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Secrets of the Cicada Summer Hardcover – May 1, 2008

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Secrets of the Cicada Summer + Firefighter Ted + Artist Ted
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 840L (What's this?)
  • Series: AWARDS: Sunshine State Young Readers 2010-2011 Grades 3-5
  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Amulet Books; 1 edition (May 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0810994720
  • ISBN-13: 978-0810994720
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.8 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,731,307 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 4–6—In this evocative debut novel, 12-year-old Lily Mathis has attempted to remain invisible to the 117 residents of Olena, IL, since the death of her brother. For two years she has not spoken a word to anyone, not to her dad, or the kids at school, or the general-store owner Fern, who keeps talking to her even though the child doesn't respond. Lily has been swallowing a secret that has burdened her ever since Pete died, but it's hard, especially after Fern's grandniece moves to town. Tinny has her own secret: she tells lies and steals from Fern, and she catches Lily up in a dangerous intrigue that threatens to harm them both unless Lily can break her silence and speak the truth. The story unfolds in alternating chapters of past and present, slowly unveiling Lily's adoration for her big brother who loved old cars and gangster movies and running through the cornfields at night, leading inevitably to the present-day climax that brings resolution to both girls' problems. Throughout the well-developed plot is Olena, where the drone of the cicadas and the rustling of the cornstalks mingle with the daily conversation of the people. The story is believable because not much happens in this small town, so when tragedy strikes, or strangers appear, or a child goes missing, it is the town that feels it, not just the individuals involved. One part memory, one part mystery, and a generous dose of atmosphere make this the kind of satisfying read that Summer Reading is all about.—Teri Markson, Los Angeles Public Library
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From Booklist

Lily, who hasn’t spoken since the accident that killed her brother two years ago, does nothing to contradict the general notion that she is now brain damaged. She finds comfort in the openhearted affection of an elderly neighbor and in reading Nancy Drew mysteries on the sly. After Tinny, a troubled new girl in their small Illinois town, discovers that Lily is hiding the fact that she can still read, Lily finds it increasingly difficult to maintain the facade that has been her emotional shield. A present-tense account of scenes leading up to her brother’s death, inserted in italics at intervals within the primary first-person narrative, heightens the level of intensity as the main story progresses and the parallel narrative approaches that shrouded but clearly traumatic event. Written with clarity and fine attention to craft, this accessible novel reveals the secret in Lily’s past just as she reaches out to solve the mystery that shadows Tinny’s present. Grades 4-6. --Carolyn Phelan

More About the Author

New York Times Bestselling Author
Rosie Revere Engineer:
"perfect inspirational material for young makers"--Boing! Boing!
"this tale of creativity and persistence will delight readers five and (way) up."--Science Magazine
The characters in Andrea's humorous picture books and novels are smart, funny, and unapologetic in their passion. They are doers. Curiosity, creativity, innovation and persistence are recurring themes in her work.

From architecture-obsessed IGGY PECK, ARCHITECT to the inventive ROSIE REVERE, ENGINEER to the irrepressible magician in training, Robbie Darko (DORKO THE MAGNIFICENT). And then there is the fiercely funny Ted (DOCTOR TED, FIREFIGHTER TED, ARTIST TED) who can't be stopped when he puts his mind to something.

Andrea's books have been awarded the Friends of American Writers Award, Parents Choice Silver and Gold Medals, Bank Street College Best Books, National Association of Parenting Publications Gold medals. And now, the Prairie State Award.

IGGY PECK, ARCHITECT was one of Time Magazine's Top 10 picture books and selected as Architect World's Top 10 Books.
ROSIE REVERE, ENGINEER was an iTunes Best Children's Book and Redbook's Best Children's Book.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By SZAA on October 6, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I loved this. Loved it, loved it. I read it in about a half hour, turning pages faster than ever before, just wanting to know more. I'm sooo glad it's been nominated for a Cybil...Andrea Beaty really outdid herself this time.

Lily reads Nancy Drew books constantly, as they are her comfort. She doesn't talk, many would even tell you she's dumb, but Lily is just a keen observer, soon placed in the beginning of her own, real-life mystery. When a new girl, Tinny, moves to town, Lily's calm life is turned upside-down, as Tinny is mean to her, steals her friends, and gets her into trouble. Lily isn't entirely sure why Tinny hates her or how to fix things, but she knows she has to. When Tinny disappears, Lily is on the case, determined to find the lost girl before something terrible happens.

Lily is one of the most beautiful characters I have come across in a long time and I can promise you will want to do nothing more than to hug her from page one. This girl needs a hug! She is witty, true, real, and smart, though so many believe otherwise. Tragedy has been placed upon this girl and it is evident she is lost within heartache. Beaty wrote this story in a beautiful and touching manner, which I can't wait to see more of!

As I said, Cicada Summer has already been nominated for a Cybil and if I had my way, I could see a Newbery in it's future as well.
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By J.Bond on July 9, 2012
Format: Audible Audio Edition
I read, well actually listened, to this book awhile ago and since it is a hot summer day today (which is how the book stsrts) I remembered it. It's a good book. Maybe I'll get it to read again....You should.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful By P. Cohen on August 17, 2008
Format: Hardcover
A wonderful story which explores the mysteries you'd find in a small town. Great characters with secrets and adventures both funny and heartfelt. I'd like to see Lily go on more adventures in the future. Hope to see more of this author.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Kelly H on August 8, 2008
Format: Hardcover
11-year-old Lily has a secret she has to protect at all costs, which is easy because she doesn't talk anymore. This sweet story tackles heavy topics--guilt, crime, grief--but also has a good dose of humor in some parts. I liked it, but I can't say that anything in particular stood out to me as great.
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful By third time mom on September 18, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Well, *someone* thinks this book is great because it has been added to the Battle of the Books list for my kid's school. But I read it and quite honestly, I just didn't find it all that gripping. I found myself wanting to skim over pages to get to the end, which is something I NEVER do. The story itself had some promise but I didn't find the characters all that believable or interesting. We read a library copy; I'd rather not buy this book to add to our collection.
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