The Summer of the Swans by Betsy Byars
Sara is not enjoying her summer. She feels like she is on the other end of a teeter-totter, with a companion determined to jerk her here and there. Her family is difficult and she can’t seem to get along with them, especially her troubled brother, Charlie. It is only when Charlie gets lost while searching for the beautiful swans on the lake that Sara learns what is really important and how to deal with problems.
The conversations in this book felt tied to their time period and, at first, I didn’t think I was going to like the book. But the search for Charlie completely changed my feelings about the book. The author could have easily turned the book into a movie-of-the-week, but she stayed away from that. Instead, she used the situation to help all her characters grow.