Cover image for Navajo summer
Navajo summer
Dewey, Jennifer.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
Honesdale, PA : Boyds Mills Press, 1998.
Physical Description:
143 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
This story of a young girl who runs away from home to live with a Navajo family is based on the author's childhood.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR UG 4.8 5.0 34853.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Juvenile Fiction Central Closed Stacks
X Juvenile Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



Boyds Mills Press publishes a wide range of high-quality fiction and nonfiction picture books, chapter books, novels, and nonfiction

Author Notes

Author and illustrator Jennifer Owings Dewey was raised in New Mexico, but graduated from high school in California. She attended the Rhode Island School of Design and the University of New Mexico. Her writing career shows her deep attachment to the natural world and an interest in wilderness and unique environments. She received a grant from the National Science Foundation for a four-month stay in Antarctica, where she sketched and photographed the landscape and wildlife and kept a detailed journal of her experiences. She received the Orbis Pictus Award for Wildlife Rescue: The Work of Dr. Kathleen Ramsay, the John Burroughs Award for Mud Matters, and the National Science Teachers Association Award for her body of work in the field of nonfiction for children. She currently lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Gr. 5-8. Twelve-year-old Jamie's family has come apart: her parents are divorcing, leaving her to face life with an abusive father or with a passive mother. She feels she has no choice but to run away to the only place she feels safe: Navajo country. The Wilsons, a close-knit Navajo family Jamie grew to know through horse-trading with her father, are everything her family is not--peaceful, cooperative, understanding, and spiritual. When they take her in, she instantly adapts, caring for the youngest Wilson, helping with the chores, participating in rituals, and winning the friendship of a mistrustful neighbor girl. She knows she can't stay forever, but her Navajo summer gives her the inner peace and strength she needs to face her parents once again. Jamie's introspective narrative seems a bit too wise for her years, and her family situation seems vague and lacking in emotional impact. It's the atmospherically detailed New Mexico setting and the enjoyable insider's view of the Navajo culture that balance things out. (Reviewed October 1, 1998)1563972484Kathleen Squires

School Library Journal Review

Gr 4-8-In 1953, 12-year-old Jamie takes charge of her life when she runs away from her divorcing parents, a distant mother and an abusive father. She arrives on the doorstep of a Navajo family she has known for years and they willingly allow her to join them for the summer at their camp in Canyon de Chelly, AZ. Jamie becomes part of the community and finds a sort of peace. Her sense of loneliness and alienation from her family, temporarily at bay, reemerge when she meets Michelle, an angry native girl her age. Running again, Jamie embarks on an impromptu, personal vision quest and decides to trust Michelle and befriend her. When she is permitted to witness a Blessingway ceremony, Jamie gains a further sense of peace and balance, allowing her to leave the canyon and face the future her parents have arranged for her. This story, based on the author's experiences, reads more like a well-plotted original tale than an autobiographical expression of angst and growth. It is a continuation of Cowgirl Dreams (Boyds Mills, 1995) but stands well on its own. The writing is smooth and compelling, carrying readers along with Jamie, sharing her uncertainties, fears, hopes, and relationships. The author has also provided decorative illustration in the form of Native American rock-art symbols. The softly edged images are intriguing and charming. An excellent choice with myriad themes: Navajo culture, coming-of-age, life in a troubled family, friendship, and growth of trust.-Darcy Schild, Schwegler Elementary School, Lawrence, KS (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.