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Gemini Summer

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  221 ratings  ·  41 reviews
In the quiet of Hog's Hollow, each member of the River family pursues a dream. Old Man River sets out to build a fallout shelter in case the war in Vietnam "brings the end of everything;" his wife Flo, who collects Gone with the Wind dolls, attempts to pen her own Southern saga; Beau, their older son, suffers from "space fever" and aspires to be an astronaut. As for Danny, ...more
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published October 10th 2006 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers
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3.82  · 
Rating details
 ·  221 ratings  ·  41 reviews

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Mauoijenn ~ *Mouthy Jenn* ~
This was picked up at the library on a whim. You see, I'm a Gemini. So I thought why not. It was actually a good read. A little magic, crazy family, a boy and his dog. Definitely a summer read kind of YA book.
Steve Vernon
Sep 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Every now and then you read one of those books that are sort of unclassifiable.

Is this a paranormal novel?

Well, maybe.

There are elements of reincarnation and magic realism.

Is this a coming-of-age novel? A Bildungsroman, if you want to be fancy about it.

Yes, definitely there is an awful lot of that particular category in this haunting little yarn. The protagonist, DANNY, definitely goes a long way towards growing up and learning about himself.

Let me put it this way.

This book is a long slow drink
Feb 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I rate the book five stars because it was a heart warming story that was truly about never giving up. I think that is was a great topic full of great imagination. I was originally reading this book for school purposes but when I started reading it became a pleasure read. I think that Ian Lawrence was very creative especially with the whole concept of the brother coming back in the for of a dog. I found it extremely touching when it was realized that Beau had come back to his brother because he h ...more
May 08, 2010 rated it liked it
Gemini Summer is a story of a young boy in 1965 whose dreams of exploring space are destroyed by a family tragedy. In light of the tragedy, Danny befriends his new dog, and after the police attempt to capture the dog because it bit the neighborhood bully, together they venture out alone towards Cape Canaveral where the Gemini missions take off.

This is a touching story that shows how strong the bonds of friendship are between two individuals, even if they aren't both humans. I encourage all chil
Feb 02, 2018 rated it liked it
I have mixed feelings on this one. On the one hand, it deals with a child’s grieving process in such an authentic way, and especially unique given the midcentury setting. I’m thinking it’s a decent study of family sociology and cultural treatment of death in America as far as YA goes. However, there is a general sadness that pervades the whole story, even before tragedy strikes. I’m not sure I picked up on the happy nostalgia that others seem to have keyed into (having read a few reviews). Sure, ...more
Niki Rowland
Sep 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
Not to be dramatic, but this was the book that changed my entire life. Gemini Summer was the book that made me become the avid reader that I am today. I read this book in grade 5, I was so young and I thought that the cover was intriguing so I picked it up. No, this book is not masterfully written, however there was something about it that made me want to keep finding books that warmed my heart. Gemini Summer made me feel something deep down that only yourself and a book share. This was the firs ...more
Mary Kate
Danny and the Rivers family are compassionate and "real" characters that are very much a product of the times. The story takes place in the mid-1960s, when post war trama is just as apparent as pre-war fear. There is one thing that seems to give people hope and a sense of pride, and that is the space race. Danny and Beau look to the skies for their heroes. Beau is especially focused on becoming an astronaut, and everyone seems to believe in him. However, tragedy hits and now the Rivers must lear ...more
Emily B
Oct 12, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: action-adventure
I gave Gemini Summer a five stars, because I thought this book showed the true meaning of family and how they are so very important to everyone! I loved how this book is full of adventure and includes a dog! The dog, Rocket, has so much character it’s unreal! I love books that include dogs and any book that has adventure! This book really makes you predict and usually what you predict is wrong! This book was so suspenseful and you didn’t know what was coming for any of the characters! Gemini Sum ...more
Skye Whitney
Feb 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The book , Gemini Summer, by Ian Lawrence, many apparitional events took place. In the small town of Hog's Hollow, lived the river family. Each of which have a dream. The father, Old Man River has a vision of building a fallout shelter in the event of the Vietnam war "ending the world" for good. As well as his wife Flo, who collects, Gone with the Wind Dolls would like to have her own Southern Saga. Then there is their two sons Danny and Beau. Beau the oldest son dreams of following in Gus Gris ...more
Oct 21, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya
A moving story set in the mid 60s about how a young boy copes when his older brother is tragically killed. My favourite scene? Danny has always, always wanted his own dog but when a stray puppy arrives at his doorstep soon after his brother's death, he is torn between an allegiance to sorrow and his natural inclination toward compassion and love. His attempts to reject the dog's overtures are poignant and heart-breaking. My favourite piece of dialogue? The astronaut sharing his powerful perspect ...more
I did not think I would like this book that much but I really ended up enjoying it. It was very touching and made me tear up many times. I have not read many books with this historical background but it was really the family relationship and tragedy they went through that got me liking this book. I can not say that everything in this book felt real but the emotions and feelings did. I think this would be a great book for high schoolers to use in both literature and social studies. A lot is incor ...more
Maryjane Gordon
Oct 24, 2016 rated it did not like it
They go to lots of places and in the middle of the book its summer Danny meets a dog and he wants it but his mom would not let him have it so her pretend that he don't want it.His mom sees it then she looks at him and said that the dog been walking forever and that they should take it to the vet and the vet said its been walking probaly its whole life. Also that his mom wants to keep it even though she don't want a dog.I don't like this book because its boring and weird.I would recommend this bo ...more
Ibrahim K
Gemini Summer is one of the best books I've ever read. The story so touching and the characters get so attached to you. It's about two brothers having dreams, ones going to space and the others having a dog. In light of the tragedy, Danny befriends his new dog, and after the police attempt to capture the dog because it bit the neighborhood bully, together they venture out alone towards Cape Canaveral where the Gemini missions take off. Danny comes to think that his dog rocket is truly is long la ...more
May 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: tween
1965-the River family deals w/their dad "Old Man River" digging a fallout shelter since he feels something in Vietnam will spill over into the US.Young Danny wants a dog more than anything, his brother Beau loves the space program, rockets etc. When Beau is killed falling on the re-bar of the shelter, the River family is never the same. Can the little stray dog who comes into the yard help bring the family out of their tragedy, to be a family again? Great
Jan 19, 2010 rated it did not like it
The River Family live on one end of Hog's Hollow, and the Colvigs who are bullies live on the other end. The setting is the 1960's with a backdrop of the Gemini space program. Beau is killed when he falls into the nuclear shelter that his father, the septic man, is building. He is then "reincarnated" into a stray dog. Danny River runs away with his dog to see Gus Grissom. Gus Grissom returns Danny and the dog. It is "discovered" that Beau's death is an accident and the Colvig's move away.
This is the only book that has really ever made me openly sob. Sure other books have made me sad, maybe a bit of watery eyes here or there.

But I sat there, and read the book with tears streaming down my face. Pouring actually. It's such a beautiful, touching story, of family, and dreams, and even has an interesting historical record. If you want to break the dams, and cry your soul out. This is the book.
May 14, 2010 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Neill Smith
Jul 31, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Danny's brother, Beau, dreams of meeting Gus Grissom and becoming an astronaut. When he dies in a tragic accident, a stray dog comes into Danny's life and Danny comes to believe that Beau is somehow inside the dog. Danny tries to help Beau, in the dog, realize his dream.
Oct 05, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: october-2011
I liked this book allot it made me cry 6 times. It made me think about how I treat my brothers it really makes you think again before you call your brother a name or anything like that. I recommend it to anybody any age.
Mar 05, 2013 added it
Shelves: ownz
Good book
with a sad storyline but you cant help feeling hopeful at the end
The book was like a climb uop the mountain and at the end ,it was beautiful
Book revolves around family relationship and how death affects us especially when its a sibling
Aug 04, 2013 rated it liked it
First book that made me cry-deserves a medal of a sort...
Aug 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This book actually made me cry ! The ending was so sad. I read it a couple years ago but I'll probably get to reading it again.
Dec 17, 2009 rated it really liked it
I almost abandoned this book at the beginning, it was a bit hard to get into.... but then... I was so glad that I read it. It's a book that left me sobbing... Great story.
Jan 26, 2013 rated it liked it
This was an unusual book.
Mar 27, 2010 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
Mar 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I love anything by Iain Lawrence. This is no exception.
Stephanie A.
Jul 21, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: boy-protagonists
It was all right for a period piece. Bit weird.
Miguel Flavorite
Feb 20, 2008 rated it it was ok
Not a very good book. Dull and uninteresting. the charachter developement is horrible.
Mar 26, 2009 rated it really liked it
This story made me weep. A heart-wrenching description of a family dealing with the death of a child.
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