Summer Begins: The Callahan Cousins
Elizabeth Doyle Carey
Little, Brown & Co., 2005 (2005)
Read an Excerpt
Reviewed by Hilary Williamson
er parents recently divorced, their only child, Hillary Callahan, sees her summer on Gull Island (off the New England coast) at her grandmother Gee's with three Callahan cousins both as a refuge and as an opportunity to prove herself to her father as a true Callahan.
he four twelve-year-old cousins are very different in personality - Hillary is athletic, impatient and adventurous, Neeve is a colorful eccentric, Kate is cautious and crafty, and Phoebe is a
reader. Hillary, the narrator, proposes that her generation of cousins continue the tradition begun by their fathers, in competition with a local family - to plant a flag claiming a small offshore island as their own. For some reason, this led to bad feelings between their fathers and their once-friends, the Bickets.
ot knowing who she is, Neeve lets the cat out of the bag to sullen, snotty Sloan Bicket, who makes her own flag planting plans. But the cousins press on nevertheless, getting Gee's old sailboat seaworthy again, researching charts and tides, designing a flag, and taking the sailing clinic course their grandmother signed them up for. As in any venture, there are squabbles and squalls, and the girls push personal limits, but they make good calls, especially Hillary. At the end they all vow, '
his first in the
series is good, old-fashioned fun, reminiscent of Enid Blyton's hugely popular
, which will soon be followed by
Home Sweet Home
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