Parents' Guide to

Caterpillar Summer

By Joly Herman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 8+

Touching tale of girl's summer with brother, family secrets.

Caterpillar Summer Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 9+

Based on 1 parent review

age 9+

a great read for kids

A heart warming story. Love Macon's character and how he conveys his thoughts without saying a lot. Also, Cat and Chicken are bi-racial and their experience of “not looking like mom” and her white mother trying to brush and braid Cat’s curly textured hair, as well as other experiences in their grandparent’s small town, gives nuance to the story making it quite powerful. Seeing the responsibility and pressure that Cat puts on herself is heartening and learning of Chicken’s autism is a great way for kids to read about normalized special needs kids.

This title has:

Educational value
Great messages
Great role models

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1):
Kids say (2):

Touching, eloquent, and rendered like a watercolor, this is a great summer read for tweens who like stories about family and travel. Caterpillar Summer makes the most of familiar summer-book elements -- last-minute change of summer plans, an older sister who uses her ingenuity to keep her younger brother special needs under control, grandparents with a mysterious past, ocean views and bike rides with the freckled girl down the street, neighborhood boy that the girls have to one-up because he's such a bully, and ice cream, early morning walks on the beach, new skills learned, and mysteries solved.

There are challenges, and the family mysteries are subtle and deep, but the characters know how to laugh, even if they feel scared or awkward. Though it doesn't avoid complicated situations, Caterpillar Summer allows for the grace that some adults possess to come through, which feels comforting in a big, busy, sometimes scary world.

Book Details

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