Cover image for Summer with Elisa
Summer with Elisa
Hurwitz, Johanna.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : HarperCollins, 2000.
Physical Description:
88 pages, 1 unnumbered page : illustrations ; 21 cm
During the summer between first and second grades, Elisa struggles to write to her brother Russell at camp and then enjoys a family vacation in the country.
Reading Level:
Ages 5 up.

560 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 4.0 2.0 40641.

Reading Counts RC 3-5 3.1 4 Quiz: 27846 Guided reading level: N.
Added Author:
Format :


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Summer is here, and Elisa has plenty to look forward to. She can help take care of her little brother, Marshall, and she gets to be the oldest child in the family while her older brother, Russell, is at sleepaway camp.

When Russell returns, so does his teasing. Elisa won't let that dampen her spirits, though. She is too excited about the big news--her family is going on vacation in the country. There she finds new ways to prove that she can do anything Russell can do--but sometimes the outcome is more than she has bargained for!

Once again, Johanna Hurwitz has used her ability to evoke the true feelings of childhood to bring us warm and funny episodes in the life of spunky heroine Elisa.

Author Notes

Children's author, Johanna Hurwitz was born and raised in New York City. She attended Queens College where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree and then Columbia University for her master's in Library Science.

She worked as a librarian and taught graduate courses in children's literature and storytelling. Her first title, Busybody Nora was published in 1976 and she has been writing a book or two a year ever since. Her other titles include Dear Emma, Summer with Elisa, A Llama in the Family, Busybody Nora and the Adventures of Ali Baba Bernstein. She has written over 60 titles.

Her works have won her several state awards, including the Texas Bluebonnet Award, the Kentucky Bluegrass Award, the Garden State Children's Choice Award, and the Wyoming Indian Paintbrush Award.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Gr. 2^-4, younger for reading aloud. Hurwitz's talent for energizing everyday occurrences and making simple events into celebrations is renewed in her latest addition to the adventures of Elisa, newly graduated from first grade. Each self-contained chapter is an episode from Elisa's summer vacation that builds to a crisis and is resolved with the help of her family. In the first chapter, Elisa tries to get inspired to write a letter to Russell, her older brother who is away at camp. She finally finishes the letter but leaves it in a book that is returned to the library. While at the beach, Elisa and Russell cooperate (at Elisa's suggestion) to rescue a seagull trapped in a garbage can. In the final chapter, Elisa's idea of having a picnic in the house salvages a rained-out excursion planned for the family's last day of vacation. Black-and-white line drawings, contributed by Heather Harms Maione, add to the fun of spending time with Hurwitz's believable, thoroughly likable characters. --Ellen Mandel

School Library Journal Review

Gr 2-4-As school ends and summer vacation begins, Russell, Elisa's 11-year-old brother, is off to sleep-away camp. Elisa, who will be in second grade in the fall, is thrilled to be the oldest child in the house, much more grown-up than her 20-month-old brother. Though she tries to write to Russell many times, she is unable to find anything exciting to tell him and when she finally does think of some news, she accidentally leaves the letter in her library book. After Russell returns, the family leaves for Connecticut for a vacation and country life provides new adventures for the children. Expressive black-and-white drawings extend the text, and Elisa's handwritten letters are scattered throughout. Children will enjoy this warm, amusing transitional novel.-Wendy S. Carroll, Montclair Cooperative School, NJ (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.