Three Bird Summer by Sara St. Antoine
A lovely chapter book about a 12-year old boy’s summer at his grandmother’s lake house, making a new friend and dealing with his grandmother’s worsening dementia. Adam is spending his summer at his grandmother’s house on a lake in Minnesota as always. But this year is different because his father and cousins are not there as a result of his parents’ recent divorce. There is also a new neighbor, a girl named Alice who befriends Adam. The book is slow paced, with the beauty of the Minnesota setting providing a peaceful feeling to the narrative. The days are leisurely and filled with swimming, canoeing, and watching the lake’s wildlife. Thrown into this is a mystery that Adam and Alice set out to solve: Adam’s grandmother, whose memory is getting worse and has moments of confusion, begins leaving notes in Adam’s room that seem to be written to a love from long ago, only referred to as “G.” But Adam’s grandfather’s name didn’t start with G. Who is this mystery man from Grandma’s past? When Adam discovers a treasure map created decades ago for his grandmother from the mystery man, he and Alice search for the treasure and eventually solve the mystery. This adds a bit of excitement and suspense to the story, which unfolds beautifully. A well-written book with realistic characters of family and friendship and dealing with changes that come from both growing up and growing old.