The Summer of Saint Nick, written by Josh Burk, is a novella with 155 pages. It is part of a collection of books from the VocabCafe. The author takes the reader on a journey that leads to putting others' physical needs before your own. Burk's style is easy for the reader and geared to teenagers in the high school years. This book has 300 words that, for the most part, will be new to the reader. On each page is at least one highlighted word with the definition on the bottom. At the end of each chapter is a review of the words learned in that chapter. Also included is an index of all the new vocabulary words and their definitions. What an incredible way to increase the writing and speaking skills of your student!
The main character, Nick Franklin, has just completed his freshman year in high school. That it has not been a good year is an understatement. He has been the brunt of cruel jokes from the "cool" kids, but none could be worse than Ryan Finley. Ryan takes great delight in bullying Nick. (Ryan has his own set of problems that contribute to this behavior. Life is not that easy for him.) Worst of all, Nick can't forget that he hasn't made a single friend all year.
Fortunately, summer has arrived. Nick is looking forward to being away from all the ridicule and spending more time with his mentor, town attorney James Bering. Years earlier, Nick had discovered an abandoned farmhouse that he now refers to as his "penthouse." It is there that he finds solitude. As he is perusing his law books, Nick comes upon something called "Adverse Possession" that seems to entitle him to the farmhouse and all its contents. Mr. Bering helps him sort through the legalities, and the "penthouse" is officially his! He begins renovating his new place and makes an astonishing discovery. What will he do with it? Will he use it for the benefit of others, or will he hoard it?