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Summer Sanctuary    by Laurie Gray order for
Summer Sanctuary
by Laurie Gray
Order:  USA  Can
Luminis, 2010 (2010)
* * *   Reviewed by Lyn Seippel

Twelve-year-old Matthew faces a boring summer. He is homeschooled. His holiday includes a research project on Einstein's Theory of Relativity and not much else, since his best friend will be away visiting his grandparents. Matthew is the eldest of four children, all boys. His dad is a preacher and his stay-at-home mom is pregnant with a daughter. Matthew's life is secure, but he is about to find out that this isn't true for everyone.

Matthew sees Dinah for the first time outside the library. At first he thinks she's a boy. There's something uncomfortable about the way she's watching him. When he goes back inside the library he checks to see if she leaves, but she's retrieving something from the trash can. Stunned, he watches from behind tinted glass as she eats the leftover half sandwich he tossed into the bin.

Later Dinah enters the library. He realizes she's a girl and introduces himself to her. At first she's unfriendly, but on his next trip to the library she's there again. This time she tells him her name is Dinah and that she is fourteen. They share Matthew's lunch and a real friendship begins to develop.

Dinah is Hebrew for good judgment, which Dinah often shows that she possesses. However she's homeless, and vulnerable while she waits for her mother to return. She doesn't share where her mother is with Matthew, only that no one must find out that she's on her own. Little by little Dinah shares her life with Matthew. He keeps her secrets while finding ways to help keep her safe.

This quiet, sweet book about friendship is a rare jewel. Dinah learns to trust and Matthew discovers that friendship includes more than just hanging out together.

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