A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
A glimpse of summer life on Cape Cod, with some information and vocabulary about clambakes and operating a sailboat. Some information about child actors in Hollywood, auditions, and what goes into putting on a community talent show.
Be open to new experiences, new places, and getting to know relatives who are new to you. Be true to yourself. You can live without your cell phone and TV. Sometimes parents need to pursue their own dreams. Be loyal to your family no matter what. Write what you know. It's important to consider the environmental impact of a building project on a community and its wildlife.
Positive Role Models
Zinnie is smart, creative, and usually upbeat, though she often feels she lacks a special talent like her 12-year-old sister, Marigold. Her feelings are often hurt by Marigold, but she doesn't let it get to her most of the time. She feels the anxiety of a middle child who feels she's being overlooked, and she's able to process those feelings in a play she writes. Aunt Sunny is warm and wise and teaches the girls a lot about love and life in a subtle way without ever being preachy. Local boy Peter is a nice kid who's a good influence on self-absorbed Marigold. The girls' parents are absent for most of the book but loving and supportive of their daughters.
Violence & Scariness
In one scene, 5-year-old Lily wanders off at the beach, and there's fear that she'll drown in the ocean.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A recollection of a stage kiss as not counting as a first kiss. A scene where a real first kiss happens, but it's not described. A sweet, wholesome romance between tweens.
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Products & Purchases
Marigold is obsessed with her smartphone, fashion, and making it in Hollywood and overly impressed by the trappings of wealth and fame she gets to see up close when she encounters a pop star/teen actress.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Leila Howland's The Forget-Me-Not Summer is an engaging story of three sisters from Los Angeles -- age 12, 11 and 5 -- who spend three weeks on Cape Cod with their Aunt Sunny, getting a taste of small-town life. The girls experience culture shock and can't wait to get home -- until they start making friends and solving some of their own problems. This is the first in the Silver Sisters trilogy. The sequel, The Brightest Stars of Summer, came out in May 2016.
Is It Any Good?
This warm, nostalgic tale of summer growth and sisterhood is an engaging read with well-drawn characters, a nuanced, multilevel plot, and a classic, colorful setting. The kids' issues and arguments seem realistic and relatable. Even though most kids don't have a sister who's been a character on a TV show, the sibling squabbles and conflicts over selfishness and loyalty; the summer crush and first kiss; and the sense of feeling out of place when far away from the familiar all ring true. And fun-loving Aunt Sally provides a gentle guiding influence without being judgmental or becoming a cliché.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.