One Alley Summer

A Novel of Friendship and Growing Up

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Pub Date May 06 2024 | Archive Date May 01 2024

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Description

The summer before middle school is a time of anxiety and change. A pitch-perfect novel in verse about one girl's wish to simultaneously break free and to belong. In the summer before her first year of middle school, word-chanting, rope-skipping Phee skips her way to imagined fame, writes down her innermost secret thoughts from the safety of a treehouse, and imagines in horror that her new classmates will eat her alive. Suddenly, her well-worn alley world feels too small. So when Mercy Jones moves next door, along with Mercy's skateboard and her don't-mess-with-me attitude, Phee sees the chance for her universe to expand. Even if it means leaving some things behind . . . It is a time of dares, of a legendary dog named Bull, of stretching comfort zones, and of old friendships made over in new ways. And it all takes place over the course of one alley summer. Using pitch-perfect, richly rendered verse, Anne Ylvisaker captures the tone and insights of one girl's wish to simultaneously break free and to belong. - Easily accessible verse with pitch-perfect tone for middle grade readers - Phee is a deeply relatable character and narrator - The summer between elementary and middle school is a universally fraught time, and this story perfectly captures the anxiety we all know so well - In the end, a positive, feel-good story about friendship and growing up - Older readers will recall with joy and angst the summers of their own youth

The summer before middle school is a time of anxiety and change. A pitch-perfect novel in verse about one girl's wish to simultaneously break free and to belong. In the summer before her first year...


Available Editions

EDITION Hardcover
ISBN 9781958325124
PRICE $17.99 (USD)
PAGES 264

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Average rating from 7 members


Featured Reviews

Thank you to NetGalley, Marble Press, and Anne Ylvisaker for the opportunity to read One Alley summer in exchange for an honest review.

One Alley Summer is a hi-lo novel written in verse. Ylvisaker is extremely clever when it comes to craft and structure. With thoughts of jump rope and middle school on Phee's mind, on top of all the action her alley has to offer, the poetic display is brilliant.

Phee and Hen love nothing more than to jump rope in the alley. They seem to resent the older friends they lost in that transition of grades, and now its Phee and Hen's turn to start middle school. But they are going to different schools, which frightens Phee even more.

Well, that doesn't matter right now. What matters is enjoying the rest of summer in their alley and having fun before the new school year starts. Phee, her brothers, and the other neighbor kids like to play with the neighboring old man's dog. Not play, but rather make dares for others to stick their hands in the fence hole and risk a bite.

They also like to bike, help safe mice from the neighborhood cat, and Phee particularly likes to write poetry, but some of her poems may be resentful toward others. When their neighbor, Kid's sister, Mercy, arrives for longer than just the summer, Phee is determined to be friends (and ride her skateboard). Friendship can be challenging for those entering middle school though, and Phee will learn what friendship means before it's time to start school.

A brilliantly written novel for a middle grade audience, One Alley Summer offers a sense of community, friendship, and sheds light on the value of summer and the fears of entering middle school. Overall, a really great novel that anyone would enjoy.

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Phoebe and her friends are out of school for the summer and love playing in the alley. When Mercy comes for the summer with her skateboard, Phoebe wants to ride it but never gets the chance. Mercy sits in Phoebe’s treehouse and sees her diary. When they find out Mercy will be staying here and going to their school, the girls show her where the school is. One day they see their grouchy neighbor fall and call the ambulance. Someone has to feed his dog and Phoebe does it and the dog licks her hand and she’s thrilled. A fun read showing friendships and belonging.

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In Anne Ylvisaker's poetic masterpiece, "One Alley Summer," we find ourselves immersed in the transformative world of Phee, a young girl on the cusp of adolescence. Set against the backdrop of the summer before middle school, this story resonates with universal themes of anxiety, change, and the yearning for both independence and connection. Phee's voice shines through the pages, enchanting readers with its honesty, wit, and vulnerability. Through her eyes, we witness the alleyways and treehouses of her childhood transforming into symbols of both comfort and confinement. The arrival of Mercy Jones, a new neighbor with a skateboard and a don't-mess-with-me attitude, challenges Phee's perception of her world and offers a glimpse of new possibilities. Ylvisaker's skillful use of free verse effortlessly captures the cadence and rhythm of Phee's thoughts, creating a narrative that flows like a song. The language is rich and evocative, painting vivid images of the alleyways, the treehouse, and the characters who inhabit them. This is a coming-of-age story that delves into the complexities of friendship, identity, and the bittersweet transition from childhood to adolescence. It is a story that will resonate with readers of all ages, reminding us of the summers of our own youth, filled with both joy and angst. One Alley Summer is a must-read for anyone who cherishes the power of storytelling, the magic of verse, and the beauty of human connection. It is a timeless tale that will stay with readers long after the last page is turned.

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Wow, just wow. I’ve always been a. Fan of novels in verse and this was a refreshing addition to the genre in so many ways.

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What a fantastic novel in verse. The format, the repetition, the use of words -- I felt warmer, sitting here in the cold, imagining that I was in a summer of my past.
Thanks to NetGalley for letting me read this

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This is a heartwarming novel in verse that reflects the journey of a tween navigating the complexities of the summer before middle school. The author’s pitch-perfect storytelling weaves a narrative that is both relatable and filled with the magic of childhood aspirations.
The protagonist, Phee, is a relatable character whose adventures unfold through the use of well-written verse. As she grapples with the anticipation of middle school, Phee's experiences are brought to life, resonating with the universal themes of self-discovery, friendship, and the desire to belong.
The author captures the essence of the summer between elementary and middle school, a time that many readers will find familiar. Ylvisaker taps into the anxiety and excitement of this transitional period, allowing readers to connect with Phee on a profound level.
This novel in verse is a celebration of the timeless themes of friendship and growing up. The introduction of Mercy Jones, with her skateboard and fearless attitude, brings a dynamic element to Phee's world, illustrating the transformative power of new connections and the willingness to step outside one's comfort zone.
Throughout the story, Ylvisaker captures the nostalgia of summers past, bringing forth both joy and angst in older readers who will undoubtedly recall their own youthful experiences. The novel's positive and feel-good nature is a testament to the enduring resilience of the human spirit and the bonds that form during those precious summer days. Thank you @Netgalley for the eARC.

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One Alley Summer is about Phee and Mercy. Phee is quiet, shy, and only writes her innermost thoughts from her treehouse. She is entering middle school and is very nervous about what life will be like. Mercy is carefree, confident, and everything Phee isn't. Phee sees the chance for her universe to expand. Even if it means leaving some things behind . . . It is a time of dares, of a legendary dog named Bull, of stretching comfort zones, and of old friendships made over in new ways. And it all takes place over the course of one alley summer.

This was a feel-good, coming-of-age versed story about friendships and growing up.

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