Cover image for The days of summer
The days of summer
Bunting, Eve, 1928-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
San Diego : Harcourt, 2001.
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 24 cm
As summer ends and they get ready to go back to school, two young girls try to deal with the news that the grandparents they love are getting a divorce.
Reading Level:
AD 360 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 3.1 0.5 48284.

Reading Counts RC K-2 2.5 2 Quiz: 24727 Guided reading level: K.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PIC BK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
PIC BK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books

On Order



It just doesn't happen. Grandparents don't get divorced. Do they? Nora and Jo-Jo are stunned by their grandparents' decision. They try to think of ways to make Grandma and Grandpa stay together, but their efforts seem hopeless. As the days of summer pass, Nora is in despair. Change is hard, and she doesn't like it.
Then, during a special visit to her grandparents' house, Nora discovers that honesty and love can carry one through even the most difficult changes.

Author Notes

Eve Bunting was born in 1928 in Maghera, Ireland, as Anne Evelyn Bunting. She graduated from Northern Ireland's Methodist College in Belfast in 1945 and then studied at Belfast's Queen's College. She emigrated with her family in 1958 to California, and became a naturalized citizen in 1969.

That same year, she began her writing career, and in 1972, her first book, "The Two Giants" was published. In 1976, "One More Flight" won the Golden Kite Medal, and in 1978, "Ghost of Summer" won the Southern California's Council on Literature for Children and Young People's Award for fiction. "Smokey Night" won the American Library Association's Randolph Caldecott Medal in 1995 and "Winter's Coming" was voted one of the 10 Best Books of 1977 by the New York Times.

Bunting is involved in many writer's organizations such as P.E.N., The Authors Guild, the California Writer's Guild and the Society of Children's Book Writers. She has published stories in both Cricket, and Jack and Jill Magazines, and has written over 150 books in various genres such as children's books, contemporary, historic and realistic fiction, poetry, nonfiction and humor.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Ages 4-8. What if grandparents divorce? This warm picture book confronts the shock and sadness a child feels as well as the coming to terms. It's a moving story of a particular family, told in the voice of a girl trying to comfort her little sister and herself. The girl answers the questions that worry both children: Do their grandparents hate each other now? Can't they "just stay together?" What if Grandpa moves far away? How does Mom feel about her parents separating? The first visit to Grandma's house is hard, but Grandpa calls the children on the phone, and they make plans to see each other. The endpapers show the mantelpiece filled with all kinds of framed photos across generations, and Low's beautiful computer illustrations create a rich sense of home--the light on the furniture and the people's faces, with close-ups of the family, their sorrow and connections. --Hazel Rochman

Publisher's Weekly Review

Bunting (Smoky Night) tackles an aspect of divorce not usually discussed in children's books with this tale of two sisters whose grandparents decide to split up. Thunderstruck, five-year-old Jo-Jo announces, "I'm never going to eat again, until Grandma and Grandpa get undivorced"; later, she offers to pay her grandmother not to go through with it. Nora, the fourth-grade narrator, worries about the kind of changes her grandparents' decision will bring ("After my friend Fiona's parents got divorced, she never saw her dad again. I couldn't bear it if we never saw Grandpa"). With a great deal of reassurance, love and support from their family, the girls gradually adjust to the idea. Bunting sets her story during that bittersweet transitional time of year right before school starts, an effective device that creates an additional emotional layer (Nora, for instance, feels "doleful" not only about her grandparents, but also about the last ice cream of the summer, the last visit to the duck pond, etc.). Even with the sensitivity of the prose, however, the story has the engineered feeling of a "problem" book and is too wordy for the format. Low's (Chinatown) Photoshop-generated illustrations resemble an artful blend of watercolors and acrylics, and are as carefully and effectively lit as a stage setting. Ages 5-8. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved All rights reserved.

School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 4-A beautifully illustrated picture book about coming to terms with divorce. As summer ends, Nora, a fourth grader, and Jo-Jo, a kindergartner, are upset when they hear about their maternal grandparents' impending divorce. Nora describes her own feelings as "doleful," a new word she has looked up. When they go to visit Grandma, the girls speak to Grandpa on the phone and make plans to see him. After talking to both grandparents, the sisters begin to adjust. Throughout the story, Bunting sensitively portrays the feelings and needs of all of the family members. The realistic illustrations, created using Photoshop, capture the vibrant colors of late-summer days and convey the closeness of this family. The strong emotions the girls are experiencing are reflected in their facial expressions and in the way they interact with one another. Although at times Nora seems a little too wise for her age, and the text is a bit long, this book will be helpful for adults who are looking for stories about divorce.-Marilyn Ackerman, Brooklyn Public Library, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.