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Our family just returned from a 2,300 mile road trip to visit the grandparents at their lake cabin. Nestled into the pumice beaches of Central Oregon’s lakes, we found respite, relaxation and recreation. Each morning the only decisions we had to make were what beach to go to, and what to pack for lunch.

Between waterskiing, jumping off the dock, inner tube riding (which I really should leave to the kids because I’m pretty sure my shoulder will never be the same), searching for arrowheads made of obsidian and building sand castles we had an amazing time.

Our only tragedy of the trip was a cute little frog. He was accidentally over-loved in the fist of our well meaning 5-year-old. Oops. Sorry.

WL_spudI think I love the cover of “Spud” for the summertime-emotions that it elicits. But don’t let the carefree boys fool you. “Spud” is full of real teenage emotion and tragic family circumstances. Whereas our only summer tragedy was the frog, the main character in Patricia Orvis’ novel has to deal with death, guilt and family repercussions in the midst of an Illinois heat wave.

Here is the full description for this young adult book as it explores friendship and peer pressure: During the stifling Illinois summer heat wave of 1995, unthinkable tragedies shake Jackson Cooper’s world. How will he deal with the horrific loss of his best friend, the unforgiving heat, and the expectations? Will he find acceptance, win his girl, and feel like life is meaningful again? Or will he, too, succumb to a similar fate?

*All BQB and WriteLife Publishing books can be purchased on Amazon.com or ordered through your favorite local bookstore.*