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‘We need the literature of other countries to expand our
horizons and stimulate our ideas. Without it, we are not only
diminished, we are starved’
(The Times, Magnus Linklater 29/06/05)
Summer with Mary-Lou
by Stefan Casta
Age Range: 14+
As 14-year-old Adam turns the corner in a busy Stockholm street, he bumps into
Mary-Lou, an old childhood friend. Adam is planning to spend the summer in
the family cottage by the lake and invites Mary-Lou to go with him. As children
they had often spent summer holidays together, until tragedy struck when Mary-
Lou had a terrible accident that confined her to a wheelchair. No one really
knows what happened that day – whether she jumped or fell – but she has never
spoken about it since.
As Adam and Mary-Lou spend their first summer together since the accident they slowly rebuild their friendship and over the weeks, learn through each other to come to terms with their own inner turmoil. Adam tries to capture the real Mary-Lou – hidden behind the steely iciness – on paper as he draws her portrait.
Through beautiful prose, Stefan Casta provides a novel full of atmospheric descriptions together with affectionate humour as Adam tries to help Mary-Lou come to terms with her disability.
(Outside In: Children’s Books in Translation, Milet, 2005)