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Penelope Farmer – The Summer Birds

August 26, 2007

88. The Summer Birds by Penelope Farmer (1962)
Aviary Hall, Book 1

Length: 102 pages

Genre: Children’s/Young Adult

Started: 26 August 2007
Finished: 26 August 2007

Summary: A strange, magical boy approaches Charlotte and Emma Makepeace on their way to school one day, and offers to teach them to fly. Soon all of the children in the village have have learned, and are given one precious summer of flight and freedom, although they must struggle to keep their outings secret.

Review: I picked this book up because Charlotte Sometimes was one of my favorite books as a kid, and I never knew it was third in a series until this year. The Summer Birds is the first book in the series, written first, and is obviously geared towards a younger audience. The plot is less complex and nuanced, and the writing and tone are less mature. Still, it’s a charming, quaint, and whimsical little book, and what child hasn’t dreamed of being able to fly? 4 out of 5 stars.

Recommendation: Charlotte Sometimes is deservedly the more famous book, but it’s a shame this one isn’t better known – it’s light, summery, and very enjoyable, particularly for youngish children.

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