Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Frenchtown Summer” as Want to Read:
Frenchtown Summer
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Frenchtown Summer

3.45  ·  Rating Details ·  262 Ratings  ·  33 Reviews
Eugene is remembering the summer of 1938 in Frenchtown, a time when he began to wonder “what I was doing here on the planet Earth.” Here in vibrant, exquisite detail are his lovely mother, his aunts and uncles, cousins and friends, and especially his beloved, enigmatic father. Here, too, is the world of a mill town: the boys swimming in a brook that is red or purple or gre ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 128 pages
Published May 27th 2009 by Laurel Leaf (first published 1999)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Frenchtown Summer, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Frenchtown Summer

Crank by Ellen HopkinsImpulse by Ellen HopkinsIdentical by Ellen HopkinsBurned by Ellen HopkinsGlass by Ellen Hopkins
Novels in Verse
101st out of 259 books — 610 voters
Hachiko Waits by Lesléa NewmanWhy Not-World by Alexei Maxim RussellInstruction Manual for the 21st Century Samurai by Alexei Maxim RussellTrueman Bradley - Aspie Detective by Alexei Maxim RussellFrenchtown Summer by Robert Cormier
Books My Library Has That I Want To Read
5th out of 113 books — 26 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 527)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Jan 07, 2016 Maciek rated it really liked it
It was the summer of the airplane.

Written entirely in free verse, Frenchtown Summer is the story of Eugene - a 12 year old boy who writes down the events of a single summer in a series of short vignettes. Obviously modeled after the author, Eugene is a shy and sensitive but also very observant boy: he notices many small details of the city as he delivers the local paper, and tries to make sense of them to understand the world and himself. Eugene says that he knows his name, but does not know w
Mick (JCT)  Dundee
Jun 12, 2015 Mick (JCT) Dundee rated it really liked it
Frenchtown Summer
Frenchtown summer a realistic fiction book by Robert Cormier felt like a tour through the gloomy section of town known as Frenchtown. Eugene is a boy who lives with his joyous mom and his mysterious and silent father who he wants only to connect to but his father's persona gets in the way of their father son relationship so then he is forced to go through the significant summer with no plans of trying to connect with his dad. This is a book I really enjoyed.

One thing I liked abo
Jun 12, 2015 Sam rated it liked it
Sam May
Book Review
Frenchtown Summer
He is lost in a sea of depression and fear from his family, “friends”, and Frenchtown itself. There is no motivation from anyone. The days drag on with what seems to be no success. He wants to escape it, but he sees that it is impossible to run from everything. Frenchtown Summer, by Robert Cormier, is about a boy named Eugene who lives on the second floor of a three level building in Frenchtown, which is a section of a town. He wanted his fathe
Apr 09, 2015 Rachel rated it liked it
Shelves: ya-lit-2015
Summary: Frenchtown Summer is a semi autobiographical book by Robert Cormier the book is written in free verse and centers on Eugene as he delivers papers on his paper route around his hometown. He notices things that seem to go unnoticed by others. He wonders whether his father who is withdrawn loves him. In the end Eugene finds a plane hidden in a shed he tells his friends who don’t believe him. When they go back to see it the plane is gone. Later in front of his friends Eugene’s fathers says ...more
Mar 16, 2011 Josiah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enter the world of Eugene, who, like many of the characters about whom author Robert Cormier writes, resides in the quiet recesses of Frenchtown. It's a town like most others in Massachusetts, populated by hard-working career men and filled with an assortment of secrets that simmer just below the surface.

Take a walk or two with young Eugene along his paper route as he observes the people around him in the habitats of their regular lives; nothing too fancy or unusual, for the most part, just se
Patrice Sartor
Aug 23, 2010 Patrice Sartor rated it really liked it
GENRE: Fiction, realistic fiction, verse.

SUMMARY: Eugene experienced a busy summer. He had a paper route, got glasses, endeavored to learn more about his family, and visited the cemetery, among many other adventures. So much happens to Eugene during that summer, and he is hyper-aware of it all, from how his piano teacher smells to the few things that his older brother cares about.

EVALUATION: Written in verse and told through a first-person perspective, Frenchtown Summer takes the reader on a mag
Nov 18, 2009 Charlotte rated it really liked it
poetry, coming-of-age

I stumbled across this book of free verse poetry written by Robert Cormier and didn't really know what to expect. Apart from the fact that this book is written in verse, the narrative style is different from Cormier's other work. Each chapter is a separate vignette about some aspect of the narrator's summer, so it's a little hard to piece together what this boy's life is really like. He has a brother and spends his summer exploring the areas around the Frenchtown. He lives c
Jul 20, 2014 Danielle rated it it was ok
Shelves: ya-13-25
Eugene is a young boy growing up during 1938 in Frenchtown. Written in poetry form this book goes on to tell of several of the different life events that Eugene experienced throughout the summer.

I found this book to be mediocre. There was no real plot to the book and I did not feel that I got a lot out of it. Some of the parts were interesting, but a lot of it was simply 'meh'.
Aug 29, 2014 Eric rated it liked it
I won a free book in a bingo game at my wife's workplace summer picnic. It's a kid's book for 12 & up. I read it to figure out what kid I'd give it to. It's quite poetic, and the author has won some awards, so that gives me a good clue. I'll pass it on by Monday.
May 21, 2010 Lindsey rated it really liked it
This is the story of summer in frenchtown. The comb factory is the center of life, and all the members of town work there. The story is told in poetry, so it is a different sort of read, but I found myself enjoying it nonetheless. There is not really a coherent plot to this novel, it is more like a collection of impressions throughout the summer. Since it is told through poetry the narrator can tell the sensory perceptions of his childhood summer, and even the terrible events that are portrayed ...more
AJ Richard
Mar 21, 2015 AJ Richard rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Short and sweet! More of a long poem than novel. Evan though it takes place before I was born, still evokes childhood memories of my hometown.
Mar 20, 2014 Amy rated it liked it
Written in free verse, this is a very quick read. It is a sweet story of a boy coming of age in a small town in the 1930's (my guess on time frame).
May 25, 2016 Ron rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who like the idea of poetry but who aren't ready to commit just yet
Shelves: shorts
A short novella with the chapters broken up on the page as though they were poems. I'm pretty sure they're not poems, but breaking the text up like that saved it from being fourteen pages long, which is not a very marketable size.

The images are brought to life in the way that poetry might, with unresolved longings and the defeats and deficiencies of childhood. Unlike most Cormier books that I've read, there wasn't really a Challenging Reversal of Normal Social Proprieties involved, but there was
Garth Mailman
Sep 12, 2016 Garth Mailman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A young boy's memories of a working class walk-up tenement enclave.

Odd formatting on the e-Book version I read
Austin Wright
Jul 25, 2014 Austin Wright rated it it was amazing
Quite dark actually. A Poetry/narrative that had the same tone as Dubliners by Joyce.
Jun 12, 2010 Rob rated it liked it
Young Eugene reminisces on the summer of '38 when he really began wondering about life, and the meaning of it. The verses in this poem paint vivid images of the places and people he encounters on his daily paper route.

I enjoyed this novel in verse. I felt like I could really relate to Cormier's poetic style. The poetry just made sense, and flowed very nicely. The story was interesting, but the psychology behind the characters is what makes this book truly wonderful to read. The family dynamics w
Apr 08, 2009 Chris rated it really liked it
While I wasn't sure about the whole poems-as-novel thing, Cormier still managed to do what every writer strives for: pull some emotion from these hardened bones.

There are a few moments in this book that are just gorgeous, some of which I wish were expanded upon. But all things considered, Cormier compacts a heartfelt story into these 113 pages, that are made even more sparse by the poem format.

Truly, Cormier is one of the better writers you've probably never heard of, and I'm glad my interest/li
Ricardo Flores
Apr 25, 2014 Ricardo Flores rated it it was amazing
Frenchtown Summer was, at first, a bit normal for me. I mean, it seemed to just be accounts of Eugene's life (which it is). Then came the flashlight and the metaphor, the meaning of the flashlight, almost made me cry. I really enjoyed the whole book after the page about the flashlight he received. I believe it was page 81 and I think people should read this book especially for the metaphor on life which, vaguely put, is that happiness is not eternal but can be rekindled.
Laurel Hoffman
Jan 11, 2011 Laurel Hoffman rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya-lit-1-thru-10
This was an interesting, very quick book about a boy's summer in the 1930's (I believe), and his struggle to define his relationship with his father. It is written in verse form and has some beautiful writing. I have to give it four stars because I thought the writing was great, even though poetry isn't my thing so much. I really enjoyed how Robert Cormier used metaphors in his writing, and how the feel of the book did make me think it was a story being told by a young boy.
Apr 03, 2012 Kari rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2012
I had a difficult time with this book. It felt very disconnected and showed a lack of "deep-ness". It could be that I just missed it, because I could tell it was trying very hard to be influential, but I didn't get too caught up in that.

I would be okay suggesting this book to others, but it wouldn't be a book I would want to push a people like I feel like doing with some others.

Violence - no
Language - no
Sex - no
Alcohol/Drugs - some
other - suicide and death
Feb 23, 2013 Mariah rated it it was amazing
Autobiographic vignettes of Cormier's youth written in verse that is succinct and vibrantly evocative of the author's boyhood and his hopeful, yet sad, soul. I read this soon after reading Gantos' Dead End in Norvelt. They are excellent companion books, with similar themes, yet two distinctly different tones.
Aug 30, 2015 Denise rated it it was amazing
Shelves: self-chosen
Vignettes in free verse of memories during a sweltering summer when Cormier was 12. Like his fiction, these have a way of leaving one a bit bruised, those memories that crush. Although found in the children's section, I think adults would get more out of this.
Feb 25, 2010 Beth rated it liked it
This book takes place in the summer of 1938. Eugene is a young boy, coming of age in a small MA town. The theme of the book is death and growing up. Each chapter is a vingette, in free-verse poetry form, of what Eugene observes about those around him.
Coy Latte
Oct 03, 2013 Coy Latte rated it liked it
This is a very interesting, somewhat sad book. It tells the story of how Eugene has a very eventful summer in the 1930's. It's not a book that had me 'stuck into it' I couldn't really get a good grip on this book.
Mary Bronson
This was a very good book. I thought the format of the book was cool. This made it a short book. I thought the plot and main character was good. But not my all time favorite from Robert Cormier.
Janelle Revier
Mar 16, 2010 Janelle Revier rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: cormier fans
i am a HUGE Cormier fan but this one was just ok. i loved i am the cheese.

this is written in free verse which i usually really like.
The uncle is a killer and the father is dysfunctional- explaining this to an eighth grader was harder than I thought!!
Jul 17, 2007 Ryan rated it liked it
Recommends it for: teens
Shelves: ya
a short read. somewhat boring compared to most of his books. if i remember correctly it was published post-mortem.
Nov 10, 2011 Kim rated it really liked it
Shelves: verse-poetry
Short lines of concentrated wording spin a deep story of family life from a snapshot in history.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 17 18 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Braid
  • Worlds Afire
  • Shakespeare Bats Cleanup (Shakespeare Bats Cleanup, #1)
  • Hugging the Rock
  • Three Rivers Rising: A Novel of the Johnstown Flood
  • Aleutian Sparrow
  • Ringside, 1925: Views from the Scopes Trial
  • By the River
  • Things Left Unsaid: A Novel in Poems
  • Almost Forever
  • Birdland
  • Preacher's Boy
  • Who Killed Mr. Chippendale?: A Mystery in Poems
  • The Way a Door Closes
  • The Race to Save the Lord God Bird
  • Splintering
  • New Found Land: Lewis and Clark's  Voyage of Discovery
  • Walking on Glass
Robert Edmund Cormier (January 17, 1925–November 2, 2000) was an American author, columnist and reporter, known for his deeply pessimistic, downbeat literature. His most popular works include I Am the Cheese, After the First Death, We All Fall Down and The Chocolate War, all of which have won awards. The Chocolate War was challenged in multiple libraries. His books often are concerned with themes ...more
More about Robert Cormier...

Share This Book