Matthew knows that this summer is going to be the worst ever. His best friend Kyle is gone, his younger brother Mark has surpassed him in size and athletic ability, and his mother is pregnant for the fifth time. The eldest home-schooled son of a preacher, Matthew plans to bury himself in books about the speed of light and Einstein's Theory of Relativity to see if he can prove his own theory about the dilation of time.
Instead, he befriends Dinah, a homeless teenager seeking refuge at the library.
Although from very different backgrounds, Matthew and Dinah come to realize that they have a great deal in common--their love for music and for cans of olives and potato chips found in a supermarket dumpster that are just past the sell-by date... and maybe even for each other.
Matthew struggles with his feelings for his own family as he helps Dinah avoid Child Welfare. And in the process, Dinah helps him discover that even the smallest acts of kindness can make a very big difference.
"What a big-hearted story, told with affection and humor. I loved spending time with Matthew and his family and with Dinah, the girl who looks in from outside. Like Dinah, young readers will find a place of welcome and comfort, a true sanctuary, in the pages of this book. Like Matthew, they'll discover something important about friendship and independence."
~Helen Frost, Printz Honor Award-winning author of Keesha's House
"SUMMER SANCTUARY is a beautifully written tale that should appeal to all ages. Laurie Gray captures the heart of what it is to be young and her characters reflect that joy."
"Skillful writing allows readers to experience Mattthew's struggle with Life questions, his own beliefs, his emoational growth, and his actions to help Dinah...this story will continue to be with the reader the reader long after."
~Susan Shaver, Library Media Connection (Nov/Dec 2010), Starred Review
"The book is an easy read and is well written to trigger questions in the preteen. The author has dealt with issues of science, religion and interpersonal judgments in a kind and respectful manner which should delight parents wishing for their children to explore their own inner feelings."