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Summer of '69

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  220 ratings  ·  67 reviews
Celebrating the 50th anniversary of Woodstock and the remarkable summer that led up to it. Featuring Sir Lucas of the Round Table(t). Astonishingly autobiographical. Remarkably personal. Profoundly irresponsible.

Drawing from his teenage years, Todd Strasser's novel revisits a tumultuous era and takes readers on a psychedelically tinged trip of a lifetime.

With his girlfrien
Published 2019
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4.01  · 
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 ·  220 ratings  ·  67 reviews

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Ms. Yingling
Feb 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
ARC provided by Young Adult Books Central

Lucas' summer is ruined when his girlfriend Robin decides to be a camp counselor some distance from their Long Island home. He's doing some work for one of his father's businesses, but otherwise just hanging out with his friends Milton and Arno and his cousin Barry. His home life is not happy. He has a developmentally delayed younger brother, Alan, for whom he has to care; his mother gave up her career as a reporter years ago and seems perpetually depress
Jul 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a wild ride of a Summer of ‘69, for sure! This was a fast paced, part autobiographical account of this crazy summer. Lucas is 18, and has just found out he didn’t get accepted to the college of his choice and is now faced with possibly getting drafted to Vietnam. This story contains violence, sex and lots of drug use, but feels like an accurate description of the time. Lucas also experiences Woodstock in the story which was awesome. I’d highly recommend this historical fiction, just not ...more
Marshall Green
Nov 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wow, just finished the ARC (Thanks, Candlewick!) last night around 1 am. This is a page-turner for sure. Not sure it's really YA material, but what a ride. I guess I should say, what a trip since that's what the main character Lucas spends a lot of time doing. The author says it's mostly autobiographical and it does indeed feel that way. I have to admit that one thing that kept me going was not being able to guess where the story was headed. But I guess that's the point. That summer the author d ...more
Sam Bough
Nov 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
first there was Cheech an d Chong, then Dazed and Confused, Dude, where's my car, the big Lebowski, Seth Rogan ... and now, introducing Sir Lucas Baker of the Round Table(t) lol!
Apr 14, 2019 rated it it was ok
Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with an ARC of Summer of '69 by Todd Strasser. I've read and reviewed this copy. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

The Summer of '69 is a story about Lucas who has just graduaded high school, said good-bye to his girlfriend who's leaving for camp and has been rejected by a college which results in a very high chance that he'll be drafted for the Vietnam war. The story details how Lucas tries to find a way to not get drafted for the war, while dealing w
Moony MeowPoff
Jul 28, 2019 rated it did not like it
* Got this ARC in exhange for a honest review by Netgalley*
DNF 16%
It sounded interesting when i read about what the book was about. But as i started it, at first Lucas, he main character seemed like a lovesick complaining puppy, then as i went further in he ended up as a pot-smoking wierdo? Needy and apperaently can't be a man himself? Because he let Tinsley do those things, and think those sexual things. But it dosen't matter? because his girlfriend are miles away in Canada...? He was mixed bet
Mar 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Disclaimer: I received this book for free from LibraryThing Early Reviewers and Candlewick Press in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

I did not think I was going to like this book? Right off the bat, I’m not saying it’s the best book ever, but I requested this ARC on a whim because I like the publishing house and I haven’t really read much about the ’60s. A lot of the reviews leading up were talking about the focus on drugs and
Mar 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: philosophical, memoir
I received this ARC from Candlewick Press with the agreement that I would write a candid and unbiased review. This is, indeed, a very candid overview!
Todd Strasser’s story of a summer during the hippie era turned out to be a surprise for me. Some background to my expectations seems necessary, to provide the context for my review of Summer of ‘69: in 1969 I lived in the hippie capital of Canada (Victoria, BC). My experience of embracing the counterculture society of the day was rather different (
*I got this book free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*
Anyone who knows me knows that I adore history, and that the 1950s and 1960s are my favorite era to study. While I wholeheartedly understand that the era was certainly not the best for minorities — women, PoC, and LGBT+ folks alike — I love the pop culture, which *definitely* influences my interest. So, needless to say, I was SUPER excited when I stumbled across this book on NetGalley, and even more so when I got approved to r
Apr 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book is different than any YA book I've read. This is a semi-autobiographical account of the author's youth which is likely why the book genuinely feels so lates 60s- early 70's. Everything from the slang, to the descriptions of clothing, hair, cars, and home furnishing leads to completely immersive experience as the reader. Since this is marked as a YA novel, I think that this will be a great reading experience for teenagers of today. You can see how EVERYTHING as changed in good and bad w ...more
Mrs. Kenyon
Mar 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Lucas’ plans for the summer are simple: hang out with friends, smoke some weed and take some pills along the way. His plans go off track when he finds out that he did not get into college. He is now at risk of being drafted and sent to the Vietnam Conflict. Also, his girlfriend is spending time in Canada and his friend Tinsley wants to practice her free love by temping Lucas to cheat on Robin. If his life wasn’t crazy enough it looks like his parents might be getting a divorce and his friend in ...more
Mar 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
*I received an advanced copy of this book via NetGalley from Candlewick Press publisher*
This book was wrote to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Woodstock festival which the author attended. The author has done such a brilliant job of capturing a place and time in history I felt as though I was there myself. The book centre’s around the life of a young hippie named Lucas who has just come of age and is facing the difficult question what he should do with the rest of his life. He is living in
Apr 13, 2019 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
I've never had a doubt that I was born during the wrong time period. I missed Woodstock by about 20 years, and that's so sad. I knew Summer of 69 would be a perfect read for me. Ah, the music. Ask my 10 year old who Hendrix, Joplin and CCR are, and he can tell I loved the entire experience of this story. It's so atmospherically engrossing that I felt like I was there. The drugs are present but relevant, so I wasn't bothered by that. The Vietnam War and the draft had to have been terri ...more
Kim McGee
Apr 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
1969 was a time of unrest and for Lucas is was also an awakening. He believes he and his girlfriend Robin will go to college out East, stay high on drugs and each other, and the glorious days of sex, drugs and rock and roll will never end. Except it does end. In the complete upheaval of his summer Robin will leave him, he won't get accepted into college and his draft number will come up. Off to last-minute adventures in a beat up VW bus and motorcycle to Canada and Woodstock where hopefully Luca ...more
Mar 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I have read a number of works by this author and they are almost always good-quality, yeoman-like efforts that appeal especially to the boys and reluctant readers in my library. But I found Summer of ’69 to be something else entirely, a book that is leagues beyond his previous efforts. This is a deeply touching, honest, sometimes sad, often very funny account of his life during the year 1969. It will certainly appeal to his usual readers, but to many others as well. The historical angle is eye-o ...more
Bishop T
Mar 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I was lucky enough o receive a free advance copy of Summer of 69. I am writing this review not ten minutes after finishing the book. I had a hard time putting it down. I especially liked the way he wrote about the drug use in the book. not only was it accurate in the experience, but he rode the fine line of neither outright glorifying nor condemning it, but rather portraying it as it really is used and how it was for Lucas - an escape.

As someone who did not live through that era, but loves a l
Apr 23, 2019 marked it as did-not-finish
Shelves: arc
thank you published for this e-arc!
However, i DNF'd the book because i just could get into it. The plot, characters, decade wasn't for me. I believe if i was in a different point in my life, i might have enjoyed the book, but in this case, i will not finish it.
Sandra Porter
Jul 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
YA, or for anyone that was a youth in the summer of '69, sex, drugs(lots of drugs) and rock n' roll
I don't know if this is a book for everyone, but I certainly hit a cord for me, because I lived through this time period. I couldn't relate to parts of it, as I was never into the drug scene, however the thoughts that ran through Lucas head were certainly thoughts that I had at that time: why are we in the Vietnam war, why are all those young people dying for nothing, why is my family so screwed up
Coley Nielsen
Jun 16, 2019 rated it it was ok
I am a big lover of history, and think the revolutionary time that was the 60s-70s is an incredible point in America's political history. With that being said, I really struggled to get through this book, and had to force myself to finish it. It felt as though the author so badly wanted to write a book about the sixties that every word, action, and moment had to be suffocated with 60s stereotypes to the point that the story itself was lost. Even as I was roughly 85% of the way through, it really ...more
Stephanie Bange
Jul 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This semi-autobiographical, fictionalized story is an intimate peek into what life was like for author Todd Strasser during the Summer of 1969. It is unlike anything previously written for young adults that I have read on this topic.

The 100 days of the Summer of 1969 brought incredible changes to life as Americans knew it. The amazing music, albums, musicians, festivals and concerts – Led Zeppelin, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, The Beatles with Get Back and The Who with Tommy. Culturally shocking
E-ARC kindly provided by the publisher.

"Here we come, three degenerate hippie freaks in a psychedelically painted microbus. If I were a border guard, I wouldn't be wondering if we were carrying drugs. I'd be wondering what kind of drugs and how much."

Let me preface this review by saying that now knowing how heavily this book draws from the author's personal life, I feel slightly terrible for thinking the things I do. Heh. Anyway, I literally mean no
Chelcie Johnson
Author: Todd Strasser | Published: April 9, 2019 by Candlewick Press | Series: Standalone | Length: 384 pages | Genre: YA Historical Fiction | Source: I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

With his girlfriend, Robin, away in Canada, eighteen-year-old Lucas Baker’s only plans for the summer are to mellow out with his friends, smoke weed, drop a tab or two, and head out in his microbus for a three-day happening called the Woodstock Music and Art Fair. But life veers
I've enjoyed this author's previous books, starting with The Wave and Give a Boy a Gun. He always seems to have his finger on the pulse of current events and hot-button topics. You know the ones--those certain to spark controversy because there are so many perspectives to them and some folks don't feel comfortable having their values and beliefs challenged. But for readers who like to think, his books offer some easy access points. His most recent novel, focused on the Summer of 1969, is his mos ...more
Apr 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I received an ARC of Summer of ’69 from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. It will be released tomorrow (April 9th).

I have always been interested in the 60s and I am especially a fan of the music from that era. One of the reasons I requested this book was because one of my favorite songs is Summer of 69 by Bryan Adams, haha. That song was of course written in the 80s, but it was about a life in the 60s. That time period just seemed so fun from things I’ve read, listene
Mar 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
I got my Advance Reading Copy from a giveaway on LibraryThing.

It took me a little while to get into this book. Thinking of it as "memoir" at first I really disliked the main character. Spoiled rich white boy from New York City trying to dodge the draft, getting stoned, and not getting the grades to get into college. Not much interest there. I stepped back though and read the back of the book and revised my thinking. It's not "memoir". It's "historical fiction". With the mindset of "historical fi
Mandi Schneck
Jun 24, 2019 rated it did not like it
I'm normally not a big fan of historical fiction, but being that this was a Woodstock-era, hippie book, I wanted to give it a try. Unfortunately it fell flat for me. Summer of '69 by Todd Strasser is a YA historical fiction that follows Lucas, a recent high school graduate who is trying to dodge the draft for Vietnam after getting rejected from college. Not only is he draft-dodging, but his girlfriend has moved away for the summer and hasn't really written. Lucas has to struggle with his love li ...more
Isaiah Mills
Jun 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
The Summer of '69, by Todd Strasser, is a young adult historical fiction novel set in the late 1960s United States. Lucas, the main protagonist, graduates high school, ready to have an awesome summer with his friends and girlfriend, Robin. However, he doesn't get accepted into college, so he's in threat of being drafted to Vietnam to fight in a war he doesn't agree with. Furthermore, Robin travels to Canada, leaving him with Tinsley, an attractive free-spirit, who threatens Lucas's loyalty to h ...more
Joan Bash
Having finished my freshman year in 1969, Lucas and his friends would have been upperclassmen for me. As a “nerd,” I would have been more likely to be one of Robin’s friends than a friend to Lucas. The language and attitudes of 1969 are all here and I gained a new perspective on Woodstock, but that’s pretty much where my feelings of nostalgia end with this book. I wasn’t part of the drug scene, and this book is full of that.

I’d like to address something else that I haven’t seen anyone else comm
Jo Fetsco
Sep 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Lucas is a very recent high school graduate in 1969, with no real plans for his future after the only college he applied to sent him a rejection letter. The Vietnam War draft is looming large in his future, he has no real future plans other than to be a ski bum near his girlfriend’s college, and he has just sent his girlfriend off for her summer job with their relationship not real secure. In order to cope, he works a part-time job at his father’s factory, hangs out with his friends, writes dail ...more
Jun 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you thought everything that needed to be said about the Summer of Love had already been said, Todd Strasser manages to pop you over the head with his semi autobiographical novel about his own summer of '69. This novel is really great because Strasser is able to really paint a picture of the desperation and uncertainty all American males were facing at the time about being drafted into a bullshit war where people were getting killed every day for no reason and dealing with a type of horrible w ...more
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Todd Strasser is an American author of more than 130 young-adult and middle grade novels and novelizations, some written under the pen names Morton Rue and T.S.Rue

Todd was born in New York City. When he was young his parents moved to Roslyn Heights, New York (Long Island). Todd went to the I.U. Willets Elementary school and then attended the Wheatley School for junior high and high school. His bes
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