Book Review: Shadowed Summer By Saundra Mitchell

The best in children’s literature, selected by Jim Whiting.


My book, Shadowed Summer, would be an ideal book for grandparents to share because it’s honest, but it’s not edgy. It’s a book where fourteen year olds act like they’re fourteen years old, where the story may contain ghosts and gentle scares, but its precociousness is limited to a single damn and one chaste kiss.

Shadowed Summer has already been awarded the Junior Library Guild seal, and has been recommended by The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books. Booklist says it’s “Highly atmospheric, with pulse-pounding suspense and an elegiac ending.”

Full reviews are available on my website here:, and please feel free to check out the rest of the site. There are video blogs telling some of the stories behind the writing of the book, downloadable  bookmarks, toys to play with. Most importantly, there’s an excerpt from the first chapter, so grandparents can try before they buy:

Shadowed Summer

By Saundra Mitchell

Delacorte Press Books for Young Readers/Random House Children’s Books

February 10, 2009


183 Pages

Hardcover, E-Book, Kindle: $15.99

Grades 6-9

Nothing ever happened in Ondine, Louisiana, not even the summer Elijah Landry disappeared.

His mother knew he ascended to heaven, the police believed he ran away, and his girlfriend thought he was murdered.

Decades later, certain she saw his ghost in the town cemetery, fourteen-year-old Iris Rhame is determined to find out the truth behind “The Incident With the Landry Boy.”

Enlisting the help of her best friend Collette, and forced to endure the company of Collette’s latest crush, Ben, Iris spends a summer digging into the past and stirring old ghosts, in search of a boy she never knew.

What she doesn’t realize is that in a town as small as Ondine, every secret is a family secret.

For more information about Saundra, please see

For more information about Jim, please see To inquire about availability of specific titles or to send a comment, write him at

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