Josiah's Reviews > The Summer of the Swans

The Summer of the Swans by Betsy Byars
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's review
Apr 24, 2009

liked it

Being published in the same year as E.B. White's "The Trumpet of the Swan", I must admit that I would not have given this book the 1971 Newbery Medal.
I enjoyed this quietly understated story very much, nonetheless. The interactions between Sara and her Aunt Willie, her friend Joe Melby, and her mentally impaired brother Charlie are all beautiful but very realistic. The scene in which Charlie keeps on accidentally letting his lollipop come off the stick, and wants his sister to fix it for him again and again, is very memorable, and one of the clearest images from the book, in my mind.
The narrative is very well done, which is not a rare accomplishment for Betsy Byars. I would say that this IS one of her best efforts, though. I eagerly recommend "The Summer of the Swans" for anyone that likes the style of Betsy Byars, or good books in general.

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