"Just one more chapter?" Music to my ears! And that's just what I heard from all three of my children, ages 4, 8 and 10, as I read aloud Oonawassee
Summer by Melissa Forney. Written for children in grades 3-5, this 120-page novel has colorful images throughout. A detailed, illustrated glossary and a recipe for Gram's Teacakes can be found at the end of the book. My kids thought it was fun to drink sweet tea and eat teacakes while listening to me read!
Addie and Tanner, 12-year-old cousins, are spending the summer with Gram and Great Uncle Henry who live in Florida. They pass the time by helping Uncle Henry run his bait shop and by exploring the Oonawassee River. They also attend their first crab boil, enjoy Gram's home cooking, and hear exciting tales of a menacing river beast the townsfolk call Goliath.
Addie and Tanner's fun-filled Florida adventure suddenly turns grave when they face the greatest challenge of their lives on an overnight camping trip. During an unexpected and terrible storm, Addie must risk her life and brave the river alone in order to save her uncle.
My children thoroughly enjoyed following Addie and Tanner on their adventure and learning all about Florida, a place very different from where we live. They couldn't wait to get to the end to see if Goliath, the infamous gator, still lurked beneath the surface of the Oonawassee River.
I would recommend Melissa Forney's, Oonawassee Summer, winner of the Benjamin Franklin award, to all who love exciting yet realistic adventure.