Resource Links Review - Summer of Fire

Reviewed by: Alison Edwards

Summer of Fire tells the story of Del, a rebellious teen who is sent by her parents to live with her sister in Germany for the summer. Del is not happy about this turn of events and is even less so when she finds out her sister will have the same rules as her parents -and that part of the reason that she is there is because her parents are having marital difficulties that they did not share with her. Del feels responsible for the discord in her parents lives but yet blames them for not trusting her, not letting her live her life and not wanting her around. Del is determined to not have a good time yet finds herself slightly placated by her sister's husband who tries to make peace and give her some space. She also develops a good relationship with Luise, their neighbour who teaches English Literature. Luise introduces Del to two people -her nephew Felix, a cute guy who quickly befriends her, and Garda, a pregnant teenager who lived during World War II. Garda is Luise's grandmother and Luise has translated her wartime diary and has asked Del to read it and comment on the translation. Through experiences with Felix and through learning of the life of Garda and the tribulations that she faced as a teenager, Del learns to look at her life a bit differently. When trust is put to the test, Del pushes her limits but eventually finds where she belongs 'Summer of Fire is a well written novel of a teenager's summer. It interlaces the stories of Garda and Del quite well, making the action seem effortless and not forced as can happen with books that use diaries and flashbacks to make a point. At times, the character of Del seems a lttle exaggerated -there are almost too many factors in play making her a rebellious teen when the story would have been just as effective had Bass not presented them. While the Holocaust is touched upon, this is not a Holocaust novel, which is good as it gives a different view of Germany during World War II. This novel will speak to teens, especially those who understand what Del is going through. Students interested in German history and first hand accounts of life during WWII will also enjoy reading about Garda and her struggles. Article by Alison Edwards

Share this Post: Facebook Twitter Google Plus