This Close to Home

by Beth Turley (Author)

Reading Level: 4th − 5th Grade

A young girl aims to revitalize her lake town's annual festival to reunite her family and honor her mom's memory in this tenderhearted middle grade novel for fans of The Summer of June and Violets Are Blue.

Brooke's mom always used to tell her, "It's just a game." But now that mom's gone, Brooke is finding it hard to keep softball as just a game, when so much of her mom's memory is woven into her favorite sport. And it doesn't help that her older sister, Calla, has started avoiding the field, and Dad doesn't have as much time to toss the ball in their backyard or go to all her games.

Then Brooke and her best friend, Derek, come across an album full of photos from when their town celebrated its annual Lakefest, a summer picnic that brought the whole community together at Brooke's parents' lake houses. When she brings up the idea to revive the event, Dad and Calla shut her down, but Brooke is certain that Lakefest can bring joy back to everyone in her town. And maybe if her team of Derek and an unexpected classmate can pull off the picnic, her family can learn to heal and grow and create new memories, and Brooke can discover that she's capable of more than she ever imagined.

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Kirkus Reviews

These are real experiences told honestly, with empathy and insight...a sensitively told story with thought-provoking social commentary.

Review quotes

Beth Turley
Beth Turley is a graduate of the MFA in creative and professional writing program at Western Connecticut State University. She lives and writes in southeastern Connecticut, where the leaves changing color feels like magic and the water is never too far away. She is the author of If This Were a Story, The Last Tree Town, The Flyers, and This Close to Home. Visit her on Twitter @Beth_Turley.
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Publication date
May 20, 2023
BISAC categories
JUV039060 - Juvenile Fiction | Social Themes | Friendship
JUV039090 - Juvenile Fiction | Social Themes | New Experience
Library of Congress categories

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