World War II, this poignant, briskly paced historical novel relays the events of one extraordinary summer from three engaging points of view.

On the morning of the dedication of the new children’s library in Belle Beach, Long Island, eleven-year-old Julie Sweet and her six-year-old sister, Martha, find a baby in a basket on the library steps. At the same time, twelve-year-old Bruno Ben-Eli is on his way to the train station to catch the 9:15 train into New York City. He is on an important errand for his brother, who is a soldier overseas in World War II. But when Bruno spies Julie, the same Julie who hasn’t spoken to him for sixteen days, heading away from the library with a baby in her arms, he has to follow her. Holy everything, he thinks. Julie Sweet is a kidnapper.

Of course, the truth is much more complicated than the children know in this heartwarming and beautifully textured family story by award-winning author Amy Hest. Told in three distinct voices, each with a different take on events, the novel captures the moments and emotions of a life-changing summer — a summer in which a baby gives a family hope and brings a community together.

Out August 2020

192 Pages

MY THOUGHTS:

I received this book in exchange for an honest review.

This book is heart-warming and realistic and full of promise. I love the characters and how the writer developed them with careful, gentle patience. Watching family interactions as a result of an innocent life being brought into their lives quite unexpectedly, was so compelling to read about.

I was even impressed with the way the author uses 3 POVs to bring about this endearing story to its wonderful conclusion. Talented story-telling, a bit of mystery and a lovely story of family and hope. Set in WWII, the struggles of the time is very relatable. Each child has an important task/role to the story. As you discover more and more about the baby, you find out more and more about the children, their lives, and what they must do to resolve conflict.

The sisters are sweet and try so hard to fill their individual roles, one the supporting sister and the other, the grown-up sister. The youngest doesn’t always understand why things are going the way they are or how come people are doing what they’re doing, her innocence is endearing. Julie, the elder of the two (11), has a great responsibility of looking after her little sister and tries real hard to do this like an adult and in some cases fails (thankfully). The two are a fun pair and you want to just give them a big bear hug. Love seeing the larger print and chapter illustrations.

I love this book and highly recommend it. The author is a talented writer/story-teller and you’ll find yourself drawn in, turning pages wondering what happens to the sisters and the baby.

I gave it:

Five star rating – shiny golden stars

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