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My Father's Summers: A Daughter's Memoir

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4.02  ·  Rating Details ·  63 Ratings  ·  21 Reviews
We saved things for him. My sister Patti saved whatever she could hold in her palm-rocks, pennies, bottle caps. With the pennies she planned to save enough to buy a plane ticket to go see him. How many pennies would it take? Photographs, report cards, jokes, songs, stories, we even saved Christmas. Long after my mother took down the tree, his gifts sat in the corner of the ...more
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published April 1st 2004 by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
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Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
I could relate to a lot in this memoir in verse, as Kathi is just 2 years older than me. I remember the fashions, toys, music, and TV shows she mentions. As I read her poetry I could empathize with her confused feelings over her father and stepfamily, and I felt her frustration at being powerless to make life work the way she wanted it to. I remember feeling powerless when I was a kid too, and my relationship with my father wasn't always smooth. The accompanying photos brought her family to life ...more
Brian Kelley
Jan 28, 2012 Brian Kelley rated it really liked it
Technology brings authors to my classroom via Skype. For over the past year I've participated in six different chats with YA author Kathi Appelt--one such chat was done for a group of teachers learning how to use Skype to bring a mentor into the classroom. Having read both of Appelt's most recent YA novels (The Underneath and Keeper) I've developed an internal radar for her name and I see it places where I otherwise would have missed it.

This summer I stumbled across a reference and an excerpt t
...more
Andrew
Dec 15, 2012 Andrew rated it liked it
My Father's Summers
Memoir/Non-Fiction
197 Pages

The book "My Father's Summers" tells the childhood life of Kathi Appelt. It tells how her father leaves her and gets married to another woman who has 3 children of her own. With Kathi having 3 sisters of her own, they now have step siblings. Kathi uses many metaphors to show how it feels to go back and forth between houses and how it feels to have parents who are divorced. Later Kathi's mom get remarried and now Kathi has a stepfather too. Kathi is i
...more
Sean C.
Oct 21, 2012 Sean C. rated it liked it
My Father's Summers: A Daughter's Memoir
Kathi Appelt
Biography/ Memoir
198 Pages

This book is about a girl who's dad left her family when she was young to go into the war. Their family lives in Houston, Texas. Her father is gone for almost her whole childhood, and to make it worse, her parents divorce. She later lives two lives, living with her mom in her house, and living with her dad in his house.

The book is told in a series of eloquent prose poems. It is an okay book. And it is pretty short. Th
...more
Deborah
Jan 03, 2009 Deborah rated it really liked it
I really like this author's style of writing. There are some lovely sentences and paragraphs. The memoir is about the time of the author's life when her parents were getting a divorce, so some of the images are really poignant in how they explain what it means to miss someone and how passing time feels. Since the memoir is unfolded in short images, some only a paragraph long, I think it would appeal to students. However, I don't know about some of the sections--they might be inappropriate for al ...more
CC
Aug 14, 2013 CC rated it liked it
My Father’s Summer by Kathi Appelt is a memoir, and I would mostly recommend this novel to upper elementary students and up. This memoir has a slightly inappropriate content, such as the scene where Kathy's mother would go on drugs, but the reading level is suitable for any level readers. “He and Ann and the boys bought a house on an acre. We called it the summer house, not home. At first, my sisters and I tried to love her and her sons. We tried to love the house. We tried. Trying to love is ha ...more
Gretchen S.
Mar 19, 2013 Gretchen S. rated it really liked it
MY FATHER’S SUMMERS
Kathi Appelt
Nonfiction Memoir
197 pages

This book is about a girl whose life was split. Kathi and her sisters, Patti and B.J., were forced to live with their father who had cheated on their mother that they loved so dearly. It is about her life and what changes that she had to go through. It is about a girl that wanted to stay the way she was, but was forced to change. Kathi wrote about her life and what her father used to be like.

I liked this book, because it gave me a sense of
...more
Ryan
Jun 19, 2009 Ryan rated it liked it
As with all books dealing with fathers and daughters, I found this painful to start because I expected one of those perfect childhoods with an adoring and devoted father - not sure why. Perhaps the cover. What I found was a not-so-perfect father who, despite making some pretty stupendous mistakes, had made sure his daughter knew he wanted and loved her. I never sensed that his daughter was damaged, even with all the damaging behavior. I also found a young girl who loved her father, wanted him to ...more
Mary
Mar 21, 2009 Mary rated it it was amazing
Kathi Appelt's memoir of her growing-up years in Houston are my era, so this was very nostalgic for me. Her father spent much of her youth in the oilfields of Saudi Arabia and returned to divorce her mother and begin life with a new family so that Appelt and her two younger sisters had to share him with step-siblings. Her remembrances of the mid seventies conclude with her leaving to attend Texas A&M where she now teaches. It's a quick read that I plan to suggest as a nonfiction title for st ...more
Lindsey
Apr 30, 2010 Lindsey rated it it was amazing
Not a verse novel since most of these poems can stand alone. Even though the poems are connected, not all of them are in chronological order. Of course they are also autobiographical, which just makes it all the more interesting in my opinion.

I really enjoyed this book. I loved Appelt's novel Underneath and I definitely wasn't disappointed with this collection of poems. Texans might like this book in particular since Appelt is a a Houston native.
Linda
Jul 02, 2012 Linda rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoir
This memoir in free verse covers the author's life primarily from ages 12 - 18 (with flashbacks to the earlier years of her parents) as Kathi's parents go through a divorce - the heartbreak of missing her father when he was gone; then her mother during the summers when she and her sisters leave their mother. This is as close as I care to be to divorce but the feelings of missing parents and times past will resonate with any reader.
JaNeal
Feb 19, 2011 JaNeal rated it really liked it
Kathi Appelt use prose poetry to create these snapshots of her youth. It's a great form to borrow from if you are stuck in writing your own life stories--very liberating. Kathi is a gifted writer and that shows through in this book. Still, I believe her approach can speak to people who don't feel as confident with the pen as it does to the seasoned poet. The book is also just plain and simple good reading.
Kristen
Jul 03, 2012 Kristen rated it it was amazing
Memoir of Kathi Appelt's years of missing her dad, first when her dad was overseas, later, when her dad had left her mother and two sisters to marry a woman with two young boys. Written in free verse, this will hit home for a lot of teens, especially those who know what it's like to have parents living in two different places. Read it in one sitting - couldn't put it down.
Michiko
Apr 03, 2011 Michiko rated it it was amazing
Memories of her father captured in language rich and poetic, Kathi Appelt paints a portrait of love and loss. A beautiful mentor text for young readers and writers this is a book that could be studied or just read and enjoyed. It's short chapters can be doled out one at a time or it can be read from cover to cover, either way readers can bathe themselves in its beauty.
Diane
Jun 20, 2009 Diane rated it it was amazing
A daughter's perspective on her father, and probably the most beautiful book I have ever read. It is exquisite and painful. The writing is beautiful. If I were ever to write a book I would want it to be like this one.

Carol
Jun 19, 2009 Carol rated it really liked it
this is a series of prose poems about a daughter's love for a father that is absent and eventually leaves the family. Very expressive and interesting, especially since she is almost exactly my age so all the background events are familiar....
Cheryl
Jan 04, 2011 Cheryl rated it it was amazing
I am such a Kathi Appelt fan - and this gets added to the list of wonderful memoirs I have read over the past few years. She writes with such honestly about a painful time in her life. Absolutely loved this book....
Ann
Aug 05, 2012 Ann added it
This wasn't my favorite of Kathi Appelt's books, still a poetry novel is always inspiring. I'm sending a big thanks to Kris2cool for suggesting it.
Sommer Ann McCullough
Jun 25, 2007 Sommer Ann McCullough marked it as to-read
Recommends it for: Not sure yet...
I loved Kissing Tennesse, another of Kathi Appelt's books, and hopefully this one will turn out to be just as amazing. It's on hold at the library...
Cyndi
Nov 10, 2011 Cyndi rated it it was amazing
I related! What a strange and powerful thing, a girl’s connection to her father, to love no matter what. How awesome.
Elizabeth Castro
Jul 30, 2015 Elizabeth Castro rated it really liked it
At times I read this book and thought why am I reading this? And then by the end of the book, wow. Just wow. Kathi Appelt has you reaching out for more holding your breath with her ending.
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29011
Lives in College Station, TX with husband Ken and four adorable cats.

Two sons, both musicians.

Serves on the faculty at Vermont College of Fine Arts in the MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults Program.
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