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The Summer of Hammers and Angels Paperback – July 1, 2011


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 9 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 04 - 07
  • Lexile Measure: 770L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 156 pages
  • Publisher: namelos llc (July 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1608981126
  • ISBN-13: 978-1608981120
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.4 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,520,628 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"The heartwarming conclusion is an unlikely miracle, but it is entirely in keeping with the flavor of this nostalgic story, which will leave readers hungry for fried chicken and Coke from glass bottles."
--Kirkus Reviews


"Wiersbitzky explores themes of family, home, and what it means to be good neighbors in small-town Tucker's Ferry, W. Va., through the observant eyes of feisty narrator Delia....Down-to-earth life struggles combine with inspiring generosity of spirit in this uplifting debut."
--Publishers Weekly


"This debut novel of self discovery and the power of prayer coupled with hard work is a must for everyone who loves story. It excites, stimulates, and, yes, it is also a tearjerker. A young adult book that would be a good read for adults, as well."
     --Catholic Library World

From the Author

A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this book are donated to Habitat for Humanity.

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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This book is a comfortable, feel-good read.
Michelle Fayard
I feel in love with the main character Delia... she was full of spunk and energy and kept me interested through out the story.
Thomas W Donnell
The Summer of Hammers and Angels is a memorable summer for Delia--and it's a memorable book.
Ellen Losano Ramsey

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By S. Welch on June 4, 2011
Format: Paperback
Summertime offers a chance for many kids to relax, hang out with friends, maybe read a good book. For the latter activity, I recommend The Summer of Hammers and Angels, which is a delightful story about a girl whose summer begins badly. Very badly.

Delia is an only child who lives with her mother in a ramshackle house in the small town of Tucker's Ferry, West Virginia. They have no relatives, but Mama, who works hard at the local diner, has always been there for Delia even if her homemaking and maintenance skills are not quite up to community standards. Mama believes in being independent and equates praying with wishing to someone specific. But Delia finds herself wondering if prayers -- and even angels -- might help people when things go wrong.

And everything does go wrong after an inspector shows up and delivers a long list of repairs that must be done within nineteen days or their house will be condemned. While Mama is still reeling from the news, a storm as angry as she is punches a hole in the roof, and lightning strikes her, putting her into a coma. With her mother in the hospital, Delia must live with the neighbors, including their son, her classmate, Tommy, who is decidedly not her friend. Delia makes up her mind to fix up her house and embarks on this task with the help of her best friend, Mae. But how can two kids do this overwhelming job all alone?

Delia tells her story about this special summer in a distinct voice. Each character is brought to life through small but revealing details or appropriate similes. Mr. Parker, Tommy's dad, has callused hands. Her friend, Mae, flits from here to there like a soap bubble. Old Red's voice is like coarse sandpaper and his ancient dog is better than a Keep Out sign.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Andrea White on June 26, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I enjoyed the summer of hammers and angels. Delia was an unforgettable character whose odd jobs, hatred for Tommy Parker and self-reliant optimism made me laugh out loud. I enjoyed the book's hopeful message that prayer, hard work and love can move mountains. Although a quick read, Wiersbitzky has managed to create a summer to remember. I look forward to more books by this emerging talent.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By carrieb.... on May 25, 2011
Format: Paperback
I'm 12 and i read this book and i loved it. She's a really great writer and the plot was very well developed. I always kept wanting to read on. This is a great book to read by the pool, at the beach or on your couch. Whether your 11 or 77, it a great book for all ages. I think everyone should reading it. She's a great writer and I hope she comes out with more books soon!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Alice Hollinbeck on August 30, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This is a tight little page-turner of a coming-of-age novel with one of the strongest voices I've run across in a long time.

Young Delia, living in the small town of Tucker's Ferry, West Virginia, is the only child of her single mother who works as a waitress at the local diner. Mama isn't much of a housekeeper and certainly not a home-repair maven. The house is pretty much falling down around their ears. A home inspector shows up unexpectedly and serves them with notice that if a long list of things isn't fixed and soon, he will have no choice but to condemn the place. Incidentally, he doesn't seem to mind that he has no choice.

Needless to say, Mama is furious. That night, a storm of equal ferocity comes to town. Lightning strikes the house, and Delia finds her mother unconscious with burns on her hand. A small fire has started, and Delia can't move her mother or get her to wake up. Delia runs to the Parkers' house next door to find help. Thus begins a long, long journey for young Delia.

The Parkers are good people who take Delia in. The only problem is her nemesis, Tommy Parker, is their son. We are never told the exact age of these children, but one must guess it is somewhere around ten or eleven, a time when boys and girls gag at the very thought of each other. This, of course, sets up a strong secondary conflict in the book.

Delia calls on her best friend, Mae, to help her fix her house while Mama lingers in an unconscious state at the local hospital. These two young girls are resourceful and bring great energy to the project. They take on odd jobs to earn money for the materials needed, and we meet some of the interesting people in Tucker's Ferry. But the reality is, the girls know little about fixing anything.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By C. Saller on September 6, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This is a delightful and heartwarming novel! It tells the story of Delia, whose world is literally struck by lightning in a summer storm. With Mama in a coma, the house condemned, and no family to draw on, Delia is taken in by kindly neighbors and left to ponder how such bad things can happen to people who don't seem to deserve them.

The writing is assured and funny. I was tickled by our heroine's use of similes throughout: "her voice as crisp as the creases in her pleats" or "that honeysuckle air was as good as a lullaby." And her sense of adolescent humor and feeling is dead-on, as when Delia tries to decide which vegetable she hates Tommy as much as.

The book features a religious tone, which for some reason did not annoy me, probably because it seems genuine and not contrived. Our heroine is no pious goody-goody! On the contrary, her stubborn hatred of Tommy Parker in spite of all his good efforts lends authenticity to Wiersbitzky's portrayal of kids at "that age."

Ultimately, Delia learns life lessons about rehabilitation and redemption, whether of houses, brains, or souls. And while throughout the book she looks to angels to save the day, it's through her own bravery and the kindness of others that it all happens. Although the ending is pretty much what we expect and somewhat improbable in the details, it's so thoroughly satisfying and real in spirit that I found myself in tears.
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More About the Author

Shannon Wiersbitzky was born in North Dakota, but has lived in West Virginia, Florida, Minnesota, Michigan, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania. She believes that everyone can make the world a better place. Part of the proceeds from each of her books is donated to charity. When not writing, Shannon is usually hiking or spending time on the river with her husband, two sons, and their lovable mutt. Learn more about Shannon at www.shannonwiersbitzky.com.

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