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The Year the Swallows Came Early

by Kathryn Fitzmaurice


Tween years are a time when you're not still a kid, not yet a full-blown teenager, years of exploration of life and discovery of life's expectancies.  With a nickname like "Groovy," you'd think that Eleanor would have an easy time of it as she cruises the streets of her famous Pacific town, waiting for the swallows to return.

Groovy's world is rocked one day and her path changes direction when she and her dad are taking a walk and he's suddenly picked up by the police.  Groovy's mother is hesitant, but carefully reveals the reason behind his arrest—and what Groovy hears turns her world upside down.  She has to figure out another way to achieve her dream of attending culinary school.  She turns to her friend, Frankie, for help.  But Frankie is suffering his own parental pains when his long-lost mother reappears.  What follows is a lesson of forgiveness and acceptance of people for what and who they are.

The author successfully captures the ups and downs of a young girl who has an extra problem piled on as she enters her teenage years.  Fitzmaurice illustrates how the character finds ways to cope and find a new way to fulfill her goals.  She draws the reader into the life of the young teen in an endearing manner, and you feel like you know Groovy.  Like the love of family and the return of the swallows, things you can count on and the message of forgiveness come through loud and clear.  I look forward to more tales of Eleanor "Groovy" Robinson and hope the author will turn this book into a series.

The Book

February 2009
0061624977 / 978-0061624971
Tweener Fiction
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The Reviewer

Jerry Parzer
Reviewed 2009
© 2009