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Frenchtown Summer

3.4 of 5 stars 3.40  ·  rating details  ·  222 ratings  ·  24 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
Hardcover, 128 pages
Published September 7th 1999 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers (first published 1999)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 422)
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Josiah
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...more
Patrice Sartor
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...more
Charlotte
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...more
Danielle
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'.
Eric
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.
Lindsey
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
Amy
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).
Austin Wright
Quite dark actually. A Poetry/narrative that had the same tone as Dubliners by Joyce.
Rob
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...more
Chris
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...more
Laurel Hoffman
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.
Kari
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
Mariah Smith
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.
Beth
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
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 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
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.
Wendy
The uncle is a killer and the father is dysfunctional- explaining this to an eighth grader was harder than I thought!!
Ryan
Jul 17, 2007 Ryan rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
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.
Kim
Short lines of concentrated wording spin a deep story of family life from a snapshot in history.
Beth
The summer is filled with sad events and realizations.
Beizal
Beizal marked it as to-read
Oct 20, 2014
Kristine Pratt
Kristine Pratt marked it as to-read
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Shyanne Foster
Shyanne Foster marked it as to-read
Oct 05, 2014
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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...
The Chocolate War (Chocolate War, #1) I Am the Cheese After the First Death The Rag and Bone Shop Tenderness

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