Time capsules were a big thing in the ’80s and The Best Worst Summer reminds us of that as BFFs Melissa and Jessica begin their summer creating one. Jump forward three decades to Peyton, who’s devastated to have moved away from her best friend at the beginning of the summer. Things start to look up for Peyton as she finds the capsule that Jessica and Melissa made.
This is a book about friendship and forgiveness and helps readers understand that when situations change, such as friends moving away from each other, adapting can help relationships continue and grow. It also teaches us the very important lesson of not giving up on friends and remembering that things aren’t always as they seem. One of the best parts of the book is when a character decides to stand up to a bully after a friend is being treated poorly. In addition to teaching some valuable lessons, you’ll love the relatable characters who will likely remind readers of themselves or their friends. We also get to enjoy a little mystery as Peyton tries to decode some of the items found in the capsule. There’s like, totally rad ’80s references to the max that will be fun for kids to be introduced to, for sure. If you enjoy these references don’t skip the acknowledgements. There’s so much to love about this novel and it will be enjoyed by both male and female middle grade audiences who like reading a relatable story that could happen to them.
Review of a Digital Advance Reading Copy
This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Bloomsbury Children’s Books
Profanity/Language: 1 religious exclamation.
Violence/Gore: Few (3) brief incidents including a reference to dead pets and rabies; second-hand report of pet dying; implied spousal abuse.
Sex/Nudity: Several (13) brief incidents mostly involving tweens including girls talking about liking boys; girls making reference to their future husbands; second-hand report of husband wooing wife; teens flirting; talking about teens dating; reference to girls having crushes; picture of girl kissing picture of boy and other girl staring at picture of boy; husband kissing wife’s cheek; character thinking her mom is pregnant; homosexual couple.
Mature Subject Matter:
Implied spousal abuse; racism; divorce; reference to drunk driver; homosexual characters.
Alcohol / Drug Use:
Reference to drunk driver; adult smells of cigarette smoke.