Set in 1968 Pennsylvania, Jelly Bean Summer is a bittersweet exploration of childhood and belonging Joyce is among other reasons fed up with her UFO seeing, guinea pig loving older sister and decides to sleep outside on the roof She meets and bonds with Brian, a neighbourhood boy that shares Joyce s experience in mourning the loss though, in different ways of a brother to Vietnam To be honest, this was slow going for me at first and I didn t get fully invested in the story until about halfway through when Joyce recruits her older sister, Elaine, to help her and Brian on the UFO project That being said, I appreciate the overall realism in this story particularly near the end with Magnin s depiction of Bud returning from Vietnam Nothing is sugarcoated and it s clear that while the book ends on a hopeful note, each of the Magnin children do have a ways to go before they are better than just OK And that s all right.The writing feels true to the voice and perspective of a young girl It doesn t shy away from showing emotions These things take buckets of tears sometimes and gets particularly impressive at parts when Joyce contemplates the nature of killing in this excellent passage Someone killed Brian s brother I wonder if before he died, he killed someone else s brother who killed someone else s brother and it goes on forever I wonder if Bud has killed people, not because he wanted to, but because that s what soldiers do.Though the book is set in a particularly turbulent year in American history, outside of Vietnam, there s no mention of the political cultural touchstone events At times I feel like that s a hindrance, but really, I think that s probably true to life considering a child s insular concerns, particularly since Joyce only thinks about Vietnam in relation to her brother.With that being said, this book comes in at 253 pages and is recommended for ages 8 and up It feels a bit long for a child that age, but content wise it seems right An advanced copy of this title was provided via the publisher and Net Galley in exchange for an honest review. This is a heartfelt story about family, loss, and wanting to do something for someone else Joyce s family is having a hard time so to get some space and a little peace Joyce moves to the roof for the summer From her perch on the roof, Joyce meets Brian and together they come up with a plan honor their brothers The pace starts a little slow but this book is well written and really nails the voice of Joyce Anne The cover is super cute too I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review It was sooo gooooooooooood Loved this booked Gave it 4 stars only because it got too descriptive which made me confused Other than that it s a great read for older kids There are real life events that take place in the book that some might find too mature for kids I, however, feel it s beneficial for the readers to experience these mishaps right along with the main character, Joyce Some families have gone through missing soldiers and the death of a pet, or moving because a parent passed away Teaching empathy to kids through reading is excellent. Oh man Ok At the start of the book, Joyce just seemed really really babyish and spoiled I was just about to give up on this book because it was getting REALLY boring but then about halfway through it started picking up and it got really interesting It could have a better storyline and the end is nice but I was kinda hoping Bud would die but unfortuantly he didn t Don t read this book, it s not really worth it. I received this book from a Goodreads giveaway There is a significant amount of literature about the Vietnam War, but not much that is from a perspective quite like this The fact that this is YA or juvenile fiction is extremely impressive in the fact that it deals with such a hard topic and it is done so well A young person s view of the effects of Vietnam while the war is happening is such a different perspective and really impressive. ARC from publisher at ALA SPOILER ALERT Joyce s brother is MIA during the Vietnam war, and her family is taking it hard Her older sister Elaine is annoying, and in order to escape her as well as her guinea pig, Jelly Bean, Joyce moves to the roof of their building She sees Brian on another roof, and when the two meet, she finds out that his brother was killed in Vietnam, and Brian is trying to restore his brother s truck to take to his aunt s, where his father is sending him to live because caring for Brian is too difficult, since his mother is dead The two try to earn money to fix the truck, and have a variety of schemes going, and the book is fairly upbeat and amusing until Joyce doesn t latch a gate and Jelly Bean is killed in a gruesome fashion by a neighborhood dog At least Joyce s brother makes it home There was one historical anomaly as well Which may be changed in the finished version Strengths This was a good story about one girl navigating her way through life during the Vietnam era, and readers would understand her difficulties with her family The parents were sad, but managed to get through their days, as did the girls Weaknesses The death of the guinea pig just pushed this right over the edge for me What I really think I would have bought this if it hadn t been for the guinea pig incident. Jelly Bean Summer by Joyce Magnin is a heartfelt, historical middle grade novel about the struggle to find home and belonging in emotionally challenging times The book s young protagonist named for the author, hinting at autobiographical inspirations moves onto her roof and then contemplates running away to Arizona as tension boils in her home after her brother goes missing in Vietnam This theme of dislocation prevails throughout the the novel as Joyce searches for belonging sharing a room with her guinea pig and UFO obsessed older sister, struggling to connect the stars in the night sky from her tent on the roof, and with her west bound friend, Brian, who will soon leave for his new home in Arizona Ultimately, Joyce must learn that she has to live with the pain and loss within her family, whether here or in Arizona She discovers that the home she s looking for isn t one she needs to find, but one she already has that needs a little bit of time and healing to feel right again.The novel balances emotion and subtlety While the characters emote openly such as crying buckets of tears when Elaine s guinea pig, Jelly Bean, died the details around Bud s disappearance are gradually unveiled throughout the narrative There is no major exposition or gratuitous display of painful emotion in his absence Instead, many emotional scenes are deflective Joyce says her mom ignores things because adding any upset ness into the air could ignite the whole house on fire Her father hides in the basement, working on a secret project And when Joyce craves her sister to forgive her for having a role in Jelly Bean s death, it s evident that the words she longs to hear it s OK are just as much about her missing brother as they are the deceased pet.While Jelly Bean Summer doesn t offer a sugar coated happy ending, its final pages ring with hope Joyce s family is reunited, even if their dynamic is a bit damaged and not quite as it was before the war Brian drives to his new home in Arizona and though his father will not move with him, he joins for the ride Joyce cannot fill the void loss leaves in her heart even when she buys her sister an adorable new kitten, she realizes nothing can undo the accident with Jelly Bean But when Elaine finally assures her it s OK, Joyce decides that s good enough She can live with it s OK because no matter what she goes through, Joyce will find a way to remain put and simply live. A good story about a family learning to cope with changes, especially when the oldest son goes MIA in Vietnam The details of life from 1968 are interesting, but there is a blooper about a c.d player being used. Living On The Roof To Escape Her Crazy Family Works Until Reality Pulls Joyce Back To The GroundJoyce Has Had It With Her Family Especially With UFO Sighting Elaine Who Loves Her Guinea Pig Than Her Own Sister Her Solution Move Out Of The House And Pitch A Tent On The Roof For The Summer But When She Spots A Boy Watching Her From A Neighboring Roof She S Stunned And Intrigued Brian Recently Lost His Brother, And The Two Instantly Bond Over Their Messed Up Families To Help Brian Repair His Brother S Truck, They Concoct A Scheme To Build And Sell Tickets To A UFO Display Even Elaine Agrees To Help Until Unexpected Events Test The Limits Of Joyce S Family Ties
Um, I like cross stitch, baseball, my children and grandkids, but not elevators or laundry I ve been known to run from mayonnaise and I play RPG video games I don t have a favorite author although I read a lot.
- 272 pages
- Jelly Bean Summer
- Joyce Magnin
- 14 June 2017 Joyce Magnin