By Lisa Howorth
It's the summer of 1959 in the seemingly tranquil suburbs of Washington, D.C. But our young narrator, John, and his best friends, Ivan and Max, know the truth: every door on their street could be hiding a possible spy or Nazi sympathizer. The area is being plagued by an inexplicable spider infestation--surely evidence of "insect warfare" by the Russians! So when a rare vinegaroon--a whip scorpion--is discovered and sequestered for museum study, the boys, along with their tomboy accomplice, Beatriz, hatch a risky midnight plan to steal the poisonous creature for their own devious purposes. Yet when the friends discover some very real instances of anti-Semitism and prejudice in their neighborhood, it's the shocking events stemming from their well-intentioned community-building potluck party that changes their lives forever. A vibrantly voiced, memorable, and charming Cold War coming-of-age story, Summerlings captures the crystal-clear moments that mark the bittersweet reckoning of childhood's end.