I’ve read so many good books lately that I’m excited to share as soon as I get my act together. For today, we have a great summer read recommendation from my mom. I love that we get to have her voice here on the blog today with a guest post from her. Take it away, mom!

How about getting kids away from screens this summer by sending them, or even better, going with them on a trip to a place they have never been and could never have imagined? And how about doing it without getting in the car or even leaving your home.

That is exactly what you can do by having your kids read (or reading to them) a fun, endearing, eye-opening, mysterious, values-driven book that I am going to recommend to you.

Remember those summer days when a good book sent you flying on a magic carpet to places that intrigued and delighted you and sometimes even moved you? Remember the lovely feeling of reading about a family who radiated love for each other even as they experienced challenges and sometimes terrifying experiences together in that “Little House on the Prairie?” We loved that family and felt their love for each other.

They made us feel safe and integrated into their lives, and we always looked forward to their next adventure.

As much as we all love this incredible era of Harry Potter and his over-the-top friends and enemies with the power of magic, there is something about a good old “down home” novel that takes us back to real life, and family love, lived by real people that make us feel both amazed and inspired.

My Seventh Summer

All this is an introduction to a book that you and your kids will love and that may just take you back to your parents’ or grandparents’ lives.

My beloved high school friend Eve Crane Dayton was a gifted writer. She came to earth with multitudinous poems and books in her head and a grand sense of humor. One of her favorite creations was a semi-biographical novel about a delightfully precocious seven-year-old Evie, who grew up on a sheep ranch in Southern Idaho (which was about five miles from where I grew up in the large metropolis of Montpelier Idaho: Population 3,286).

We were dear friends in high school. Together with some other dear friends, we called ourselves “The Gangsters.” Here we are celebrating our 70th birthdays at Bear Lake. Eve is in pink:

Eve’s dream was to someday have one of her books published and enjoyed beyond just her family and friends.

Eve had an astonishing number of health issues and family trials. But during Covid she got up every morning and wrote and wrote and wrote…five novels. Sadly, last summer she was diagnosed with stage four cancer.

When we realized that she wasn’t going to survive, I called a generous friend who was a publisher and to make a long story short, within a few hours of when she passed, her daughter-in-law tucked her in bed and whispered, “They are going to publish your novel!” A big smile spread over her face and she drifted off to sleep for one of her last nights on earth.

My Seventh Summer, is full of fascinating stories and actual photos from Eve’s childhood as she grew up in the 1950’s in a family of ten children with a heroic and ingenious mom and dad and a gaggle of incredible hard working, fun loving, adventurous siblings who lived an idyllic life of hard work and adventure, not without trouble.

This book is a grand way to see a life that is much more exciting and real than anything your kids could ever find on a large or small screen! You can order it on Amazon and it will be at your house in a couple days, ready to start your summer reading.

Thanks in advance for helping make Eve’s dream come true.

Thanks, mom, for helping make this book become a reality for Eve, and for all of us to enjoy!

Other summer reading recommendations:

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  1. We are almost done with little house on the prairie. That has been our favorite family read a loud! Can’t wait to get this book!

  2. It is packed with a lot of fun photos and is appropriate for kids from about about seven to ninety! It will teach younger kids to be amazed by a time that they have never experienced and older readers will be delighted by some of the things they or their parents have experienced as children. Eve has a wonderful sense of humor and includes not only a mystery but also some issues with childhood anxiety and unconditional parental love. Thanks for asking!

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