The Summer of Bad Ideas
by Kiera Stewart
Release date: April 12, 2017
After the death of the grandmother she never met, Edith travels with her family to the small Florida town her grandmother lived in (and where her Edith’s mother grew up). When what was meant to be a two-week clean up turns into a summer-long renovation, Edith and her newly-met cousin Rae are dismayed for different reasons: Edith worries about losing her best friend Taylor while the glamorous Rae pines for her oft-mentioned boyfriend. When they discover an unusual, yet intriguing, to-do list left behind by their grandmother, the cousins decide to make the best of their hopeless situation by doing the tasks on the list. Unfortunately, they learn that most of the items are very bad ideas. Despite her apprehension about performing the tasks on her grandmother’s list, Edith is determined to do them in hopes of breaking out of her boring, typical life and becoming more impulsive and adventurous.
This coming-of-age story will be a great choice for many middle-grade readers. Edith is a relatable character who wants to be someone different than the same, predictable Edith she always has been. She struggles with a lot of the challenges kids her age go through – the fear of losing a best friend, a first crush. I find the story similar in style/theme to many of Wendy Mass’ books, such as Every Soul a Star. This was the first book I’ve read by Kiera Stewart, and now I certainly would love to read more of her books!