The Summer of Bad Ideas

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Book Information
Rating: Excellent
Reading/Interest Level: Primary, Intermediate, Young Adult
Author: Kiera Stewart
Publisher: Harper
Year: 2017
ISBN: 9780062360212
Pages: 296

When newly-acquainted cousins Edie and Rae find a list their late grandmother wrote as a girl, they can’t help but try to do everything on it. Catching snakes and wishing upon a shooting star shouldn’t be too hard. But as the girls attempt to get everything done, they can’t escape from the trouble that keeps finding them. After riding into town without adult supervision and entering a condemned building, Rae and Edie are confined to the house for the rest of the summer. Of course, that can’t stop the Dynamic Duo. Failure after failure, the girls do all they can to accomplish something on the list. Finally, when the house is all fixed up, they are able to finish the tenth item. What began as a seemingly infinite and boring summer ended with new friends, family, and some really good ideas.

Readers follow Edie as she undergoes personal change and finds ways to overcome her fears. The author does well giving each character a unique personality and writing interactions that are lighthearted and entertaining while still providing a message for readers to learn from. The characters and plot are well developed and easy to follow. The story of a family legacy creates an arc throughout the book that pulls audiences in and keeps them reading, even as smaller storylines are introduced. The author writes with clarity and honesty. Edie feels like a real friend and is a character that readers will relate to easily. The central idea that family connections occur despite the length of acquaintance brings a heartwarming message to readers. This story of family, friends, and overcoming fears will delight audiences young and old.