New York Times bestselling author Amy Hest returns with her latest book
The Summer We Found the Baby
On Sale: August 4, 2020
Set during World War II, this poignant, briskly paced historical novel relays the events of one extraordinary summer from three engaging points of view.
On the morning of the dedication of the new children’s library in Belle Beach, Long Island, eleven-year-old Julie Sweet and her six-year-old sister, Martha, find a baby in a basket on the library steps. At the same time, twelve-year-old Bruno Ben-Eli is on his way to the train station to catch the 9:15 train into New York City. He is on an important errand for his brother, who is a soldier overseas in World War II. But when Bruno spies Julie, the same Julie who hasn’t spoken to him for sixteen days, heading away from the library with a baby in her arms, he has to follow her. Holy everything, he thinks. Julie Sweet is a kidnapper.
Of course, the truth is much more complicated than the children know in this heartwarming and beautifully textured family story by award-winning author Amy Hest. Told in three distinct voices, each with a different take on events, the THE SUMMER WE FOUND THE BABY (Candlewick Press; August 4, 2020; Hardcover; ISBN: 9780763660079; 192 pages; $16.99) captures the moments and emotions of a life-changing summer — a summer in which a baby gives a family hope and brings a community together.
“A poignant composite portrait of three children’s—and two loving families’—hope and resilience in the face of loss and uncertainty.”
—Publishers Weekly ★STARRED review
“Hest balances foreground action against background deftly . . . . Warm family stories laced with some sorrow and great joy.”
—Kirkus Reviews, ★STARRED review
“This historical tale engagingly presents ordinary life, while acknowledging the toll war can take on a community.”
Amy Hest is the author of many beloved books for young readers, including the Katie Roberts novels, Remembering Mrs. Rossi, Letters to Leo, The Purple Coat, Mr. George, the last two have been featured on the Reading Rainbow. She is also the author of many picture books, including Kiss Good Night, When Jessie Came Across the Sea, and On the Night of the Shooting Star. She is a three-time Christopher Award winner and winner of the Boston Globe–Horn Book Award. She started as a New York Public Library children’s librarian and children’s publishing professional before creating her own stories. Amy’s stories celebrate the small moments of life. Amy has collaborated with a number of prominent illustrators, including Amy Schwartz, Jenni Desmond, P.J. Lynch, and Jill Barton. Her books have received starred and recommended reviews from Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal, Booklist, and Kirkus Reviews, and have been recognized by The New York Times, The Horn Book, Washington Post, American Library Association, and more. Amy Hest lives in New York City, where she also teaches children’s writing courses at Bank Street College. Amy’s books have been translated into more than a dozen languages.
ADDITIONAL PRAISE FOR
THE SUMMER WE FOUND THE BABY
“. . . a gently told, slightly mysterious historical narrative that gradually lays down clues about who the baby is and what Julie’s doing with her. . . . piecing together of the strands and the resolution for the baby will satisfy readers looking for an offbeat read that both challenges and reassures.”
—Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, Deborah Stevenson, Editor
“With expert character development and clever narration from three distinct perspectives, Hest seamlessly immerses her readers into the hopes and fears of war-time America. It’s a simple premise: A baby found alone in a basket. Yet the complicated layering of events makes for a truly engaging and heartwarming story of steadfastness and solidarity. Young readers will be drawn in by the mystery, stay for the characters, and sigh contentedly when the story draws to a close.”
—School Library Journal, ★STARRED review
“In short chapters that emphasize the youth of those involved . . . the testimonies of Bruno, Julie and Martha braid together to form a satisfying, bittersweet story of life on the home front.”
—The Wall Street Journal
“At first glance, The Summer We Found the Baby . . . appears to be a sweet snapshot of life in a small town during World War II. But author Amy Hest packs much into its pages—an intricate plot, deeply imagined characters and relationships and adroitly tackled big issues such as death and unplanned pregnancy—and handles it all with delicacy and care.”