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Groundwood Books

Summer in the City

Written by Marie-Louise Gay • Written by David Homel

For kids 7 - 10 years old | Published May 01, 2021 | ISBN 9781773065472
JUVENILE FICTION / Humorous Stories

Cover of Summer in the City

Regular price $9.95 CAD

152 pages | 5.56 in × 8.56 in
Print Format

Also Available as an Ebook

About this book

Summer in the City

Marie-Louise Gay • David Homel

Husband-and-wife team Marie-Louise Gay and David Homel create a sequel to the enormously popular Travels with My Family and On the Road Again! — but with a twist. This time Charlie and his family stay home, and find adventure in their own Montreal neighborhood.

Charlie can’t wait for school to be over. But he’s wondering what particular vacation ordeal his parents have lined up for the family this summer. Canoeing with alligators in Okefenokee? Getting caught in the middle of a revolutionary shootout in Mexico? Or perhaps another trip abroad?

Turns out, this summer the family is staying put, in their hometown. Montreal, Canada. A “staycation,” his parents call it. Charlie is doubtful at first but, ever resourceful, decides that there may be adventures and profit to be had in his own neighborhood.

And there are. A campout in the backyard brings him in contact with more than one kind of wildlife, a sudden summer storm floods the expressway, various pet-sitting gigs turn almost-disastrous, and a baseball game goes awry when various intruders storm the infield — from would-be medieval knights and an over-eager ice-cream vendor to a fly-ball-catching Doberman. Then of course there’s looking after his little brother, Max, who is always a catastrophe-in-the-making.

Key Text Features
key text features

Correlates to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts:

Compare and contrast the themes, settings, and plots of stories written by the same author about the same or similar characters (e.g., in books from a series)

Describe characters in a story (e.g., their traits, motivations, or feelings) and explain how their actions contribute to the sequence of events

Refer to details and examples in a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.

Describe how a particular story's or drama's plot unfolds in a series of episodes as well as how the characters respond or change as the plot moves toward a resolution.

Describe the overall structure of a story, including describing how the beginning introduces the story and the ending concludes the action.

Explain how a series of chapters, scenes, or stanzas fits together to provide the overall structure of a particular story, drama, or poem.

Describe how a narrator's or speaker's point of view influences how events are described.

Explain how an author develops the point of view of the narrator or speaker in a text.

Explain how specific aspects of a text's illustrations contribute to what is conveyed by the words in a story (e.g., create mood, emphasize aspects of a character or setting)

About the Creators

Marie-Louise Gay

Marie-Louise Gay is an internationally acclaimed author and illustrator of children’s books. She has won two Governor General’s Literary Awards, the Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver Canadian Picture Book Award, the Vicky Metcalf Award for Children’s Literature and the Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award. She has also been nominated for the prestigious Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award and the Hans Christian Andersen Award. Marie-Louise’s very popular Stella and Sam series has been translated into more than fifteen languages and is loved by children all over the world. Her recent books include Mustafa and Fern and Horn. She lives in Montreal.

David Homel

David Homel is an award-winning novelist, screenwriter, journalist and translator. He has won the Governor General’s Award for translation, the Hugh MacLennan Prize and the Jewish Public Library Award for fiction.

Awards and Praise

Praise for Marie-Louise Gay and David Homel and Summer in the City:

Commended OLA Best Bets, 2012

“An upbeat summer idyll likely to draw chuckles whether read alone or aloud.” — Kirkus Reviews

Praise for Marie-Louise Gay and David Homel and The Traveling Circus:

“...hints of gravity punctuate but do not puncture the holiday fun; readers like Max and Charlie who have grown up in safety will emerge thoughtful but not traumatized. A salutary, unusual look at part of the world rarely seen in North American children’s literature, wrapped up in family fun.” — Kirkus Reviews


“The prose is spry, literate, and lively, making this, and the whole series, a must for

budding world-travelers.” — Horn Book

“Well-drawn characters and an enjoyable, episodic narrative make the fourth chapter book in the Travels with My Family series well worth reading.” — Booklist

  • Commended OLA Best Bets, 2012
Summer in the City Summer in the City