The Summer I Saved the World... in 65 Days
The Summer I Saved the World... in 65 Days

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Annotation: Inspired by her late grandmother, thirteen-year-old Nina spends a summer secretly doing good deeds for her neighbors and enjoying the changes she brings about, even as she is dealing with changing friendships and family issues.
Genre: Love stories
Catalog Number: #96246
Format: Perma-Bound Edition
All Formats: Search
Publisher: Random House
Copyright Date: 2014
Edition Date: 2015
Pages: 264 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 0-385-37109-8 Perma-Bound: 0-605-85517-X
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-385-37109-4 Perma-Bound: 978-0-605-85517-5
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2013016843
Dimensions: 21 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
It begins with Mrs. Chung's marigolds. Mourning the loss of her beloved grandmother and grappling with the changes her family has undergone in the last year, 13-year-old Nina Ross is feeling adrift. Her attorney parents are largely absent, her older brother is leaving for college, and her best friend has gone boy crazy. After Nina impulsively plants the marigolds her neighbor, who has a broken leg, can't manage, Nina decides to find out if committing small, anonymous acts of kindness will make a difference in the lives of the people around her, setting off on a crusade to do one good thing for each of the 65 days of summer between eighth grade and the beginning of high school. Hurwitz (Calli Be Gold, 2011) has given readers a sensitive narrator struggling with real, if not terribly dramatic, issues. Insightful writing, realistic dialogue infused with humor, and a sweet romantic element add depth to the story. Tween readers will identify with Nina and may be inspired to emulate her list of good things with their own.
Horn Book
The summer before ninth grade, Nina is adrift: she's growing apart from her best friend, and her family hardly speaks to one another. Then she decides to do one small, anonymous kind act each day, hoping to bring some good to her neighborhood. Nina is a thoughtful, inspiring hero who proves that one person really can make a difference.
Kirkus Reviews
What happens when a teenage girl tries to change the world in 65 tiny ways? It is the beginning of summer, and 13-year-old Nina is lonely and rudderless; she is still mourning the loss of her beloved grandmother, her type-A lawyer parents are AWOL, and her older brother is occupied by his job. To make matters worse, she is growing apart from her best friend, Jorie, who is increasingly interested in nail polish and skimpy clothes—and in Eli, the neighbor boy they've grown up with and whom Nina herself is falling for. But it is the parting words of her eighth-grade history teacher that give purpose to her summer: "It is very often the ordinary things that go unnoticed that end up making a difference." Inspired, Nina plans to perform 65 small, anonymous acts of kindness for her family and neighbors—one for each day of her summer. She leaves brownies on a doorstep, plants a garden in the dead of night and secretly cleans up a neighbor's yard. Through her friendship with Thomas, Eli's irresistible toy-sword–wielding little brother, she discovers Eli has family troubles of his own. Teens will easily ally with the kindhearted, insecure Nina and be charmed by the humor and beautifully defined characters. The unpredictable domino effect of Nina's good deeds is a joy to behold. Joyful dividends are reaped from a teenager's secret acts of kindness in this appealingly, unabashedly feel-good story. (Fiction. 10-14)
Publishers Weekly
Written in the spirit of Paul Fleisch-man-s Seedfolks and Catherine Ryan Hyde-s Pay It Forward, Hurwitz-s (Calli Be Gold) novel celebrates the surprising effects of small acts of kindness in one neighborhood. It all begins when 13-year-old Nina Ross decides to take a risk the summer before high school. Although she-s not usually -the kind of person who goes out of her way to help people,- she secretly plants a marigold bed for an injured neighbor who can-t do the gardening herself. The happy response from ailing Mrs. Chung inspires Nina to perform 64 more good deeds, one for each day of the summer. As Nina finds ways to help others, not everyone recognizes or appreciates her efforts. Nonetheless, she gains insight into the complicated lives and emotions of her neighbors, family members, and friends. Touching on universal feelings of loss, jealousy, love, and the gratification that comes from doing the right thing, the story should strike familiar chords with suburbanites and give hope to those who think one person can-t possibly make a difference. Ages 10-up. Agent: Alyssa Eisner Henkin, Trident Media Group. (Apr.)

Voice of Youth Advocates
As summer vacation starts, thirteen-year-old Nina reflects on how her life has changed. Her beloved grandmother and soul mate has passed away; her brother and parents (law firm partners) are always busy; and best friend Jorie is consumed with getting Eli to take her to Homecoming. Nina feels different about "buddy" Eli also. Shaking off her lethargy, she decides to perform a secret good deed each day. First, she plants Mrs. Chung's marigolds and then leaves a rose for Mr. Dembrowski. But some of the neighbors become suspicious and Mrs. Millman insists that ghosts are occupying the vacant house. Worse yet, Jorie and Eli appear to be a couple and Nina's brother seems headed for trouble. The night that "ghost busters" arrive to treat the spooky house, the Cantaloni's new baby decides to enter the world. Everyone unites to help them and Nina realizes that her ordinary deeds have made a remarkable difference.Likable and refreshing, Nina has a practical "old soul" persona. She sews, bakes, and does not flip out over a malfunctioning cell phone. Intuitive about herself and others, she seizes the opportunity of a kiss with Eli and later figures out how to maintain her friendship with Jorie. Plenty of breezy dialogue helps move the plot while some slapstick humorthe ghost busters cause a black-outand a touch of mystery (is the vacant house haunted?) maintain interest. With its high school interactions and happy ending, tween girls will enjoy this novel.Barbara Johnston.
Word Count: 42,259
Reading Level: 3.5
Interest Level: 5-9
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 3.5 / points: 6.0 / quiz: 170146 / grade: Middle Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:4.1 / points:12.0 / quiz:Q68862
Lexile: 530L

It's summertime, and thirteen-year-old Nina Ross is feeling kind of lost. Her beloved grandma died last year; her parents work all the time; her brother's busy; and her best friend is into clothes, makeup, and boys. While Nina doesn't know what "her thing" is yet, it's definitely not shopping and makeup. And it's not boys, either. Though . . . has Eli, the boy next door, always been so cute?

This summer, Nina decides to change things. She hatches a plan. There are sixty-five days of summer. Every day, she'll anonymously do one small but remarkable good thing for someone in her neighborhood, and find out: does doing good actually make a difference? Along the way, she discovers that her neighborhood, and her family, are full of surprises and secrets.

In this bighearted, sweetly romantic novel, things may not turn out exactly as Nina expects. They might be better.

Finalist for the Golden Sower Award (Nebraska)
Nominated for the Pennsylvania Young Reader’s Choice Awards
Nominated for the Sunshine State Young Readers Award (Florida)

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