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Summer of '69

4.48  ·  Rating details ·  56 ratings  ·  30 reviews

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 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 cal

Kindle Edition, 384 pages
Published April 9th 2019 by Candlewick Press
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4.48  · 
Rating details
 ·  56 ratings  ·  30 reviews

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Ms. Yingling
Feb 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Marshall Green
Nov 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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!
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
Mar 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir, philosophical
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 (
Mrs. Kenyon
Mar 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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  ·  review of another edition
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
Cara Davis
Mar 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The 60s: the decade of space travel, mindless wars, and the best music to ever pass through mankind’s ears (*cough* Creedence Clearwater Revival *cough*). The good, the bad, and the ugly. Through it all, one thing always remained with those who chose to live it: free love.

So, naturally, when I saw Todd Strasser’s novel, “Summer of ‘69” advertised on the Amazon shopping page I immediately added it to my cart, my GoodReads “Want to Read” list, and Net Galley request form. The anticipation for this
Danielle Hammelef
Apr 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first book I've read that focused on life in the United States at the time of the Vietnam War and Woodstock. I felt the author pulled me into the historical setting with all the details. This book showed the emotional turmoil of young boys as well as their parents and friends that the draft and life style of "free love" and drugs had on society. I learned more about the horrible conditions soldiers faced in the jungle through letters written home from the front lines in this book and ...more
Apr 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The author did a very good job in capturing the feeling and mood of the era. I would know, I was about 20 or 21 back then. Yeah, I'm old. I was serving an apprenticeship, as a painter, schools, churches, offices and such. The job was deemed as "vial to the country's best interests". I was able to obtain a deferment for the apprenticeship, which kept me out of Vietnam. The laws and rules weren't very fair, but I just followed them. The majority of draft age guys back then were desperately looking ...more
Nancy Kim
Mar 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I found this book to be very engrossing and informative. My friend's grandfather was at Woodstock, but I didn't get what the big deal was. After reading this book I have a better understanding about that time an the war in Vietnam and things like that. The story was very eye opening. Especially aboutthe drugs and the way some people hated hippies and people with long hair back then. I also really got into Lucas's life. He's the main character and you can relate to the way he feels even when he g ...more
The Backlist Book
Apr 05, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dnf, owned
This book is really not my speed at all. I just can't get past the writing style, it feels very elegiac. I am also really, really, not into drugs at all. I hate reading about drug use. To be clear I believe we need more proper and positive rep of recovery and I can read those stories. I just don't hold with reading about drugs being the norm or even "healthy".

To be fair I have only read about 30 pages of this book. It may be just what someone else needs/wants to read.
Mar 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is exhausting with stress for the unknown, both for the character and as a reader. Enduring that as a draftable teenager was too much, both for children and parents.
As a reader, the switch between first and third person was too disconcerting, and I know the alternating voice was a tool. But it was distracting and interrupted the story flow. I needed no more stress than necessary while reading this incredibly difficult story.
Apr 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! awesome !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Yasmin Hashemi
Mar 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Really interesting.
Roger Bailey
Mar 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A thoughtful tale of youth. Despite the main character's flaws we want things to work out for him in the end. A mix of summer love, drugs, and rock and roll but not sugar coated by the free love era. There are consequences and our characters face them in varying degrees.
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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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