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A Summer to Die
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A Summer to Die

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3.94 of 5 stars 3.94  ·  rating details  ·  3,894 ratings  ·  363 reviews
Thirteen-year-old Meg envies her sister Molly's beauty and popularity, and these feelings make it difficult for her to cope with Molly's illness and death.
Hardcover, 160 pages
Published April 27th 1977 by HMH Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 1977)
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laaaaames
I haven't read this book since I was eleven or twelve, but I bought a used copy because I have such extremely fond memories of it. My copy has new cover art, so I got all nostalgic seeing the thumbnail of the old cover here.

It's funny how much of this book I remembered vividly and how much I'd forgotten all together. It's a beautiful story, though, through and through, the kind that makes me happy to be alive.

I recall relating to Meg so much as a kid, so I was surprised to find myself relating t...more
Anna
This book is "unofficial" because I read it many times as a child, though haven't seen it in probably ten years. What I can't believe is that it's actually out of print! Fortunately there are enough copies of this wonderful book floating around to make it easily findable.

I just learned that A Summer to Die was actually Lois Lowry's first young adult novel, written in the 1970s, well before the Anastasia books and Number the Stars and The Giver and basically being one of the most important writer...more
Lizzie
A gift from Amy! Thank you Amy! I finished reading this at 2:30am this morning when I couldn't sleep.

I almost didn't want to read this because it is like a little dandelion poof of a book, it is so super small I was like, I'll blink and I'll miss it! What if I hurt it! I'd never read it before because as a kid I was snotty about the kill-me-now melodramas of Lurlene McDaniel and ilk. (Please see Somewhere Between YA Lit and Death.) However, this meant I overlooked a lot.

The handling of these exp...more
Mayra Nobel
Aug 31, 2007 Mayra Nobel rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Yes
This was the first book that made me cry! I can remember being on my bed crying my little 11yr old eyes out and loving every minute of it. This is a book that everyone should read, especially if you have a sister!
Sofia
A Summer To Die is a book about two sisters loving each other, going through adventures, illnesses, and good times together. Molly, the weak but older sister was always in bed, while Meg was active and a strong girl. The differences between the girls, made them each unique, and joyful. Their mutual generosity helped their home be a peaceful and enjoyable place. Lois Lowry is a great author who really nails the point of the story and makes you imagine every sentences of this book. Her vivid writ...more
Heidi
Oct 15, 2012 Heidi rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: sisters
I have two sisters and we all read this book. I think having sisters really brings this book to a new level. My sisters and I don't always get along, especially when we all lived in the same house. However, when something happens to a sister, we are excited or sad depending on the situation. I have read this book again and again because it reminds me that even though I might not like my sister today, I still love her. This book has made me cry on multiple occasions. Once, I picked it up and star...more
Ruth
This book has stuck with me for so long, and I remember reading it in my mom's car, with The Beach Boys' "God Only Knows" playing in the background. The title eluded me until I was hunting around on here, and I am glad to have finally figured it out!
Katrina V.
This is a beautiful story about sisters. I recommend it to anyone that has a sister or best friend that they feel that close to...it's beautifully written; a short read that leaves an impact.
Sarah
Dec 19, 2011 Sarah rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Connie. Please finish so we can discuss.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Pamela Nelson
"A Summer to Die" written by Lois Lowry is a realistic fiction story that takes us on a memorable journey about 2 sisters that have distinctive interest and personality. I would recommend this book to everyone as it enlightens us on the nature of life and the ways to overcome obstacles that stand in our way.The theme of the book could be closely related to perseverance in life as it's cohesively described throughout the various subplots displayed. Lowry had cleverly captivated my attention by co...more
Megan
This is a very well-written book in which a girl deals with her sister's fatal illness and eventual death. Lowry handles a delicate situation deftly and thoughtfully. Highly recommended.
Maggie
My favorite teen lit of all time. Equally good reading as an adult. Haunting and beautiful, a story of ambiguous grief and unexpected friendship.
Violet
Meg is green with envy of her fifteen year old sister Molly, who has the qualities she wishes she had, beuty and popularity. When their family moves to a small house in New England their bickering increases and Molly's health takes a turn for the worse.Soon Molly is starting to visit the hospital frequently while her attitude changes drastically. After Meg awakens to find her sister drenched in blood she is sent to the hospital for a long period of time, leaving Meg's questions about her sister...more
Carin
This is one of those teen books where the sister dies. (Thanks to the title, I'm not giving anything away here.) I know a lot of adults think children shouldn't read these kinds of depressing books but I adored them as a teen. It is very important for children to learn how to deal with different difficult situations and emotions,and one way they can start to learn coping methods is by being introduced to these types of situations in a safe way: through fiction. My copy of the book says that this...more
Sophie
I first encountered this book when my library was weeding its children's paperback collection. I grabbed several out of the pile destined for the recycling bin, including this one. I knew Lowry's work, but I didn't know this was her first novel, or how good it would end up being.

I loved it. It was beautifully written from start to finish. The setting was rich with detail and made me want to move to the New England countryside and start my own garden. It was a bit slow to get going, but once the...more
Theresa Milstein
This was a well-composed, powerful book.

When I heard Lois Lowry speak recently, I found out this was the book that began her career in children's literature. So I decided to read it.

Meg lives in the beautiful shadow of Molly. Molly is everything Meg feels she is not. The sister, mom, and dad have moved to the country so dad can finish writing a book while on sabbatical. Here, Meg gets sick and Molly comes into her own. She finds that the things that make her not like Molly are also her strength...more
Adams Jess
God knows what it was about this book that had my 11-year old self obsessed—but obsessed I was! I had it permanently borrowed from our school library so attached I was! So this rating is from a younger me, but it is definitely to be read again to be reminded why, although most likely I'm so far from the innocent child I once was that my adult self will miss the meaning! Oh the tragedy of growing up.
Jennybug
I actually really liked this book. This would be a good book for a Junior High student. I think that Lois Lory is a very good writer, and writes about topics that are interesting for both juvenile readers and adults. I really liked how this book was told through the eyes of a 13 year old girl.

**Quotes**

Pg 136 "Time goes on, and your life is still there, and you have to live it. After a while you remember the good things more than the bad. Then, gradually, the empty silent parts of you fill up wi...more
Torie
Another book that Leilani found when she looked for "Death" in the Juvenile Subjects card catalog when she was a kid (see Backyard Dancer post "Bring On the Card Catalog!") I never read this one as a kid but I loved Lois Lowry's Anastasia Krupnik books. A Summer To Die has a similar precocious preteen narrator dealing with a much more tragic and traumatic situation than any I remember encountered by Anastasia. Meg's summer is full of death, guilt, birth, and revelations that make her world much...more
Shayne
Oct 10, 2013 Shayne rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Shayne by: Penelope
"After a while, you remember the good things more often than the bad." -Meg

Exact rating: 3.5

Such a light, light kind of read, yet maybe as heart-warming as Jodi Picoult's My Sister's Keeper. This book was so short that I had to ask myself why I had just read this now. And it kind of surprised me when I was tearing up a little at some points of the story even though it was written by a young girl, such as Meg's point of view. Then I realized, that was it. The purity, the innocence, the simplicity
...more
Caitlin
I read this novella in a day. I love Lowry's "the Giver" but this book lacked the same depth. I suppose it is a realistic and pretty good introduction to the concept of the unfairness of life, how people can die before they've even lived. I know it is a young adult novel but there was something too simplistic in the delivery.

It is told through the eyes of a young girl Meg whose older sister is inexplicably stricken with Leukemia. This is incomprehensible and I don't think at any age we ever gra...more
Jacquelyn Hoogendyk
A Summer to Die by Lois Lowry begins with the upsetting news that Meg and Molly are moving into a new home where they will have to share a room. Meg and Molly are sisters who have lived in competition with each other their whole lives, but one night when Molly suddenly awakens in the middle of the night covered in blood their lives change forever. Molly is terribly sick with a horrible disease and Meg is all of a sudden forced to watch her sister die before her eyes day in and day out. Meg is su...more
E Reyes
This is my first book written by Lois Lowry. I often see copies of The Giver in bookstores but never took the chance to buy one. When I saw this copy of A Summer to Die alone in a corner, it's like heaven calling me to grab it. I told myself, "Maybe, it's for me." I don't know if you also felt something similar.
Also, this is the first book I've read this summer vacation.

It is a juvenile realistic fiction of Meg's experiences when they moved from the city to the countryside where she'd have to s...more
Maria Cabello
Feb 13, 2014 Maria Cabello rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: To people who enjoy real life situations just get entertained by it and want to read and read.
Recommended to Maria by: Librarian
Two sister who fight like if they want to kill each other.Meg is a young lady who isn't sure about herself at all.Then there is Molly,the older big sister who has the perfect life.She has the life everyone will enjoy having like being popular, gorgeous and incredibly perfect. After some time goes by Molly gets extremely sick everyone is really worried as if someone died.Her sister,Meg,finally feels really bad about everything she's said and did.They both go through everything together and go fro...more
Laura
I saw this book at the book fair, while looking for gathering blue, another story by the same author. I read the giver a few years ago and have been interested in her work ever since, however I never got the chance to read any so naturally when I saw this, I bought it without even reading the back. I almost forgot to read the title because of how excited I was. turns out, this book is of the level I used to read when I was in fourth grade. I'm not complaining or anything though because even thou...more
Amber
Ah, the period of time as a child that I read every book about eating disorders, cancer, and any other scary and/or terminal disease out there. Was it a desire for more drama, even the tragic kind, or the seeds of future hypochondria? Either way, this book was quite satisfying at that age-- although it made me forever paranoid about nose bleeds.
Tressa
One of my all-time favorite girly teen books! I can't count how many times I laid on my bed re-reading this book and bawling my eyes out. This book gets everything right about sibling rivalry and love; how the terminally ill can leave the world in great dignity; and how those left behind cope after a devastating loss. A beautiful must-read book.
erin
This book swept through my 5th grade class, all of the girls waiting for their turn to read it. I still remember exactly where it was shelved in the school library. At the start of the second to last chapter, I cried so hard that the words all blurred together on the page. This book was made for pre-teen pre-angst.
Poohtle
I read this book whilst staying at my Nana's in the summer holiday. I waas 15 and it made me cry. I only ever read it once but I remember it so well.
Monique
I read this book every year from third grade until sixth...it was my favorite and I cried every time (not like I didn't know what was going to happen!)
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Taken from Lowry's website:
"I’ve always felt that I was fortunate to have been born the middle child of three. My older sister, Helen, was very much like our mother: gentle, family-oriented, eager to please. Little brother Jon was the only boy and had interests that he shared with Dad; together they were always working on electric trains and erector sets; and later, when Jon was older, they always...more
More about Lois Lowry...
The Giver (The Giver, #1) Number the Stars Gathering Blue (The Giver, #2) Messenger (The Giver, #3) Son (The Giver, #4)

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“I don't know what she is now. A stranger, mostly. It's as if she has become a part of a different world, one that doesn't include me anymore....” 10 likes
“It is so good to have friends who understand how there is a time for crying and a time for laughing, and that sometimes the two are very close together.” 7 likes
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