Published by: Wendy Lamb Books
Year of Publication: 2010
Categories: Middle Grade, Contemporary, Fiction
Summary (from Goodreads): Eleven-year-old Poppy Ray longs to be a veterinarian, but she’s never had a pet. This summer, she’s going to spend a month with her uncle Sanjay, veterinarian and owner of the Furry Friends Animal Clinic on an island off the Washington coast.
Poppy is in for big surprises. She loves tending to the dogs, cats, and even a bird, and she discovers the fun of newborn puppies and the satisfaction of doing a good job. But she learns that there’s more to caring for animals than the stethoscope and cotton swabs in her Deluxe Veterinarian First-Aid Kit. She’s not prepared for quirky pet owners, gross stuff, or scary emergencies. With help from a boy named Hawk, a chunk of seaglass, and a touch of intuition, Poppy gains a deeper understanding of the pain and joy of working with animals.
With warmth and humor, Anjali Banerjee tells the story of a resourceful, determined girl who can’t wait to grow up, but begins to realize just how much she has left to discover.
Review: This is such a cute book. It’ll appeal to any tween who likes animals – and really, what tween doesn’t like animals?
I thought Poppy was a great character. She was just like me when I was eleven – I thought I knew a lot more than I actually did, and I didn’t like people to know that I was scared. While Poppy wouldn’t admit it to anyone, she was nervous about spending the summer with her uncle, away from her parents. And on the first day at the vet clinic, she got a rude awakening about how much she thought she knew and could do to help.
While not everything turns out well for the animals at her uncle’s vet clinic, that’s what makes the book so likable. It would have been easy for the author to make sugarcoat the sad parts, but instead she makes the reader feel the grief and sorrow just like the characters do – something I really enjoyed, even though I was near tears at one point.
One of my favorite things about Seaglass Summer was the setting. Poppy’s uncle lives on an island in the Pacific Northwest. The descriptions of the lush forests, and the sunny beaches were great. I ended up reading it on a cold and snowy afternoon, and it made me crave sunshine and warmth. The setting gave the book a great place to happen in.
Disclosure: I won this book in a contest.