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Memories of Summer

4.02  ·  Rating Details ·  534 Ratings  ·  83 Reviews
Newbery Honor Winner Ruth White gives readers an unforgettable story of one girl’s experience growing up with a sister that develops schizophrenia.

It’s 1955 when 13-year-old Lyric moves with her father and older sister, Summer, from a small Virginia town to the big industrial city of Flint, Michigan. Summer has always been a little odd, but shortly after the move, thing
Mass Market Paperback, 160 pages
Published May 14th 2002 by Laurel Leaf (first published 2001)
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Hope Was Here by Joan BauerStargirl by Jerry SpinelliEsperanza Rising by Pam Muñoz RyanHomeless Bird by Gloria WhelanMemories of Summer by Ruth White
ALA 2001 Top Ten Best Books for Young Adults
5th out of 10 books — 7 voters
Little Women by Louisa May AlcottPride and Prejudice by Jane AustenSense and Sensibility by Jane AustenThe Hunger Games by Suzanne CollinsGone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
“Sister” Novels
87th out of 310 books — 143 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,034)
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Brad D
Oct 28, 2015 Brad D rated it really liked it
This was an amazing book that had me glued to the pages until the end.
Mar 28, 2011 Beccie rated it it was amazing
I gave this book 5 stars because it was simply.....amazing! Did I like it? Can you like something that rips your heart out? That makes you cry so much you have to take your contacts out? This author really speaks to me. Her writing grips me. Her words stay with me. I am a better person for having read this. I don't think I will ever look at mental illness the same way again. Now I will think of the families in the background, struggling to hold on to that person they love, even though it's not t ...more
My classification of this one might be stretching things a little. The multicultural element is a family from the rural Virginia with a schizophrenic daughter, and the urban location is Flint, MI in 1955. But I think that multiculturalism should include more than just ethnicities; reading this book, A Corner of the Universe, and (george) indicated to me that the mentally ill do occupy their own culture, as do the people who interact with them on a daily basis. Those who are not members of this c ...more
Sam S
Oct 22, 2015 Sam S rated it it was amazing
This was an amazing book with a very powerful ending. The book will grab your heart break it then stitch it back together again in just 135 pages.
Jan 29, 2014 Lightblue rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Una storia per ragazzi che insegna moltissimo su quanto sia difficile accettare la diversità e le malattie. Bello.
Mar 09, 2010 Sabrina rated it liked it
Very quick and short read. I was surprised at the abruptness of the ending, I had expected it to go a bit further into their lives, or possible have some big event that changed everything. It just crept along and then ended. After I finished the book I did a little research on the author and it turns out this is a very personal story. She has an older sister who was diagnosed with schizophrenia when she was a teenager. I thought her treatment of the subject was very honest, but overall I just wa ...more
Kateryna Kryuchkova
May 28, 2014 Kateryna Kryuchkova rated it it was amazing
Memories of Summer is a bittersweet read. The novel ripped my heart out, but forced me to stitch it back, inside my chest, in order to continue reading. This book is a truly meaningful read. I broke down at some parts, but pulled through to the end. Summer and Lyric are sisters. Summer is a troubled young lady who has schizophrenia. She develops a more severe self destructive behavior as the story continues because she claims she is
Mary Louise Sanchez
Two sisters, Summer and Lyric, move from their Appalachian hill country home to Flint, Michigan in the 1950s with their dad,Poppy, who eventually finds a job with General Motors. After the move, the older sister, Summer, starts showing signs of strange behaviors like whispering jibberish sounds, scratching herself until she bleeds, and playing with fire. Poppy and Lyric sacrifice their time to care for Summer the best ways they can considering the lack of knowledge people had of mental illness i ...more
Jan 30, 2014 Megan rated it it was amazing
A girl who is schizophrenic moves from the country to a big city with her sister and dad. They have to try and compromise on their daily lives to help this girl and to create no damage. At first they didn’t know when she talked to herself that it was because she had schizophrenia but later down the road they end up finding out the hard way. Through scratches, crying, and hard times, the family learn to battle fear and sadness. I can say this book is a great read. I have personally read it 4 time ...more
Ian G
Nov 10, 2015 Ian G added it
Austin T
Dec 11, 2015 Austin T rated it it was amazing
This was a Great Book! Everyone must read it!
Michaella Hogan
Feb 07, 2014 Michaella Hogan rated it it was amazing
I remember reading this book as a young girl and I thought it was one of the saddest, heartbreaking books I'd ever read. A young girl, with her older sister and her dad, move to the "big city" after their mother passes away. Fairly soon the older sister Summer starts exhibiting erratic behavior: running off, drinking, physical and verbal abuse. A well-written, moving book that looks at a family dealing with mental illness in a time where it wasn't talked about and not much was known about schizo ...more
Daisy Honeywell
Jul 08, 2013 Daisy Honeywell rated it liked it
Questo libro è di facile lettura ed è abbastanza breve. E' un libro per ragazzini il cui argomento sarebbe potuto essere più approfondito. E' narrato in prima persona e la protagonista è Lyric, una ragazzina che abita con suo padre e sua sorella Summer in Virginia, durante la Depressione. Dopo poco si trasferiscono a Flint, in Michigan, dove il padre riuscirà a trovare un lavoro. Sin dall'inizio l'autrice racconta dello speciale legame che unisce Lyric a sua sorella. Summer ha sedici anni, è bel ...more
Ava Black
Apr 08, 2013 Ava Black rated it really liked it
Ho preso questo libro in biblioteca perche' ricordavo di averlo gia' letto molti anni fa e che mi era piaciuto. Il libro e' rivolto principalmente ad un target di giovani e giovanissimi, difatti e' lungo solamente 105 pagine ( e cio' di per se' non permette un grandissimo approfondimento dei personaggi ) ed il linguaggio e' molto, molto semplice.
Ad ogni modo, il tema trattato nel libro non e' dei piu' semplici per questo ne consiglio la lettura anche agli adulti: la storia verte intorno a due so
Dec 12, 2013 Sara rated it it was amazing
This book is both heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time. I read it four years ago but have re-read it several times since, and it's always the same. I'm rooting for Lyric and her father to enjoy their enriching, exciting new life in the city at the same time I feel awful for Summer as she deteriorates and is soon barely able to function, let alone enjoy all the wonderful experiences her sister is. Lyric continues to hold onto the hope that Summer will recover and soon they'll both be n ...more
Shanacey Reyes
May 23, 2016 Shanacey Reyes rated it it was amazing
Memories of summer is about two sisters who lived in the country side and then moved to the city with their father. The older sister summer is not able to adjust to the new city environment while the younger sister lyric finds it easy. Summer begins to go a little crazy and lyric has to care for her. Lyric goes through a difficult time trying to care for her older sister by herself. This book is a great book to read if you have a younger or older sibling, it is very easy to relate to.
Feb 21, 2014 Nicole rated it really liked it
A beautiful story set in mid-century Flint, Michigan. The relationship between Lyric and her older sister Summer is simultaneously endearing and heartbreaking. I can't imagine having to watch my older sibling descend into mental illness, let alone being able to make the personal sacrifices Lyric makes every day out of pure love.

Also, I love the names Lyric and Summer. If I ever have children, they will not have common names either!
Brittany Z
Aug 02, 2015 Brittany Z rated it it was amazing
A quick read about a teen girl coping with her sister's developing schizophrenia. Story was interesting and did a good job of depicting the disease. It's a young adult book although I'm not sure how many teens would be into the 1950s era (talking about songs from White Christmas). Either way, it was a good read on mental illness in the 50s and teaches about understanding and compassion for others.
Marie Evergreen
Mar 15, 2016 Marie Evergreen rated it it was amazing
This book torn my heart out. There were moment where I was holding back tears, but by the end they were streaming. Lyric is a girl who after moving to Michigan needs to face the mental illness of her sister Summer. This book is written so beautifully that you can feel everything Lyric is going through and the pain she must endure watching her sister fade away.
Kim B.
This book reminded me of no other book as much as "A Corner of the Universe," and for a very good reason: there is most likely not another book for middle grade audiences that shows how utterly heartbreaking mental illness can be to a family, especially to a young girl caught in the middle of all of it. I doubt that many kids would WANT to read a book as sad as this (or that), but children with the same issues or those who are curious should be given these books. Anyway, as a lover of fiction ab ...more
Oct 25, 2014 Amanda rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. Short but sweet. It's so sad when Summer gets sick, and Lyric is so innocent and scared, you never have any idea what is going to happen. It's amazing to see her transition from Virginia to the city of Flint. I can relate to Lyric in so many ways.
A beautiful book about a dad with two daughters who moves to Flint from Appalachia to work in an auto factory during the post war years, a story told over and over again. But in this personal and heart rending story, one of the sisters suffers from schizophrenia.
Sep 11, 2009 Andrea rated it it was amazing
Memories of Summer is the bittersweet story of family relationships and how they are affected by a family member whose whole personality is changed through psychiatric challenges. It is told through the voice of Summers' younger sister. Her emotions and perspective are poignant and help the reader to empathize with what "losing" a loved one to mental illness can feel like to the family. I especially enjoyed this book because I have a mother who was diagnosed with mental illness in her early 40's ...more
Jul 20, 2014 Gabby rated it it was amazing
This book is absolutely amazing. The best book ever!! Read it read it read it! NOW!! It's so sad and happy and a fun book!! Read this now! I read it in 3 hours and kept flipping the pages!! It's so so good! Please! Make this into a movie!!
Christian Singer
Jul 19, 2014 Christian Singer rated it really liked it
Sad story based on the author's sister. Readers will desire a different outcome, a happier one. Ruth White did a good job of showing the uncomfortableness of dealing with mental illness. Don't forget to read the interview at the end.
This book was…incredible. Mindblowing. An amazing work. The author is truly talented, and this book was one unforgettable journey.

Lyric’s relationship with her sister, Summer, was so beautiful, making the ending so much more heartbreaking. The writing was so lovely: while grammatically it sounded precisely like a girl like Lyric, it was still well written enough that you can truly connect with the characters. Lyric’s character was amazing (not to mention I loved her name) and Summer was portray
Courtney Johnson
Jan 16, 2016 Courtney Johnson rated it liked it
I read this book in one day. It was a very fast and interesting read. I liked the descriptions and how the disease was described through Lyric's voice. This was very easy to read but I don't think I will read it again.
May 15, 2014 Lunabee rated it liked it
La schizofrenia affrontata negli anni Cinquanta e dal punto di vista di una giovanissima ragazza. Una storia di amore e famiglia ma, allo stesso tempo, di dolore.
Kaci Levingston
Nov 06, 2013 Kaci Levingston rated it it was amazing
Memories of Summer was very interesting and is the best book I will ever read. When I was reading Memories of Summer all of the details that the author put in the book made me feel like I was right there in the scene and I could picture the whole book perfectly. The book was based on a young girl who died and the best part of it is that her sister narrated the whole book. It was basically a biography that took place in a little town that everyone loved to hang out in. No one is not shocked by th ...more
Jenn Marie
Jan 14, 2014 Jenn Marie rated it it was amazing
This is the first book I ever remember reading. I picked it up at a book fair in the 5th grade thinking (like some others thought) it'd be about a girl remembering details about a summer vacation. Turns out it was anything but that. reading this book as a twelve year old I don't remember really understanding it, though I loved it. I found the book again at a yard sale when I was nineteen and bought it with no question and read through it in forty five minutes. it brought me to tears the second t ...more
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