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Summer of the Gypsy Moths

Pennypacker, Sara, 1951-

(Book - 2012)
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
Summer of the Gypsy Moths
A foster child named Angel and twelve-year-old Stella, who are living with Stella's great-aunt Louise at the Linger Longer Cottage Colony on Cape Cod, secretly assume responsibility for the vacation rentals when Louise unexpectedly dies and the girls are afraid of being returned to the foster care system.
Publisher: New York : Balzer + Bray, c2012
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780061964206
Branch Call Number: J FIC P
Characteristics: 275 p. ; 22 cm.


From Library Staff

After their caregiver’s death, the summer turns stressful for two parentless girls as they figure out how to fend for themselves.

From the critics

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Oct 18, 2014
  • Mey_Syn99 rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

Not really my style, and I have small patience so I didn't bother finishing it.
But don't let my comment stop you from trying!

Sep 04, 2012
  • modestgoddess rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

This book isn't just for tweens - this adult enjoyed it a great deal and I talked about it with our six-year-old, who is looking forward to reading it some time (the great-aunt dying puts her off for now!). I read this while on Cape Cod for our summer vacation - made a nice "location" read and is full of fun moments. The narrator is wonderful - one can see she has developed motherly worrying tendencies through having such an absentee mother herself. Nicely portrayed.

Aunt Louise has taken in her great niece, Stella, whose mother is unable to care for her, but she has also taken Angel, a girl of Stella’s age, as a foster child. The girls are very unlike and try to stay away from each other as much as possible until the day they unexpectedly discover Aunt Louise dead of a heart attack. Since neither girl wants to move again they decide to cooperate to cover up the situation and to pretend to outsiders that everything is fine. This is a story of developing trust and friendship with a very satisfying ending. Reviewed by BPL volunteer EE.

Jul 10, 2012
  • ELIZABETH RAMSEY BIRD rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

It's awesome. Just awesome. Pennypacker has clearly been holding out on us all these years. If this is how she begins with longer chapter book fiction then I can only imagine how she will proceed. A truly remarkable debut from the fingertips of a pro.

Jun 30, 2012
  • branch_reviews rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

After her mother runs off (again), 12-year- old Stella finds herself living with her Great Aunt Louise and a foster child named Angel (who does not live up to her name) in a house beside the Linger Longer cottages on Cape Cod. Stella and Angel get along like oil and water until Aunt Louise unexpectedly dies. The girls realize that they both desperately want to avoid getting thrown back into the foster care system, so they find a way to cover up Louise’s death and run the Linger Longer vacation rentals on their own. Over the summer the girls learn the true meaning of friendship as they survive on relish and lollipops and the leftovers from the departing cottagers. They babysit the vacationing toddlers and fend off the persistent gypsy moths until the day the secret becomes too much to bear. Author of the Clementine series, this book will appeal to the older tweens. It is well-written with strong characterization and thoughtful themes which will appeal to adults as well.
Reviewed by NB

Loved this book! A lovely coming of age book -- showcasing 2 girls in the foster care system. Beautifully realized. Read it.

This is a fine summer read especially for girls, aged ten and older. While there are some improbable parts in the plot line, Stella and Angel are very well developed characters. The setting,a small beach front cottage group, is especially well drawn. There is humor as well as sadness to keep readers interested and there will be plenty to chat about among readers who complete this novel.


Add Age Suitability

Jul 28, 2014
  • yellow_ram_6 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

yellow_ram_6 thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over

Jul 01, 2014
  • blue_parrot_157 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

blue_parrot_157 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 9 and 13

scarlettrose01 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 11 and 14

Jul 10, 2012
  • ELIZABETH RAMSEY BIRD rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

ELIZABETH RAMSEY BIRD thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 9 and 12

Jun 30, 2012
  • branch_reviews rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

branch_reviews thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over


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Jul 10, 2012
  • ELIZABETH RAMSEY BIRD rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Convinced that her free floating mother will return to her someday soon, Stella lives with her Great-aunt Louise and Louise's foster kid Angel. The situation is tenable if not entirely comfortable. If Stella is neat to the point of fault then Angel's her 180-degree opposite. They're like oil and water, those two. That's why when Louise ups and dies on the girls they're surprised to find themselves reluctant allies in a kind of crazy scheme. Neither one of them wants to get caught up in the foster care system so maybe that's why they end up burying Louise in the backyard, running her summer cottages like nothing's wrong. They can't keep it up forever, but in the process of working together the two find themselves growing closer, coming to understand where they're both coming from.


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Jul 10, 2012
  • ELIZABETH RAMSEY BIRD rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

"Angel stared at me, looking like she was caught between snarling and fainting."


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Summer of the Gypsy Moths
Pennypacker, Sara, 1951-
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