Caterpillar Summer (MP3 CD)
Eleven year old Cat and her seven year old brother, Chicken, live with their mom in California. Since their father died, their mother works long hours to make ends meet. Cat is responsible for looking after Chicken, who has some special needs. She knows exactly how to calm him down and is fiercely protective of him.
The kids are looking forward to their annual summer vacation with friends when their plans abruptly change. They must now spend the summer with grandparents they have never met on an island in North Carolina.
This is a tender and uplifting story about empathy, connection and family. The author beautifully captures the atmosphere and rhythm of a summer spent at the beach.— Abbe
I loved this story of a young girl who takes responsibility for her younger brother, a child on the spectrum, during a surprise visit to grandparents who have never known them. Everyday life on a coastal NC island provides opportunities for unexpected friendships, misunderstandings, and reconciliations that change lives. There is an honest beauty, poignancy, and naturalness to the writing.— Carol
Spring 2019 Kids Indie Next List
“This stunning debut from Gillian McDunn is guaranteed to warm any reader’s heart. Cat and her brother, Chicken, who has special needs, have never met their mother’s parents, but that all changes when their mom is called away to work and the kids need somewhere to go for the summer. Once the kids arrive at their grandparents’ house on Gingerbread Island, old hurts are exposed and Cat has to navigate her family’s complicated history. At the same time, Cat has to look after Chicken, who lands himself in sticky situations despite his best efforts. Mix in a new friend, a little bully, and a fishing competition, and that’s one thrilling summer! Cat is a spirited, responsible young girl with a fierce sense of what is right. She is sure to win a lot of fans!”
— Michael Leali, Anderson's Bookshops, Naperville, IL
Cat and her brother Chicken have always had a very special bond. When Chicken has a meltdown, Cat's the one who scratches his back and reads his favorite story. She always knows what he needs. Since their mom has had to work double-hard to keep their family afloat after their father passed away, Cat is the glue holding her family together. When a summer trip doesn't go as planned, Cat and Chicken end up spending three weeks with grandparents they've never met. With their help, Cat can be a kid again for the first time in years, and the journey she takes shows that even the most broken relationships can be healed if people take the time to walk in one another's shoes.
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