My daughter Camille received a signed copy of Summer of the Gypsy Moths for her 11th birthday last summer. She was excited about reading it because the author wrote the Clementine books, which she liked when she was younger. Early in the story Stella, the 11-year-old main character, experiences the death of her great aunt (and foster parent) Lucille. To clarify, Lucille dies a natural death while watching TV in her recliner, so nothing gruesome there. Lucille was also the foster parent to Angel, a preteen girl with lots of attitude who had been in and out of several foster homes. The problem is that Stella and Angel find themselves in a rather big predicament. If they call 911 and get the police involved, the girls will be placed in another foster home. If they don't call 911 and get the police involved, what are they going to do about Lucille and who is going to take care of them?
In Summer of the Gypsy Moths, Sara Pennypacker tells a heartwarming story of two parentless girls who grow up a great deal during one life-changing summer. I love the character of Stella! She is so strong and smart and resourceful. I recommend this book to upper elementary aged kids who do not mind death being a part of the story.