A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Stay Sweet is a heartwarming contemporary YA novel with plenty of positive messages for teens about courage, perseverance, and teamwork. The main character, Amelia Van Hagen, works at a ice cream stand that's exclusively managed by local girls until Molly Meade, the founder, passes away. Molly leaves Meade Creamery to her grandnephew, Grady, who plans to keep the ice cream stand open but has plenty of changes in mind. There's once instance of underage drinking at a party and mentions of beer bottles, cigarette butts, Adderall, and getting high in Amsterdam. Teens kiss and there's a brief mention of condoms. Strong language includes variations of "s--t" and "f--k."
What's the story?
In 1944, Molly Meade started making "ice cream so sweet you won't miss your sweetheart" to cheer up her girlfriends while the boys were away fighting in the war. Her ice cream stand, Meade Creamery, is now an iconic Sand Lake summer tradition and has always been managed by local girls. When 17-year-old Amelia finds out she's "Head Girl" after working at the stand for the past three summers, she's convinced that her last summer in Sand Lake before college is going to be the best ever with her best friend Cate by her side. But when Molly passes away a couple of days before the stand is set to open, Amelia isn't sure that Meade Creamery can go on without its founder. And she definitely doesn't know what to think when Molly's grandnephew Grady arrives with plans to change Meade Creamery. Will things STAY SWEET in Sand Lake this summer, or will Meade Creamery close forever?
Is it any good?
Teens will love the vivid small-town setting, realistic characters, and the deliciously detailed descriptions of ice cream in Siobhan Vivian's heartwarming novel. It's clear that Meade Creamery is more than just a summer job for the girls of Sand Lake. It's a place for them to grow, support each other, and form lasting friendships. Although Amelia faces many challenges this summer, it's inspiring to see her become a confident young woman who will Stay Sweet no matter what obstacles are thrown her way. Readers, especially girls, will feel empowered to follow their own dreams and see that running a business involves plenty of courage, perseverance, and teamwork.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how Stay Sweet takes place over a summer. Why are books about life-changing summers so popular? Why is summer such a magical time for teens? What are some of your favorite books set in summer?
How are romantic relationships treated in the book? Do they seem realistic?
- Author: Siobhan Vivian
- Genre: Contemporary Fiction
- Topics: Friendship, Great Girl Role Models, High School
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Simon & Schuster
- Publication date: April 24, 2018
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 14 - 18
- Number of pages: 368
- Available on: Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
- Last updated: June 19, 2019
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.