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Summer Days, Starry Nights

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  268 ratings  ·  56 reviews
A famous rock star, a family secret and a boy with a great smile make for one unforgettable summer.

It's 1962, and thirteen-year-old Reenie Starr comes alive the minute guests begin to arrive at her family's summer resort. She dreams of the day she can run Sandy Shores, and she spends her time helping out at the resort, swimming, climbing trees, and singing under the stars.
Paperback, 240 pages
Published June 1st 2013 by Scholastic Canada
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Average rating 3.78  · 
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 ·  268 ratings  ·  56 reviews

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Feb 23, 2015 rated it liked it
Though this was an amazing book, at times there were moments where I lost interest.
It starts off with Maureen Starr, a young teen, who lives in her family’s inherited resort, Sandy Shores. One day in the summer of 1961, Maureen is woken by her younger sister Scarlett only find her mom missing. With a sudden disappearance, everyone is disturbed. A few days later, her mom arrives, with different approach to improve the resort, and bring in a few customers. That idea was to hold a talent show, and
Melissa (YA Book Shelf)
Apr 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: canadian-mg
What can I say? I really loved Summer Days, Starry Nights. Reenie is a believeable character, dealing with her mother's mysterious sadness, helping to care for her little sister, Scarlett, and learning how to become a teenager with the help of the older friend of the family, Gwen, who comes to stay at Sandy Shores for the summer of 1963. I loved that the book is focused mostly on friendship, family, and Reenie's aspirations for life - to be the one to inherit and run Sandy Shores when her father ...more
Feb 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
It's not secret that I adore middle grade books, especially ones that are realistic and thoughtful. But you know what I love even more? Middle grade novels that tackle the past, in this case in the late 1960s in Ontario. Vikki VanSickle has written a wonderful story about a young Canadian girl looking to learn the truth about her family, and one remarkable summer she may never forget.

First odd, I loved Reenie. Her voices was clear, infectious, and I loved how methodical she was. She wants a role
Jan 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, red-maple, jan-15
Rennie knows everything she needs to know about running her family business. She loves the resort with all her heart, but she loves her family even more. The resort is in trouble financially, so when Gwendolyn arrives, Rennie is ecstatic. The summer flies by, and Rennie learns a thing or two about being a teenager, including that sometimes, it's okay to leave well enough, alone.

I picked this book up because it's a red maple nominee, and it looked pretty good. It also looked like a typical fictio
Jul 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
As someone who reads very little middle-grade fiction, I wasn't sure what to expect from this, the fourth book by Vikki VanSickle. I was thrilled to be greeted by a story with an incredible sense of life, written in a way that does not write down to its audience. The issues and psychology explored in this coming-of-age story ran with such depth, while the narrative remained engaging and well-paced. I am thankful that there are authors such as VanSickle who are writing the smart, thoughtful, enga ...more
Christine H
Mar 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya-lit
Although it’s not explicitly described this way, SDSN is a love letter to middle children everywhere. The Starr family live in and run the beautiful cottages at Sandy Shores, a resort in the Muskoka region, north of Toronto. For protagonist Reenie, this is the only home she’s known—the only place she could ever imagine calling “home”. But even the picturesque beaches outside her front door are not enough to drive away the pains of being a teenager. She’s too young to play games with her older br ...more
Michelle (FabBookReviews)

I have mentioned Vikki VanSickle's name more than a few times on my book review site! Her debut novel, Words That Start with B struck such a chord with me, and fantastically evolved into a three-book series that I recommend when I can. Now, stepping away from the contemporary Clarissa Delaney series, VanSickle has brought us readers a coming-of-age novel set in small town Ontario during the 1960s. Taking me back to my own summer reading memories of Kit Pearson, Paula Danziger, Judy Blume, and Je
Jennifer Rayment
Jun 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The Good Stuff

Fabulous opening prologue, hooked me in right away
Honest and real, just the type of story that girls in this age group want to read
Reminds me so much of Judy Blume (huge compliment)
You can't help but fall in love with Reenie
Truly captures the essence and heart of a girl on the cusp of being a young adult
I could feel, taste and see Sandy Shores, it reminded me a little of these cottages that my friend, Cathy Payne's, family owned in Bracebridge that I used to stay at (met th
Feb 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The book Summer Days, Starry Nights is a excellent novel. It is about a girl named Reenie Starr. She has 2 siblings. A younger sister named Scarlett and a older brother named Bo. One day, Reenie is in her hiding spot when Scarlett walks over and complains that she's hungry. Reenie says to Scarlett "Go tell Mimi." Mimi is their mother. But Scarlett says that she can't find Mimi anywhere. "Did you look in the office?" Reenie asks. "She's not there,"says Scarlett. In the kitchen?" asks Reenie." She ...more
Apr 19, 2013 rated it liked it
This takes place during the summer of the 60’s, as you can see, and I found that most of the time I forgot about the 50 year difference and actually sometimes thought that it was set during the 21st century! Then obviously I got back on track, but I love the similarities.

I think Reenie is a typical thirteen year-old. She’s looking for some kind of role-model to sort of get her started through her teen years, and she likes excitement.

I really liked all of the characters, though, but I didn’t have
Ms. Yingling
Nov 29, 2013 rated it liked it
Reenie loves her family campground, Sandy Shores, but it has fallen on somewhat hard times in 1962. Her mother is depressed and occasionally leaves home without telling the family where she has gone, but after one trip, decides that what the campground really needs is a dance instructor. She brings in the daughter of a friend, Gwen, who is a bit older than Reenie and very glamorous. Gwen isn't too thrilled to be stuck in the boonies, and misses her artsy gang from the city, as well as her somewh ...more
Jan 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: red-maple
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 05, 2015 rated it liked it
Enjoyable read, but too much Dirty Dancing and (woe!) not enough psychedelic hippies for my tastes. All told, VanSickle does a good job of steering the book away from an obviously Dirty Dancing setup, despite the similarities—and I'm not knocking DD; I love it for many reasons, and not just these ones—though I wondered if that wasn't one of the reasons the story is told from Reenie's perspective rather than from Gwen's.

I'm not sure I ever really got a great sense of who the 'real' Gwen is, nor w
Dec 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
Reenie's family runs a summer resort in Ontario's cottage country. She loves it there, but as the summer begins, she feels out of place with her own teenage self. When Gwen, the daughter of her mother's best friend, arrives to teach dance to the guests, Reenie begins to discover what being a teenager is all about.

I picked this book up because it is one of this year's Red Maple nominees.

I finished it because I was drawn into the setting of this novel. Reenie's love for her home, the lake, and al
Jan 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
Summer Days, Starry Nights is a very relaxing but can also be very suspenseful book. The book was about this 12 year old girl named Rennie and her family owns a resort, they bring in a old friend who is a ballet dancer to come teach the guests at the resort. Her name is Gwen. Rennie really seems to connect with her throughout the book. I found that characters were developed very quickly. The book had a very realistic plot, the resort was in the woods by the lake I'm going to say that's pretty re ...more
Apr 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
I was surprised how much I liked the book Summer Days, Starry Nights by Vikki VanSickle! The book was never slow or boring. There was always some drama going on in the Starr family. The book was fast paced, and kind of easy to understand. It was very descriptive, dramatic, and kept me in suspense for most of the time until the end where I was VERY surprised! The ending was something I never would have expected to happen. I think that everybody could relate to the main character- Rennie Starr. Sh ...more
Jan 17, 2015 rated it liked it
Summer days, starry nights is a slow story to begin, but picks up by the middle and is definitely geared towards girls. When the famous Gwendolyn Cates comes to Sandy shores, Reenie, the main character, notices some strange things happening and decides to do something about it. This book has lots of twists and turns that will keep you wondering. I enjoyed reading this book and would recommend you read it too!
Sep 05, 2014 rated it liked it
Middle-grade novel about a 13-year-old girl and her family who own a resort at a beautiful sandy ocean shore. Had a twist I didn't see coming. It was an enjoyable read and I thought it had a lot of heart. It reminded me somehow of books I'd read in my middle-grade years and what it felt like to be 13. ...more
Sep 11, 2014 rated it liked it
This book was pretty great. Set in the 1960's, we follow Reenie Starr on a summer filled with new experiences and family revelations. Being Canadian, I particularly enjoyed the Canadian setting. This is definitely a book I would want in my classroom library, if I had one! ...more
Mar 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
Thoroughly enjoyed this ode to summer and the 60s!
Jun 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: scholastic
Review pending - simply put, a lovely nuanced story that draws you in and keeps you reading!
Susan Earle
Jul 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Vikki's writing just keeps getting better and better. Well done! ...more
Oct 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
LOVED it! Here's my review: ...more
Suzanne Sutherland
May 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
A delightful read that made me totally campsick. A fabulous summer book.
Aug 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Summer Days, Starry Nights by Vikki VanSickle and published by Scholastic Canada is the quintessential summer read.
Taking you back to the summer of 1962, VanSickle tells the story of the Starr family, owners and operators of Sandy Shores summer resort. A coming of age story focusing on 13 year old middle child Reenie. She's caught in between being a kid and being a teenager. She loves the resort but doesn't think her Dad recognizes that in her and she's not beautiful and musical like her mother
Nov 20, 2017 rated it liked it
I really want dot like this book but at some points it felt like the author was just writing to fill in space. If you like fluffy books, this is good but wasn't for me. ...more
Jan 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I love the characters, the Dirty Dancing feel, and it's just a magical coming of age story. ...more
Mar 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mar-15
It's summer and Maureen Starr spends all her time at the place that she loves and wants to own one day, her family's summer resort (a.k.a. Sandy Shores). One day, because her mom thinks that they need some entertainment at the resort. She decides to invite her best friend's daughter, Gwen, a ballerina, to spend her summer at the resort. Along the way, Gwen teaches Maureen how to be more "mature" bringing her out of her innocence side. Choices are being made everyday and she realizes that after t ...more
Apr 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: middle-grade, ya
Vikki VanSickle's YA novel Summer Days, Starry Nights was published by Scholastic Canada Ltd. on June 1st, 2013. This novel has been commended for OLA Best Bets 2014 and also has been commended for CCBC's list of Best Books for Kids and Teens 2013.

Summer Days, Starry Nights is a charming summertime read, set in cottage country Ontario. Filled with colourful characters who struggle with typical teenage conundrums such as identity issues, disapproving parents, relationships, and family drama, read
Nov 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Thirteen-year old Reenie adores everything about her family's summer resort, Sandy Shores. She loves the bonfires, the lake, fishing, climbing trees, getting to meet the people that come to stay at Sandy shores and make there visit memorable. In the summer, Reenie found out that Gwen was coming. Gwen is Reenie's friend, and she is coming to teach dance to the visitors' at Sandy Shores. Reenie was thrilled to have Gwen come to teach dance, since Gwen was like a role model to her. Gwen is perfecti ...more
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Everything I need to know in life I learned from children's literature. My work ranges from contemporary middle grade fiction to magical, storytime-ready picture books.

I am currently living in Toronto where I work in children's publishing in addition to writing. All kids' books, all the time!

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