Title: The Perfect Summer
Author: Morgan Billingsley, Jackie Lee, Gabrielle Simone
Published: May 21st 2015
Publisher: Brown Girls Publishing
Genre: Young Adult, Christian
Length: 132 pages
I received a copy of this book at the request of the author in return for an honest review.
This book is not found on Goodreads, blurb taken from Amazon:
The talented trio that brought you The Perfect Present is back…with summer stories that will brighten your day, warm your heart, and prove that life is one of the greatest teachers there is. In Too Big for Teacups, Gabrielle Simone introduces us to the Fernandez family, who is on their way to Disney for a vacation. Marlena, the oldest, would rather stay home and practice with her dance team. But her parents make her go, and Marlena trudges through a miserable week of what was supposed to be a family bonding experience. In the midst of her complaining, her best friend, Jennifer, helps her learn a valuable life lesson and a new outlook on family time. In Jackie Lee’s A Lesson for Summer, 14-year-old twins, Vanessa and Teresa, had planned their ideal summer vacation. But when their father announces that he’s taking over a new church in a new city, the girls find their summer ruined! Instead of spending their days shopping, talking about boys, and going to the movies, they were going to be moving and volunteering to mentor a bunch of snotty-nosed seven-year-olds. The twins do everything in their power to sabotage their parents’ plans for them. However, in the end, they learn life lessons that truly make this the perfect summer for both of them. Morgan Billingsley is back with twins, Max and Mickey in A Country Summer. And this time, the suburban duo is unplugging from their iPads, Wi-Fi, and Netflix, to spend the summer with their extended family in a small Arkansas town. This was not at all Mickey’s idea of fun. In fact, she hates the boring country and her “classless” relatives. While Max fits right in with his cousins, Mickey soon feels left out and learns a valuable lesson about life – it doesn’t matter what you have…what matters is who you have. These three young writers will inspire and entertain…and leave you with a lesson or two yourself.
This book is a collection of three stories written by some talented young writers and it was a pleasure to read them. The stories make for a quick read and are perfect for the summer time – as the name suggests!
Each story has a Christian undercurrent, with messages of tolerance, acceptance, and trust. We follow three typical teenagers as they deal with some typical family problems and learn to deal with the situation in a positive way. It’s a great message to send out and wrapped in an enjoyable read.
Too Big For Teacups follows Marlena as she struggles to make her family understand that she needs to stay home for the summer so she can attend a dance class that she’s been saving up for. Unfortunately, her mother is determined to have the whole family go to Disney as usual. Marlena struggles to convince both her family and her friend, Jennifer, that this is not the summer she wanted and that everything is ruined. When she’s given a stark lesson that not everyone can afford the luxury of a family holiday to Disney each year, she begins to realise just how lucky she actually is. It’s a heart-warming story that also teaches you to appreciate what you’re given because you’re lucky to have it.
A Lesson for Summer follows sisters Teresa and Nessa as they move to a new town because their dad got a job as a pastor in a new church. Being typical teenagers, the girls are reluctant to leave their school and friends behind, but look forward to the new home they’ll have – which they have big ideas of what it will be like. Unfortunately, the reality is nothing like they had hoped and they have no qualms in showing their disapproval. When their dad signs them up to help out at a summer camp, the girls learn a valuable lesson to appreciate what they have. Similar to Too Big For Teacups, the girls see that a lot of people have things a lot worse than they do and they learn not to take the things they have for granted anymore. A wonderful story about accepting what you have and learning to appreciate it all the more for it.
Finally, A Country Summer twins Max and Mickey as they are dragged unwillingly to a family summer at their grandmother’s house along with all their cousins. This is Mickey’s worst nightmare as their cousins are wild and don’t even have Wi-Fi. Forced to live out in the country, Mickey feels like an outcast while her brother fits right in, playing around with the rest of the family. When Mickey mistakenly offends the others, no one bothers to include her anymore – she didn’t want to be there anyway, why should they bother? When she has a heart to heart with her grandmother, Mickey soon realises that not everyone lives their life the same way she does and slowly she begins to accept that. Advocating love and tolerance, as well as acceptance, of the way others live their lives, A Country Summer makes for a great read.
All three stories have important messages to share with readers and make a great read for people of all ages.
This book is available at the following links:
About the Authors
Morgan Billingsley is a seventh grader, who loves writing, acting, swimming and volleyball. She enjoys helping out and making people laugh. Everyone who knows her, applauds her nurturing heart. Morgan can often be found assisting her mother, ReShonda Tate Billingsley at book signings. She is active in her school organizations and serves as secretary for her Teen group in Jack and Jill of America, Inc. Follow her on Instagram @c_momo_b Jackie Lee is a lover of the letters and the arts. She has starred in three theatrical productions produced by Cherie Garland. She portrayed Crystal in “The Christmas Present,” Glenda The Good Witch in “The Wiz” and the Ballerina in “One Night With a King.” Jackie’s love of arts also extends to church. She participates in the praise dance ministry at her church. She utilizes her musical talents as a clarinet player in her local elementary school band. Jackie can often be found at various literary events assisting her mother and guest authors. She also enjoys journaling and making sketches in her notebooks. She resides in Virginia with her parents and siblings. You can follow her at @leewriterjackie on Twitter. Ten year old, Gabrielle Simone attends Pulaski Academy College Preparatory School, where her teachers describe her as hardworking and passionate about learning. She is the student council representative for fifth grade, plays both basketball and soccer and has a personality bigger than life. The confident young writer is also the daughter of young adult author Celia Anderson. Having grown up tagging alongside her mom at book signings and lectures, it’s no surprise that she has become interested in the art. Gabrielle says that one day she would like to attend Stanford University in California, but that may change as she grows older. Currently she resides with her mother in Little Rock, Arkansas, enjoys playing dress up, singing and playing with her American Girl Dolls. She lists both her mother and maternal grandmother, whom she affectionately calls FeFe, as the people who have influenced her the most.