Elizabeth Holmes Tracktown Summer

ISBN 13: 9780525479468

Tracktown Summer

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9780525479468: Tracktown Summer
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Jake has felt fatherless ever since his parents separated, and so he can't wait to spend the summer with his dad. But the house Dad rented is a shabby place next to the railroad tracks, with no friends and nothing to do. Then, through a pickup game of hoops, Jake befriends a neighbor boy. Adrian is charming at first, but soon Jake starts to sense a streak of desperation in him. Jake gets sucked into Adrian's bizarre life, in which recklessness escalates to danger. Witnessing Adrian's highly dysfunctional, sometimes violent, family gives Jake new perspective on his own situation.

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About the Author:

Elizabeth Holmes lives in Ithaca, New York. She earned her MFA in poetry from Cornell University and is a published poet. This is her second novel for young readers.

From School Library Journal:

Grade 5-8–Twelve-year-old Jake's parents have separated, so his mom won't even get out of the car when she dumps him at a rundown lakeside cabin to spend the summer with his dad, a newly minted professor whose focus is finishing his PhD. With nothing much to do, Jake befriends neighbors Adrian and Allie, both 14. Tensions soon develop with Adrian, who flies off the handle at nothing. Why won't he let them in his house? Is he being abused? Is his dad really a scientist working on secret experiments? No, but the man has serious mental-health issues, has lost his job, and won't leave their filthy house, and Adrian is afraid that if Social Services finds out, he'll be placed in foster care. Jake realizes he should be thankful even for his driven and inattentive father, but a crisis involving Adrian leaves the boys in police custody, which leads Jake to an unwelcome discovery about his father. The resolution begins when Jake confronts him about his feelings. Allie, a steadying and sober influence on the boys, is lightly sketched, as are the rest of the supporting characters. Subplots about rich neighbors from other parts of the lake, Adrian's other friends and neighbors, and an apparently homeless man are unresolved. Still, readers may identify with the boys' problems, lack of apparent options, and need for adult support.–Joel Shoemaker, South East Junior High School, Iowa City, IA
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