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The Hidden Summer

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After a falling out between their mothers, 13-year-old best friends Nell and Lydia are forbidden from seeing each other for the whole summer. Nell struggles with the thought of not only losing her best friend, but also losing the only person in whom Nell finds refuge from the difficulties she faces at home. Determined to find a place of their own, Nell and Lydia spend the summer hiding out in an abandoned golf course where Nell and Lydia find mysterious symbols scattered throughout the grounds. As they reveal the secret of the symbols, Nell discovers she isn't the only one seeking haven and begins to uncover what’s really been hidden all along, finally allowing herself to be truly seen.

Hidden Summer is a quietly beautiful coming of age story about self-discovery, family, and friendship. An elegantly written children’s book debut from an award-winning author in the vein of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and for fans of Moon Over Manifest.

208 pages, Hardcover

First published June 13, 2013

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About the author

Gin Phillips

6 books495 followers
Gin Phillips is the celebrated author of The Well and the Mine (winner of the 2009 Barnes & Noble Discover Award for Fiction) and Come in and Cover Me (“original and strikingly beautiful” – Elle Magazine). Her recent novel, Fierce Kingdom, was named one of the best books of 2017 by Publishers Weekly, NPR, Amazon, and Kirkus Reviews. Her novels have been named as selections for Indie Next, Book of the Month, and the Junior Library Guild. She lives in Birmingham, Alabama, with her family.

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5 stars
105 (20%)
4 stars
179 (34%)
3 stars
180 (34%)
2 stars
45 (8%)
1 star
9 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 95 reviews
Profile Image for Sandy.
2,557 reviews62 followers
August 25, 2013
Thirteen-year-old Nell lives with her mother and her string of boyfriends/husbands. Living with her mother is exhausting and wrenching and it is a good thing she has Lydia as her best friend. “The trick is to tell when she’s in a carnivore mood or in an herbivore mood. (Carnivores have sharp teeth for biting. You shouldn’t get too close. But herbivores never attack.)“ It’s now the beginning of summer vacation when the girls like to kick loose and hang free but Lydia’s mother has other plans for her daughter. The summer of sleepovers, of secrets, of hidden discoveries and running around will not be happening this year as Lydia’s mother has forbidden the girls to see each other. Of course this action had something to do with Nell’s mother which made this situation even harder for Nell to digest. This does not stop the girls though; through some clever thinking on Nell’s part and determination for the both of them they outwit the restriction and explore an abandoned golf course. Like Louise and Clark on their own expedition, they find more than they bargained for.

The determination of Nell was heartfelt and she was searching for something yet she did not know what it was until she found it. I loved the way her characters talked, her straight forward language and her relationship with Lydia was wonderful. Lydia and Nell were both missing something and they both were able to help each other out and not judge each other or deal too much with the negative. It’s a simple, easy story without a lot of twists or complications. Great read for third graders and higher as no language issues or inappropriate issues, a good read. 3.5 stars
I enjoyed this; this really meant a lot to me:

“I hand over a lot of things when I’m home. Mom tells me she doesn’t like a shirt I want to buy, and I hand it over. Not the shirt itself, but my wish for that shirt. I want to watch one television show and she wants to watch another one –I hand that over, too. It’s easier that way. I even hand over my toenails when she asks. But I think sometimes you need to put a thing in a box – even if the box is inside your head –and store it away for yourself. “
(Love this- those are powerful words!!)
Profile Image for Karen Montalvo.
4 reviews1 follower
October 28, 2016
Have you ever wanted to run away from everything? This book is a realistic fiction and adventure. I thought this book was good because it kinda shows you that reality sometimes isn't as you want it to be and it shows you that you can live your life how you want to live it.

The Hidden Summer is about a girl named Nell who has some troubles with her mom at home. Nell wanted to run away with her best friend, Lydia, for the summer because Lydia mom didn't want Nell to hang out with her anymore. **SPOILER ALERT** Lydia agrees and they make a plan to live in and abandoned golf course for the summer. The theme for this story is to live your life how you want to live it.

The Hidden Summer is a first person book because the author uses words like I, she, her, he, him and we. Also the character versus for this story is person versus life. For example Nell has problems with her mom, she can't hang out with Lydia because her mom doesn't want them to hang out, and when Lydia and Nell find out that **SPOILER ALERT** other people are living in the abandoned golf course they get into more arguments and don't talk to each other as much. All those things show person versus life.

In my opinion The Hidden Summer is a good book because it shows that life isn't always perfect and that it isn't always how you want it to be. Also, the story has many conflicts which seem like they would happen in the real world, and in my opinion the author does a good job adding to the story. Usually I don't like realistic fiction but this book was amazing in my opinion. I think that many people would like this book and I would recommend it.

I rate The Hidden Summer a 5 out of 5 because think that it shows people to be themselves and live how you want to live which I think some people have trouble doing. I would recommend this book to people who like realistic fiction and adventure because it shows many adventures throughout the story and it also shows many realistic events that some might people go through. Life lessons, conflicts, adventures, if you are into all that, read this book.

Profile Image for Jennifer.
1,037 reviews26 followers
October 19, 2013
Gin Phillips is yet another adult author crossing over into juvie-land, but the difference this time, is that she does it successfully. I have not read her adult novels, but The Hidden Summer, written for ages 9-12, is a compelling story of two best friends who decide to take matters into their own hands when their parents' dispute results in a decree that they are not to see each other anymore. Summer seems like it'll be misery without each other, so Nell and Lydia hatch a plan to be able to get away from home during the day so they can hang out together. Everything starts out great, but when it's time to go home, Nell doesn't want to. Phillips does an excellent job of showing that not every child has an ideal family life and that it's totally normal to want to run away sometimes. She also makes it clear why running away is not a good solution. My only quibble with the book is that the epilogue is a little short and while it's great that Nell took steps to talk to Lydia's mother, the most important talk--the one with her own mother--is missing. maybe that would have wrapped things up too neatly and made it seem less realistic, but it would have been a good example to show to those kids who may be in Nell's situation themselves.
Profile Image for Estelle.
877 reviews80 followers
June 28, 2015
3.5 stars.

I'm really glad I read this. The main characters are not yet 13 yet are very wise and driven to embrace independence. Nell and Lydia both suffer from issues with their moms -- Nell feels like her mom never wants her and is constantly dealing with her mood swings, and Lydia's mom puts on a pretty performance but leaves her daughter to her own devices most of the time. Before the summer, Lydia's mom tells Lydia she has to stop seeing Nell so much because of something Nell's mom did to her. The girls are angry about this, and fight back -- they deceive their moms, and claim an abandoned golf course as their hangout of the summer. Spend long summer days together exploring, Nell and Lydia's friendship is tested in surprising ways -- learning they importance of widening their circles but also just how much they mean to one another. It's heartbreaking, non-fluffy tale filled with beautiful descriptions of light and fireflies and nature. (The book is set in Birmingham.) Also an ode to friendships that feel like home.
Profile Image for Aeslis.
103 reviews9 followers
April 9, 2013
The style in this book is lovely and vivid, evoking summer memories and youth. Nell is wise for her age, very calm, and yearning for something more than the heavy, nervous atmosphere of home, where her immature, volatile mother makes Nell feel like she's constantly walking on eggshells. But she's been forbidden from visiting her best friend and next door neighbor Lydia, thanks to Lydia's mother (likely rightfully) feeling that Nell's mother is a bad influence.

So the girls devise a plan. Really, it's Nell's plan, and Lydia is just along for the ride. They hop the fence behind their houses and spend their summer in the abandoned mini puttputt course, which is magical and strange. And here, Nell makes more connections, and the bond between Lydia and Nell begins to change.
Profile Image for Autumn K.
25 reviews
September 4, 2015
I loved this book there is a reason its in the Young Hoosier Book award Nominees
Profile Image for Angie.
813 reviews
February 22, 2018
Nell and Lydia have big plans for the summer, spending all their time together like best friends do/should. All of this changes when Lydia's mom forbids the girls to see each other because of something Nell's mom did to her. The girls plot and plan ways to still see each other, and end up climbing the fence of a nearby abandoned golf course and setting up bedrooms in a couple of the mini-golf structures, where they spend their summer days. When they discover a homeless family also living there, their priorities start to shift and their friendship starts to hit rocky ground. Lydia struggles with wanting to live at Lodema full time because of her mostly absent mom, and Nell is ready to go home full time.

A sweet story about friendship and the growing pains it can go through. While I shelved this as middle school, I would certainly move it to the lower end of that range, maybe even 5th grade.
Profile Image for Mrs. Strudthoff.
156 reviews7 followers
December 12, 2013
Imagine spending the summer on an abandoned miniature golf course that has the most imaginative obstacles such as a rocket complete with electricity and a dinosaur with a secret compartment. That's exactly what Nell and Lydia do after their mothers forbid them to see each after the mothers have an argument. Their adventures include discovering the other wonderful obstacles, fishing, swimming, and danger when other residents of the golf course appear.
2 reviews
November 14, 2018
The Hidden Summer by Gin Phillips is an inspiring realistic-fiction novel about a girl named Nell and her best friend Lydia. Both of them just got out of school and they are over-excited for the summer. Except, Lydia just told her the news that her mother doesn’t want them to hang out anymore. It absolutely breaks Nell's heart. That night she goes home to her apartment very confused and upset. She asks her mother what she did to Lydia’s mom and she responds all innocent. Finally Nell gets her mother to confess and Nell is told to go to her room. She looks out her window and sees the same old golf course she has seen for years. The next day, she looks out her window at the golf course and a light bulb turns on in her head. She gets the brilliant idea that she and Lydia need to move onto the golf course.
This specific book if you were to read it would seem a very average/moderate difficulty. It doesn’t have a lot of confusing words and is written very simple. So you could read it for awhile without getting bored or distracted. The lexile for this novel is 750. I had no difficulty reading this book. More positives about this book besides that it is super easy to read is that it has a “good ending.” I would go into more depth but it would spoil the ending of the book. This book has an interesting way of giving you “the feels.” Families that are less fortunate can relate on some level with Nell and also families that are more wealthy and loving can take away something or feel something from Nell. On the other hand, there are aspects of this book that I didn’t like. The beginning of the book seemed really cheesy or “to good to be true.” I feel like the probability of some of the events in the beginning of the story actually happening are slim to none. Along with the beginning of the book it is really slow. The pace of the beginning swayed me quit reading and pick up another book. Depending on your age, this may not be a good choice because this book goes into some very deep topics. Again, I cannot say because I don’t want to spoil the book if you are interested in reading this book. But it goes into really dark topics.
If you were to ask me if I would recommend this book to other people, I would say yes. At first I really hated this book but I kept with it and I am happy I did. As a whole, Gin Phillips told a great story. A very good theme to take away from this novel is you cannot run away from your problems. It would be preposterous to say that Nell doesn’t have any problems. “If you speak to me like that again,” Mom says, “I will rip the hair out of your head.” Nell has the “brilliant” idea that if she runs away she would be better off without her mother. “Lydia flexes and then tightens her fingers, ‘Look you’re right- it’s not about me. Forget me. You really think you’re going to be happy if you run away?’” Another important and significant quote from the text is a quote that shows Nell’s character. “I lie in bed that night and think about all the things Lydia and I have seen and done. I miss her.” Its significant because Lydia and Nell have been through a lot together. They have been best friends ever since they were little when Nell and her mother moved in and Lydia has been around through 5 step parents and Nell says she can’t remember how many boyfriends. They both need each other. If you have enjoyed The Land of Stories, this book has some of the same qualities and is written similarly, or if you enjoyed The Hidden Summer then The Land of Stories may be a good series for you to read.
1 review
November 14, 2018
Klaire G.

The book “The Hidden Summer” by Gin Phillips witch is a fiction book. A book about two teenage girls who are best friends that move to a abandoned golf course for the whole summer to have a place of their own. I have mixed feelings about things and here are some reasons why.
The part I like about this book is it kind of adventurous and it is cool to see how just two thirteen year old girls could make a home out of a abandoned golf course. Also to see them take care of themselves it almost makes you realize how much you can really do when you put your mind to it. I also think that I got to see how independent you really can be on your own because if two thirteen girls can make themselves a home I think anyone could be indepent.
Some of the reasons I didn't really like the book is because the girls didn’t have good role models.For the majority of the book their parents didn't even know there own kids were hiding out at some old abandoned golf course. So I didn't the parents just not concerned about their kids maybe might send out a not so good message.
The setting of the book is on this old golf course. The main characters in this book are theses two thirteen girls there names are Lydia and Nell. Then the girls soon realize that there not the only ones living on the old golf course. The reason for the two girls living on the gold course was because their mothers did not want the two girls hanging out anymore.That was not okay with the girls decide that they still want to hang out so they stay at the golf course all summer so they can hang out.
I think some of the strongest parts of the book is when the girls realize that they are alone out there and it's just there place out there so that way they can see each other all summer. I also think it’s a good part when they meet the other people on the golf course.Some of the things that I think are a little weak is how they made it sound like their parents just don't care about them at all.They also didn't have good role models so that was something that I thought was kind of weak about the book.
Overall I think this book is a good book.I think it would be a good book to read it depends on what you like in a book to see if you like it .I think it is more directed to teenage girls but everyone could see it as a good book or enjoy reading it. So my overall opinion on the book would be that it’s a good book that I think is worth reading.
6 reviews
December 7, 2018
Nell and Lydia are best friends until their parents decide they can’t see each other anymore. For all of the summer they secretly run away and spend every day at Lodemia and come back home for the nights. They both don’t like their homes but Nell especially never wants to go home. During they're adventure they meet new people and learn new things. I gave this book, “The Hidden Summer” by Gin Phillips, 3 out of 5 stars. I gave it this rating because it wasn’t a bad book but it was boring at some places and they're wasn’t really any action that left me sitting on the edge of my seat. My favorite character in the book was Gloria, she was so nice and accepting of Nell and Lydia, she always seemed to make everyone happier. Gloria would always do the girls hair and make them feel pretty. My least favorite character in this book was Nell’s mom, she was so ignorant and mean. She never made Nell feel welcome at home. My favorite quote for this book is a good example of what Nell thinks about her mom; “I hand over a lot of things when I'm home. Mom tells me she doesn't like my shirt I want to buy, and I hand it over. Not the shirt itself, but my wish for that shirt. I want to watch one television show and she wants to watch another one -I hand that over too. It's easier that way. I even hand over my toenails when she asks. But I think sometimes you need to put a thing in a box -even if the box is inside your head -and store it away for yourself.”
― Gin Phillips, The Hidden Summer
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Monica.
35 reviews
February 12, 2022
This was an unpredictable story from start to finish, which was refreshing for a coming of age book. It was touching, frustrating, heart warming, relatable at times, playful and filled with lessons and wisdom.

Honeysuckle tree, Wasteland, escape, expensive diamond jerky, family dynamics, and the power to freeze time.

When life gets complicated with family and friends. To stop feeling, you have to disappear, but maybe feeling helps build better understanding. Life would be easier if we only felt one way at a time.
Profile Image for Ariel.
56 reviews
October 23, 2020
I picked up this book thinking it would be some light reading, but by the end I kind of didn’t want it to end. There was still some story element that would be fun to explore, which I think Gin did a great job of letting it be. The end was so well put!

Though the characters are preteen it is refreshing to get to look as a young girl would at life, true friendship and responsibility!

Good stuff!
Profile Image for Cheryl.
528 reviews1 follower
June 14, 2022
Once starting The Hidden Summer, I was surprised to learn it took place in my home town of Birmingham AL--that's quite rare, from my reading experience. I liked the story, but the ending was a bit frustrating because certain things were left unresolved. Then again, it would have been strange if everything had suddenly wrapped up all nice and neat with a big 'everything's perfect' bow on top. I'll guess I'll say it was a realistic ending--but not the one I'd hoped for.
Profile Image for Ei.
8 reviews1 follower
March 25, 2021
I read this book in one sitting. This book tackled some issues about families, the thought of wanting to move out of your house because of your mom kinda hurts because, as a child, one of your support system should be your mom, but the character didn't experience it.

Anyways, their adventures for finding their 'hideout' seems fun, I would like to experience it (a little)!
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
559 reviews11 followers
July 2, 2018
I enjoyed Gin Phillips The Mine and the Well so much that I decided to read her other books, even the YA ones like this one. A realistic view of the internal lives of two young girls whose friendship is paramount to them.
Profile Image for sasha.
265 reviews6 followers
June 20, 2017
A poignant portrait of what it feels like not to be loved by the people who are supposed to love you when you're a kid.
Profile Image for Julia Young.
16 reviews
June 30, 2023
easy read, wasn’t my favourite - 5/10
brought it on vacation for down time
Profile Image for J.C..
Author 4 books73 followers
November 11, 2015
This book was…interesting. Very good and well written, but interesting.

The Hidden Summer follows the summer of two best friends, Nell and Lydia, who have been banned from seeing each other, thanks to a fallout between their mothers. Since they live right in front of an old abandoned golf course, Nell plots a plan so the girls can secretly live there during the day all summer. It starts as just a way to spend time as friends, but soon merges into a story of self-discovery.

While the writing was very good and the characters were well developed, the plotline, in my opinion, had some issues.

The whole concept of her living on a golf course was fascinating, and it even was believable her parents could believe it was camp. I wasn’t bothered that there was no realistic upkeep or guards: this is imagination working here so the story doesn’t need to be one-hundred-percent realistic. My issue was with Gloria and Maureen and Jakobe. Not that I didn’t like them; they were very well done characters. And I liked the way they lived on their own. My problem was that they didn’t seem to serve a purpose in the story and their story is never tied up. They’re homeless, we know that, but in the end, we still don’t know if they’ve found a way out or if they’re still on their own.

Also, I found it kind of unbelievable that a woman like Gloria would have no problem with kids living on their own during the day without their parents knowing; or that she’d say things like, “I wish you didn’t have to leave.” Maybe her daughter would say something like that; but Gloria’s a mom. I did not get it. As well, it kind of felt like Maureen and Jakobe were a start of a subplot and never were finished. They dart in and out of the storyline, never truly contributing, but rather just sitting there, and then when Nell leaves the course we never find out what happened to them. Like the author kind of just forgot.

Maybe I’m wrong and this was just an element for Nell to see on the golf course and for it never to be explained or tied up. Either way, I was disappointed.

While Lydia and Nell’s friendship seemed realistic, Lydia was a very stereotypical best friend. She’s just like every other best friend you read in books—outgoing, energetic, encouraging, etc—but with nothing of her own personality. She did not pop out at me as a real character like Nell did, simply because she was so predictable and stereotypical. Nell, on the other hand, was a gorgeous character full of her own personality.

Overall, there was a lot of positive and fun things about this story, but the few issues I had were enough to downscale this to a 3.0 star rating. I did still enjoy it though; I’d recommend it for anybody looking for a fun, imaginative story.

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1 review
May 23, 2016
Do you like books that are interesting and grab your attention? Well the book The Hidden Summer is the one for you. It is about two best friends Lydia and Nell are prohibited from seeing each other for the whole summer after their parents struggle to get along. Nell doesn’t like the thought of loosing her best friend Lydia, the girl who helps her with the difficulties she faces at home. When summer comes along Lydia and Nell find a way to secretly see each other without their parents knowing. As they look for a place of their own, they decided to spend their time together on an deserted golf course, where they detect a numerous amount of clues. When Lydia and Nell find out the meaning of the clues, they dicover what has been hidden all along.
The Hidden Summer is an interesting book that you definetly should read because it is as mysterious as a horror movie. When Lydia and Nell decide to stay at the deserted golf course they find certain clues that make it like no other. “’its so magical, odd, and no one has been able to enjoy it for so long” says Nell. This book is mysterious because of how they described the clues that Lydia and Nell had found.
In addition, this book also touches on the theme of growing up. As the two girls have trouble with their problems at home, they want to get away from the stress and enjoy time without their parents around. This is a facinating book which I deeply recommened because it could relate to you as a teenager. Now teens our age want to spend more time with friends. In The Hidden Summer it says “Its about wanting to escape and I want to escape much more than Lydia does.” This shows the theme of growing up because it describes how Lydia and Nell want free time. This book could relate to you in various ways which is one of the reasons why I recommend this amazing book to you.
As I have shared in the previous paragraphs, this book is mysterious and shows the theme of growing up. From these examples shown you should definetly read this book. Remember, who knows what the clues at the golf course might lead to?
Profile Image for Samuel.
Author 2 books30 followers
December 13, 2013
Nell and Lydia, a pair of Alabama girls on the cusp of adolescence, are best friends. Their mothers used to be friends too, but they've had a fight, and now Nell and Lydia aren't supposed to see each other. Nell, however, has devised a plan -- they'll pretend to be off at summer school (Nell) and summer camp (Lydia), when really, they'll be spending their days together at the abandoned golf course. This is especially important to Nell, the narrator, who has a deeply troubled relationship with her mother, and doesn't really want to be at home.

It would be hard to provide a plot summary beyond that point, because The Hidden Summer is very light on plot. It's more than a little episodic, and it's so still that in places, it almost seems to have fallen asleep. But this melancholy tone poem is also gorgeously written and achingly emotional, a coming of age story that embraces the darkness as well as the light.

The book works because Gin Phillips is an excellent stylist, but also because the characters come fully to life. This isn't true only of Nell and Lydia, but of the minor characters at the edge of the plot, from the teenaged gas station clerk to Nell's latest stepfather. Some of these characters only take up a few paragraphs, but Phillips makes every word count, so we're never denied a clear picture of each person. Of course, the picture we get is always from Nell's point of view, but her strong, consistent voice makes the first-person narration effective.

Despite certain adventure-story elements (hiding out in the hollow dinosaur on the putt-putt portion of the abandoned golf course!), The Hidden Summer is a book that will likely have more appeal for contemplative readers than for adventurous ones. It reads a bit like a less ensemble-cast Criss-Cross, or a modern-day Breathing Room; even when something exciting happens, the focus isn't on the action, but on the impact on the characters and their relationships.

A longer version of this review appears at abouttomock.blogspot.com
Profile Image for Becky.
514 reviews3 followers
May 2, 2016
Nell and Lydia are best friends, relying on one another when it seems that their own mothers could not be bothered with them. Lydia's mother puts on the "perfect" image of a family, but when it comes down to it, she does not pay attention to Lydia at all. Nell's mother is worse yet. She had a hot and cold personality that has Nell walking on eggshells around her, never knowing which version of her mother she is going to get. Right before summer Lydia's mother decides that the issues with Nell's mother are enough to forbid the girls to spend time together. Nell and Lydia come up with a plan to still spend their summer together.

Told from Nell's point of view, this book opens up about the forgotten children. Nell's mother has a problem, most likely bipolar depression, and Nell spends most of her time hiding from her mother. I felt so badly for Nell. She is looking for a place to belong, and her mother marries man after man, teaching Nell not to get overly close to anyone since they will not be around for long. Lydia's mom made me picture one of those perfectly manicured woman that care more about their appearance and Facebook image than actually taking the time to spend with her daughter. When the girls came up with their plan to spend summer at an abandoned golf course, I am thinking no parent would fall for this. They would if they really did not care. I admired Nell for her strength and being able to stand up for herself and know she deserves better than this. Thankfully she has wonderful grandparents that pay attention to her, but it is not the same as a parent.

The summer the girls spend at the golf course gives Nell a chance to find out more about herself and what she wants in life. I think this would make a great book club discussion!
Profile Image for Rachel.
241 reviews3 followers
August 21, 2018
Nell and her best friend Lydia decide they’ll secretly spend their summer days living on an abandoned golf course, fishing in the pond, rolling down the grassy hills, and holing up inside the giant putt-putt course props. The plan is to escape from their mothers and enjoy having just the two of them all day every day, but what they don’t count on is that they may not be the only ones at home on the golf course.

This story is set in Birmingham, right between Avondale and the Highlands, so you’ll recognize the names of places and landmarks, and you may even recognize some places that are described but not named. And, of course, you’ll love (or hate) Lydia’s dog Saban…

Grown-up portion of review:

This was full of mundane and unimportant details that detracted from the movement of the plot, details like what color M&Ms Nell ate from a bag (two yellows and a red). The book felt unfinished when it ended, and I wanted a little more character development. Kids may not notice these things, but they may end up bored before the end.
1 review1 follower
September 12, 2014
"The Hidden Summer" is meant for all ages, but also has meaningful lessons everyone can learn from. The story begins as Nell and Lydia's parents develop a feud between each other and forbid the two best friends from seeing each other. However, the two friends do not feel the need to be separated and start meeting daily at the old shutdown golf course to continue their friendship. At this place where the two continually meet Nelly finds her true happiness and begins to realize this place is her home and safe haven. Here all her troubles are forgotten and she is truly happy. She finally discovers who she truly is and begins to find out more and more about herself everyday. Soon she does not want to leave because she feels more comfortable here than at her own home. Her and Lydia soon realize meeting up everyday will not work and they finally take a stand for their friendship. This book was very enjoyable and shows how true happiness starts with you and your desicions. Anyone who is looking to read a meaningful book for leisure than this is for you.
1,118 reviews3 followers
February 23, 2016
Thirteen-year-old Nell is desperate to get away from her volatile mother, so hatches a plan to spend the summer in an abandoned golf course near her home. She's not a runaway, but goes home at night.

The mother of her best friend, Lydia, has forbidden Lydia to spend time with Nell because she doesn't want her to be around Nell's mother. At first it's hard to tell whether Nell's mom is mentally ill or just mean, but toward the end of the story it's revealed that there is some sort of undiagnosed mental disorder of which the mother is aware. Nell convinces Lydia to join her during the day so they can continue their friendship in secret.

While hanging out in their hideout in the putt-putt part of the course, they discover that a homeless family is also using the golf course as their temporary home.

Nell makes discoveries about herself, the nature of families and friendship, and coping with those who disappoint you, and experiences considerable emotional growth throughout the summer.
22 reviews1 follower
October 31, 2016
The book I read was called The Hidden Summer by Gin Philip. This book is about two 12 year old girls who's mom's don't pay much attention to them. The two best friends weren't able to see eachother any longer because of their moms. The girls didn't listen. The girls -Lydia and Nellie- came up with a plan to stay for the summer at an abandoned putt putt course where they stay in a big dinosaur. Two of the main characters of this book is Nellie (Nell) and Lydia. Nell and Lydia are best friends. They both wanted the same thing to get away from their life for a little while. Along the way they meet on homeless family who lived full time at the golf course until their mom could find a job. The main setting were at the Putt Putt course.
I really liked the book. I liked the book because it had a lot of detail. I also liked the characters I felt like you could really make a connection with some of them that you meet later on in the book.
I definitely recommend this book to all readers it is really good and I really think anyone would like it.
363 reviews10 followers
October 6, 2013
Nell and Lydia have been best friends for a long time but when their moms get into an argument Lydia's mom tells her she doesn't want them to be friends anymore. Both have difficult home lives - Nell's mom is unstable and prone to fits of anger and Lydia's dad is absent a lot and her mom is too worried about appearances. Nell comes up with a plan for them to fool their moms and allow them to spend the summer together at an abandoned golf course.

Things start out idyllically but when they discover a homeless family living at the golf course too things change. Nell makes new friends and Lydia feels left out. Can their friendship survive this hidden summer.

What I liked about the book was that it didn't magically end happily ever after. There are a lot of loose ends and that is okay. Life isn't always tied up in a bow. But there is hope....

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