No Cream Puffs was my introduction to Karen Day's work. When I saw she was having a new book published I was beyond excited. Day is able to understand what it is to be a tween and able to write stories that stay with me.
Lucy lives with her father and younger brother Bucky, anxiously awaiting their summer at their home in Pierson Point, Maine. Part of what Lucy enjoys about her summers is that things in Pierson Point don't change very often. Yet this summer, Lucy has a lot of changes she must deal with. First of all, she will be going to junior high in the fall and is a little worried about the new school environment. Then when she gets to Pierson Point she is greeted with the news that Ian a boy from her school who she has long had problems with, is also vacationing on Pierson Point with his family. And, her father's girlfriend is coming on weekends to visit them. This must mean that her dad is serious about his girlfriend, leaving Lucy to come to terms with her mom's death when she was six and what it means to move on with her life without forgetting her mom.
I loved the Maine setting - loved the feel of summer on an island where families come together each year to spend their leisure time. Day did such a great job with Lucy - making her a real person. I could see Lucy's struggle with Julia, her dad's girlfriend. And even though I didn't like how Lucy acted toward her father or Julia, I could understand it. I also liked how Lucy and Ian's relationship developed and how Lucy was able to change her opinion of Ian after she understood where he was coming from.
A Million Miles From Boston is another great example of Day's skill as a writer. My one regret is that I devoured this book on my trip to the Omaha Zoo, finishing it off much too quickly.