Jo Sorrell's Reviews > The Summer of the Swans

The Summer of the Swans by Betsy Byars
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's review
Feb 02, 12

Read in February, 2012

"Sara is having a terrible summer. She feels awkward, as her clothes and body seem to her to be unattractive, and she feels bored this summer at her aunt's house. Moreover, Sara is bitter about her father's lack of involvement in her life. Additionally, Sara feels particularly weighed down by the responsibility of taking care of her mentally handicapped younger brother Charlie.

One day, she agrees to take Charlie to the lake to see some swans who have stopped there on their yearly migration. Charlie is captivated by the swans and doesn't want to leave. Later that night, Charlie awakes and leaves the house alone to find the swans. Once outside, he becomes confused, wanders into the woods, and gets lost. When Sara and her aunt awake, they are shocked to find that Charlie is not in the house. They call the police and begin a hunt for the lost boy. Sara feels particularly responsible for the accident and regrets feeling depressed about the responsibility of taking care of Charlie. Since his disappearance, she has begun to realize just how much she loves her brother. In the search, Sara is joined by Joe, a boy with whom she had once conflicted at school. As the two continue the search in the woods, a friendship begins to develop, and Sara begins feeling more at peace with her world."

Me: Once Charlie disappeared I literally was unable to stop reading. Byars wrote a harrowing experience from the prespective of Charlie and Sara. I hurt for the whole family but here I'll stop. You will fall in love with mentally handicapped Charlie. This book truly tugs at your heart.

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