Sunday, June 26, 2011
Seaglass Summer, by Anjali Banerjee
Poppy has always dreamed about becoming a veterinarian, so when she gets the opportunity to spend the summer with her Uncle Sanjay and help at his vet practice, she is overjoyed. Even though it means being stuck on a remote island in Washington and not getting to go on her family's annual trip back to India, she doesn't care. It is a dream come true and a chance to start pursuing her life's ambition. But when she actually gets there, she finds out that the job is not nearly as glamorous as she thought. She begins to have second thoughts about her decision.
While some parts of the book may be a bit traumatic for sensitive young readers (or grown up ones like my girlfriend!), this story has nice details about veterinary science and Bengali culture, neither of which probably seem related to each other but are worked in seamlessly. Some gentle references to racial discrimination and dealing with age differences are also included.
The book is a fast read and perhaps a bit too short (I was disappointed that Banerjee didn't delve more into Poppy's difficulties with adjusting to her new environment). However, young readers will like the pace and the story (especially, if they are animal lovers), and will enjoy Poppy's adventures.