Their reasons for hiking to the hill are at odds and both girls have life-threatening experiences as a result of the trip.
Summer of Change, staged in New Mexico during the hot summer months of 1973, is filled with complex conflicts on many levels including bullying, abandonment, greed, and environmental concerns.
MatiLou is 11, the brightest one in her class, and an only child. She’s wished for a sister and on the hottest day, PerryAnn, who is 14, appears on Grandma Waters’ cactus farm next door. PerryAnn’s grandmother sells the minerals rights under the farm and begins drinking heavily while in the midst of grieving the loss of her only son, PerryAnn’s father. The threat of external change to the beloved cactus farm looms throughout the story because three men in steel toe boots have come to stake a well right in front of Grandma Waters’ house. The girls raise stark and compelling concerns for nature, and in the midst of it all they make a trek to the highest hill at the park without telling anyone they’re going.
Martha Passel's engaging coming of age tale has a message for all ages.