Summer of Change
by H.J. Lewis
Every year, Mel Randall can't wait to spend the summer at her family's cottage on Deer Lake. But not this summer. Mel's best friend has moved away. The general store has new owners. Everything is changing. Then Mel has an adventure and meets Ian Suwan. Maybe a little change isn't so bad after all.
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This book is part of the Deer Lake series.
To read the first chapter of Summer of Change, click here. Enjoy!
Read an interview with the author, or visit her myspace page.
Other Tea Leaf Press books by H.J. Lewis:
Who is Mel Randall, Anyway?
The Accidental Camper
Summer of Change
Mel Randall stood in the middle of her bedroom. She was holding a sheet of blue paper in her hand. Her face was white.
"Gahhhk!" she cried. Mel couldn't speak. She sat down on her bed, next to a large red backpack. She stood up again. Mel rolled the paper into a ball and threw it across the room.
It flew toward the poster on the back of her bedroom door. The poster was of Jamie Mason--Mel's favorite movie star. The paper ball hit Jamie right between the eyes.
Mel looked around for something else to throw. Her eyes settled on her backpack. It was full of neatly folded clothes.
One by one, pieces of clothing sailed across the room. Jeans, t-shirts, and a pair of shorts hit the door. Socks and a bathing suit hit the wall. A pair of underwear landed on a chair.
Mel's older sister, Lindsay, peeked into the room just as a bra went flying. The bra landed right on top of Lindsay's head.
Lindsay untangled the bra from her long blond hair. She tossed it back at Mel and looked around at the mess. Clothes lay everywhere. The poster of Jamie Mason was torn and hanging by one tack.
"What's the matter, Melon?" she asked. "Having a bad hair day?"
Mel dropped onto the bed. "No, that's your department, Linz."
"Yeah, whatever." Lindsay reached up and fluffed her long hair. "You had better hurry up and pack. Dad is already putting stuff in the minivan."
Mel fluffed her own shoulder-length brown hair, teasing her sister. "Why don't you go help him then?" she asked.
"As if." Lindsay walked over to the window and looked down. The family's green minivan was in the driveway. All the doors were open. Suitcases, lawn chairs, and sleeping bags were piled on the lawn. Canoe paddles leaned against the minivan. Life jackets and bicycles lay on the driveway. Mr. Randall was putting things in the minivan and then taking them out again.
"Who in their right mind would mess with Dad's packing system?" Lindsay looked at Mel. "You had better get your bag downstairs in ten minutes. Otherwise we may have to leave without you."
"Fine with me." Mel's brown eyes flashed.
"Come on, Mel. Let's go. I want to get to the cottage before dinner. All my friends went up yesterday. I'm sure they have the best guys checked out already."
"Like I care." Mel rolled off the bed and started searching through the clothes on the floor. She found the ball of paper that had started the whole mess. It was under an orange bathing suit.
"Stop being such a jerk," said Lindsay. "What's your problem?"
"Your friends are going to be at the cottage," said Mel, "but my friend isn't." She handed her sister the ball. "Read this."
Lindsay frowned and smoothed out the paper. It was a letter written with purple ink on blue paper.
You're not going to believe this, but I'm on a plane right now!! My mom got a new job and we're moving to California. The bad news is that we're not going to Deer Lake this summer. I can't believe I'm not going to be there. I really wanted to hang out with you this summer!! I don't have any friends yet in California.
Our cottage is already up for sale. I hope you get good new neighbors and not some old grumpy guy like Booker. I miss you already!! Maybe you can come and visit me in California next summer. We can go to Hollywood and look for movie stars.
p.s. Don't forget to write!
Lindsay quickly read the letter. She looked at her sister. Mel was lying on the floor with the orange bathing suit over her face.
"Wow, that's a drag! What are you going to do without your best summer friend?" Lindsay asked.
Janine's family owned the cottage next door to the Randalls'. Mel and Janine spent every summer together. They went canoeing, fishing, and swimming. They had adventures. They had fun and got into trouble.
"I'm not going to do anything," said Mel. "I'm not going."
"Yeah, right. What would you do if you stayed home?"
"I don't know. I'll stay here and...um...get a summer job."
Lindsay rolled her eyes. "You know Dad won't let you stay home alone. You have to come to the cottage with us."
"Janine was the only person my age at Deer Lake," cried Mel. "Now who am I going to hang out with?"
Lindsay put her hands on her hips. "Don't think you're going to hang out with me and my friends," she warned.
Mel grunted. "Yeah, right. Like I would want to sit around and talk about boys all day. No thanks!"
"What about Sara?" Lindsay offered.
Mel gagged at the thought of spending time with their little sister. "She's only seven."
"Fine, hang out with Mrs. Bergeron and drink tea. I don't care. Just hurry and pack your stuff. I want to get to the cottage and see my friends." Lindsay stood up. "Dad will be mad if you're not down there in ten minutes." She left the room, pulling the door shut with a crash.
Mel stood up and looked around at the mess in her room. Lindsay was right. Their father would never let her stay home. Mel was thirteen (going to be fourteen next month). She was old enough to stay home alone for one evening. She was not old enough to stay for the whole summer. Mel sighed and started stuffing clothes back into her backpack. Why did Janine's mom have to go and move to California? she thought to herself.
Mel was ready in five minutes. She had to sit on her backpack so she could close the zipper. Note to self, Mel thought, bunched-up clothes take up more space than folded clothes.
She took one last look around. The floor was clear. On her way out the door, Mel saw the torn poster of Jamie Mason. She yanked it down and ripped off Jamie's head. "What are you so happy about?" she asked his smiling face. "This is going to be the worst summer ever!" She folded up the head and put it in her pocket. Then she stamped downstairs.
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