The Year Without a Summer
by Arlene Mark
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Pub Date 16 Aug 2022 | Archive Date 01 Aug 2022
Clara Montalvo, who recently arrived at Jamie’s school after surviving Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, has a different take all this. She is astounded—and disturbed—by Jamie’s frenzied enthusiasm for what she considers an obvious disaster. The teens’ battling arguments cause science class disruption and create academic trouble: Jamie’s headed for a failing grade in science, and may not even graduate from eighth grade; Clara’s scholarship hopes are dashed. And school isn’t the only place where Jamie and Clara are facing hardship: as they quarrel whether natural disasters can be beneficial, their home lives are also unraveling. Uncertainty about Jamie’s wounded brother returning from Afghanistan and Clara’s unreachable father back in Puerto Rico forces the two vulnerable teens to share their worries and sadness. As their focus shifts from natural disasters to personal calamities to man-made climate changes, the teens take surprising steps that astonish them. Ultimately, through hard work and growing empathy for each other, as well as for their classmates’ distress over the climate change affecting their lives, Jamie and Clara empower themselves and the people they touch.
“A wonderful and captivating read about courage, commitment, and the power to make a difference at any age. Don't go another day without reading The Year Without a Summer.”
—Howard Roughan, New York Times best-selling author
“A touching story that intertwines the complex dynamics of both our relationships and the climate system . . . reminding us of the power of curiosity and scientific discovery in forging a better life. The rich storyline reminds me of my own love of skiing at a young (and older!) age.”
—John Fasullo, PhD Project Scientist, National Center for Atmospheric Research
“What will happen if empathy vanishes and we only consider our own limited points of view? This timely book is an engaging contribution to young people's understanding of global warming, raising important, interesting, and powerful questions for young readers. The Year Without a Summer demonstrates vividly that people are more than what they seem, and that everyone has a heartache.”
—Selene Castrovilla, author of Seeking Freedom: The Untold Story of Fortress Monroe and the Ending of Slavery in America
“Two main characters from different cultures discover their ordinary but differing views about lots of things. I love how they find ways to disagree, even agree sometimes, and summon courage to face all that comes their eighth grade way, including natural, man-made, and family disasters. I couldn’t put the novel down.”
—Miguel Garcia-Colon, Greenwich Library, Byram Shubert Branch Manager
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