Book of the Day: How to Ruin a Summer Vacation by Simone Elkeles

Amy Nelson is ready to start her perfect summer vacation, but all her plans are thrown out the window when her father shows up to take her to Israel for the summer. Until now, her interactions with her father have been limited to yearly visits on her birthday, scattered with other special occasions, so imagine her surprise when her mother agrees she should spend her entire summer in Israel meeting her father’s family and her Safta (grandmother) who has been diagnosed with cancer.

At first, Amy seems destined to be miserable as she continues to make a spectacle of herself in front of her family and the local Israeli teens, but through these ordeals she learns a lot about herself and her heritage. Though the story is often light and humorous, the reader comes away with a better understanding about the Israeli-Palestenian conflict and the importance of friendship in war.

How to Ruin a Summer Vacation is a nominee for the Teens Top 10. To request it from the library, click here. If it’s your favorite, don’t forget to place your vote during Teen Read Week, October 14-20, 2007.

Review by Michelle @ Wake Forest Library

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