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Possum Summer Hardcover – March 15, 2011

4.8 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Possum Summer is a heartwarming, vibrant story [that] mixes themes of honor, resolve, and courage with just the right blend of adventure, excitement, humor, danger, love, compassion, and a small touch of romance. It's a book that middle graders will want to read. --Bill Wallace, author of A Dog Called Kitty --Bill Wallace

About the Author

Jen K. Blom grew up on a farm on the Oklahoma plains similar to the setting of Possum Summer where she, unlike P, had many pets, including several dogs, horses, a raccoon and an opossum. Since then, she has lived in many places, including Texas, California, Canada and Australia, and worked at many jobs ranging from polo player and groom to insurance claims investigator. She now lives in Germany, where she works as a translator and business writer. This is her first book.

Visit her website at jenkblom.com
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 9 - 11 years
  • Grade Level: 4 - 6
  • Lexile Measure: 700L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 155 pages
  • Publisher: Holiday House (March 15, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 082342331X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0823423316
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 0.7 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #837,883 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Set during the Iraq War, Possum Summer is the story of a young girl asked by her father to watch over their farm while he's fighting overseas. The weight of this responsibility weighs heavily on her, especially after finding out her dad's been hurt in battle. Methodically she checks their cattle, cares for the chickens, examines the fences, and tends to the working dog, Blackie, whom she's fallen in love with despite her father's warning that a farm has no pets.

It's Blackie who sets the story in motion, though, attacking a possum and leaving an orphaned baby that Princess feels obligated to care for. Torn between obeying her father and abandoning the joey, or secretly raising the baby until he is old enough to be set free, P (as she'd rather be known)struggles with the promise she made to her dad.

It's inevitable that P will choose to raise the possum, but what isn't foreseeable is the array of help she gets from the most unexpected places and the ingenuity she uses to keep her secret quiet. And when her secret causes the worst to happen, P must be stronger than even her father thinks she can be.

Possum Summer manages to convey the beauty of the Oklahoma countryside and lazy summer days of youth with a tension-packed plot of secrets and dangers. P is an exceptional character, one who seems so real it seems impossible that she is merely fiction. A reader will find themselves drawn into her world immediately, cheering at her successes, nail-biting at her risk-taking, and crying with her tragedies.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Princess, aka P, has a father who adamantly believes all animals on a farm should have a purpose. When he goes on military duty he puts eleven-year-old P in charge of the farm. When her dad's cattle dog kills a female possum, orphaning her helpless baby, P decides to take care of the little guy whom she names Ike. She takes him to school, weans him, and teaches him the ways of the wild since she knows she can't keep him as a pet. Her father was injured in war and is about to come home. Will she choose between her dad's wishes or an adorable possum who clings to her?

This MG has a strong, sweet main character; and it was a joy reading about how she arrives at decisions, with both logic and the stirrings of her huge heart. P wants to do right for both her family and the animals in her life. And I did need tissue. Some scenes are real tearjerkers.
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Format: Hardcover
Princess ("ick" she thinks, please call me P) is a nature-loving tomboy, a little perturbed that she isn't maturing as fast as some friends, but mostly concerned with her dad's safety (he is in the military overseas ), the changes in her friendship with her neighbor Mart, caring for the donkey and cows on the farm, and reports of rabid animals in the area. An orphaned possum focuses the story lines in this rural adventure. This would be a good choice for readers who enjoyed RASCAL, THE YEARLING and WHERE THE RED FERN GROWS, and anyone who likes a heroine who prefers to spend her time barefoot and out-of-doors. Note: This review is from an advance reading copy. The book jacket notes that the finished book will have line drawings by Omar Rayyan.
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Format: Hardcover
P (short for Princess) isn't your typical 11 y.o. girl. Her idea of fun is running barefoot through the river bottoms and rescuing orphaned possums. She doesn't just rescue the critter, but becomes its surrogate mother. Learning to care for a wild animal forces P to make difficult choices and instead of running away, P faces them head-on. The trouble she gets herself into will make you laugh, and her friendship with the possum will make you cry. With a well-developed cast of secondary characters, Possum Summer is sure to be a classic.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a heartwarming story with a realistic portrayal of growing up on a rural farm in the heart of the midwest. Eleven year old P's adventure during one heartbreaking summer are relatable to anyone who's grown up in the country and has learned to deal with love, lost, and growing up.

Young P's summer adventures start when she and her family's dog Blackie, take to the creek bottoms to explore. After all, that's the fun part of living out in the country as a kid even if it's a place she shouldn't be going. This exploration will forever change P's summer, making it an unforgettable one as she ends up adopting a baby possum. That wouldn't be so hard if one, she knew how to care for it and two, there wasn't an epidemic of rabies going on. This young girl isn't one to be deterred and she does whatever she can to save this little guy and what ensues is a bond of friendship.

I enjoyed seeing how P and Ike's relationship bloomed. I for one think baby possums are adorable, but I wouldn't have the drive that P does to take care of it and raise him. There relationship is one that reminded me of my childhood pet and the bond I had with her. By creating this realistic bond of trust and friendship, Jen really pulled at my heartstrings when P has to make the tough choice to protect Ike. Young P is a strong, stubborn character whom I enjoyed getting to know. Her adventures reminded me of ones I took when I was younger. Though I didn't grow up in the heart of Oklahoma like she does, she's a character who's easy to relate to. I admired Young P for her bravery and for taking responsibility for chores and other things that happen around her farm. While her father is at war and her mother works long hours at the hospital, this young girl learns to grow up fast.
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