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The Summer of Hammers and Angels Paperback – July 1, 2011
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"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."
--Catholic Library World
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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.Read more ›
During the summer, Delia's relationship with Tommy changes as she learns that "it's harder to hate someone when they like the same ice cream as you." Delia also finds that it's hard to ask for help, but it may be a way to meet lots of angels. The Summer of Hammers and Angels is a memorable summer for Delia--and it's a memorable book.
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The Summer Of Hammers And Angels is a well written, wonderful, heart warming story. It left me wanting fried chicken, more books from Shannon, and a neighborhood like Delia's. Read morePublished 23 months ago by Chesapeake Boater & Wildlife Rehabber
This story is well written and has a message that kids need to hear. It's not preachy but evolves naturally and beautifully.Published on May 9, 2013 by Kathleen Potts
I feel in love with the main character Delia... she was full of spunk and energy and kept me interested through out the story. Read morePublished on March 11, 2013 by Thomas W Donnell
It sounds kind of cheesy to say this is a 'heart-warming story', but truthfully. . . that's exactly what it is. Read morePublished on November 8, 2011 by Jackie M.
A very incredible read! Shannon is an excellent author that can create a story you just don't want to put down. I so look forward to many more of her books. Read morePublished on October 23, 2011 by Julie A. Maguire
For a coming-of-age novel filled with hope and plenty of voice, debut novelist Shannon Wiersbitzky's book THE SUMMER OF HAMMERS AND ANGELS is sure to please. Read morePublished on October 20, 2011 by Michelle Fayard
I read "The Summer of Hammers and Angels" in a sand chair on the beach and I can tell you it sparkled like the sun glinting off the waves. Read morePublished on September 21, 2011 by Customer
The Summer of Hammers and Angels This is one of the most well written books that I have read in along time. Read morePublished on September 11, 2011 by Denver Foster Dad