Drew’s a bit of a loner. She has a pet rat, her dead dad’s Book of Lists, an encyclopedic knowledge of cheese from working at her mom’s cheese shop, and a crush on Nick, the surf bum who works behind the counter. It’s the summer before eighth grade and Drew’s days seem like business as usual, until one night after closing time, when she meets a strange boy in the alley named Emmett Crane. Who he is, why he’s there, where the cut on his cheek came from, and his bottomless knowledge of rats are all mysteries Drew will untangle as they are drawn closer together, and Drew enters into the first true friendship, and adventure, of her life.
At first when I started reading Dana Reinhardt’s The Summer I Learned to Fly, I thought, “Oh… another coming of age story. And why did she choose a cheese shop?” It was evidently clear all the wonderful connections you can draw from cheese such as the memories of walking to the local Thrifty to get ice cream midsummer with your best friend, and remembering how each individual flavor can bring up a fond memory. The characters in this story are lovable and engaging from the cute pasta maker in the window to the mysterious Emmett Crane. Drew’s love and desire to learn about her father is reminiscent of the film, My Girl. Which makes it a great summer read!
Posted by Samantha Wishner