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The second book from critically acclaimed author Leslie C. Youngblood, about family, identity, and learning to stand up for what's right -- now in paperback! Georgie has no idea what to expect when she, Mama, and Peaches are plopped down in the middle of small town USA–aka Bogalusa, Louisiana–where Mama grew up and Great Aunt Vie needs constant care. Georgie wants to help out at the once famous family diner that served celebrities like the Jackson 5 and the Supremes, but everyone is too busy to show her the ropes and Mama is treating her like a baby, not letting her leave her sight. When she finally gets permission to leave on her own, Georgie makes friends with Markie–a foster kid who'd been under Aunt Elvie's care–who has a limb difference and a huge attitude. Then Markie asks Georgie to help her find her mom, and suddenly summer has a real purpose. But as Georgie and Markie's histories begin to entwine, Georgie becomes more desperate to find the truth. But words spoken cannot be taken back and once Georgie knows the truth, she may even find a way to right past wrongs and help Aunt Vie and Markie out after all.
About the Author
Leslie C. Youngblood received an MFA from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. A former assistant professor of creative writing at Lincoln University in Jefferson City, she has lectured at Mississippi State University, UNC-Greensboro, and the University of Ghana at Legon. She's been awarded a host of writing honors, including a 2014 Yaddo's Elizabeth Ames Residency, the Lorian Hemingway Short Story Prize, a Hurston Wright Fellowship, and the Room of Her Own Foundation's 2009 Orlando Short Story Prize. In 2010 she won the Go On Girl! Book Club Aspiring Writer Award. Born in Bogalusa, Louisiana, and raised in Rochester, she's fortunate to have a family of natural storytellers and a circle of supportive family and friends. Love Like Sky was her first novel.
Praise for Forever This Summer:
"A glorious, big-hearted, and joyful novel! Forever This Summer celebrates three talented girls who discover, with love and empathy, they can triumph, heal, and inspire one another as well as their families and community."—Jewell Parker Rhodes, New York Times bestselling author of Ghost Boys and Black Brother, Black Brother
“The characters and setting in Forever This Summer are depicted with such clear-eyed tenderness that I felt like I was visiting with them—on their front porches or in the diner booth. Youngblood’s writing sings: I would follow her stories anywhere.” —Linda Sue Park, Newbery Medalist
*"Youngblood’s writing fluidly delivers a compelling narrative imbued with historical and cultural context... A heartwarming story with an inspiring message about creative youth activism."
—Kirkus Reviews, starred review
*"Youngblood writes an optimistic story bursting with heart, strategically weaving discussions of equity, race, and relationships into the well-paced narrative... Packed with important life lessons, this story is also a captivating tale of summer adventure and mystery."—SLJ, starred review
*"Crafting a largely Black tween cast embarking on a summer full of family secrets, friendship, soul food, and life lessons, Youngblood (Love Like Sky) delivers a well-paced look at the importance of family legacy."—PW, starred review
"Youngblood’s thoughtful story doesn’t shy away from big subjects—Alzheimer’s, foster care, racial injustice—and Georgie is a warm and witty guide through it all. A welcoming and worthwhile exploration of Southern small-town dynamics and the all-important ties that bind both friends and family."—Booklist
Praise for Love Like Sky:
*"Youngblood's debut is a celebration of intergenerational family bonds. Readers in co-parenting or blended families especially will relate to the conflicts between Georgie's loving but imperfect parents. An openhearted, endearing, and unforgettable debut about the challenges of friendship, growing up, and the boundless love of family."
—Kirkus Reviews, starred review
"Brims with charm and compassion. Readers will immediately be rooting for G-Baby, a girl with the biggest heart, trying her hardest to help everyone around her."—Vashti Harrison, New York Times bestselling author of Little Leaders
"Readers will fall in love with Georgie and her 'blended-up' family as they navigate tough challenges and new family dynamics."—School Library Journal
"Using beautiful prose, Youngblood's debut explores the expansive love only siblings can have for one another, while capturing the heart and soul of what it means to be a blended family. The multilayered characters and compelling story will resonate with readers... Young readers will fall in love with these characters and gain a new favorite author."—Booklist