The weather is starting to warm up, and with it comes the reminder that summer is coming. Today’s blog tour celebrates the release day of Summer Constellations by Alisha Sevigny (it’s out today!) — which promises to be the perfect summer read. First, Alisha shares the teacher that made a big impact on her life (grab a tissue for this guest post!), then keep reading to learn more about Summer Constellations and enter to win a copy of the book.
Mr. Dryvynsyde was definitely a hippie. He taught the advanced English class at our high school, which I took from grades nine and up, every year with him. He taught it like it was a university course. Some days we did a lot of work. Some days we just sat around and talked. It was deliciously random and free-thinking and much of our work was self-directed. We got to come up with our own major projects to be graded on, whatever we wanted. Myself and a classmate decided we would go into an elementary school and put on a play with the kids. I think of it now and shake my head. Two grade ten students auditioning, casting, costuming, adapting, narrating and putting on a final performance for the entire school and parents over the space of a few weeks. The things you can do when you don’t put limitations on yourself.
Mr. D perfectly encapsulated that Robin Williams quote, “You’re only given a little spark of madness, you mustn’t lose it,” passing it on to us, his students. I learned how to think for myself, to push the limits of my creativity and to embrace my own spark of madness, which I fight to keep in a world that values and rewards corporate and consumerist ideals. I guess I’ve become a hippy too.
Going into my final year of high school, Mr. D got sick. The program ended and his students went back into mainstream English. I was lucky enough to have another great teacher, Mr. Durrant, who also encouraged my writing, increasing the confidence that Mr. D’s assignments had inspired.
Mr. Dryvynsyde died that year, in grade twelve. I remember going into his hospital room, to say goodbye at the end, wanting him to know he was so much more than a teacher, as good teachers often are. The night he passed his students held a vigil down for him at the ocean’s edge. My friends, Fred and Matt, played the guitar and sang Greenday’s Time of Your Life. I remember looking around the large circle, at the faces of the people I knew, had grown up knowing, in our tiny town in the middle of the wilderness, and feeling sad, but also incredibly lucky to have had him for a teacher. He was zany and cool and one of a kind, touching the lives of so many students and teaching me about the kind of person that I wanted to be.
Thanks Mr. D.
Julia Ducharme is ready for a fresh start. Her little brother has finally recovered from a serious illness, and now she just wants to enjoy peak season at the campground her family owns. Maybe this will be the year her annual summer fling with Dan Schaeffer becomes something more?
But her summer dreams are quickly shattered. First, Dan arrives for vacation with a new girlfriend in tow, and then Julia discovers this may be her last summer in the only home she’s ever known.
Crushing medical bills have brought her single mom to the brink of bankruptcy, and a wealthy developer is sniffing around the campground. He sees what Julia sees: lush woods, a pristine lake, miles of trails for adventure. Unlike Julia, he thinks this is the perfect spot for a casino resort.
Heartbroken and afraid, Julia looks to the stars for some perspective. Taking her telescope down to the dock one night, she has a chance encounter with a guitar-playing boy who offers some helpful advice. Too bad this handsome stranger is the developer’s son, Nick Constantine.
As plans for a resort move forward, Julia is desperate to find a solution that doesn’t mean leaving the lake. Nick, in turn, is desperate to separate himself from his father’s aggressive business tactics. He promises that, together, they can thwart the sale.
But can Julia trust him to conspire against his own father? And could she ever she trust him with her heart?
SUMMER CONSTELLATIONS is a story of lost summers, hidden treasure and love written in the stars. It is also a thoughtful reflection on what it means to love — and leave — one’s childhood home.
A shameless romantic, Alisha and her husband have travelled the world together. On a trip to Panama she fell in love with the country, culture, and their national emblem, the Golden Frog and was inspired to write her first Young Adult novel, KISSING FROGS.
Her second book, SUMMER CONSTELLATIONS is about a young woman fighting to save her family campground while trying not to fall in love, comes out May 1, 2018 with KCP Loft.
Born and raised in Kitimat, British Columbia, Alisha has always had a strong connection to the environment and conservationist spirit. She now lives in Toronto with her family.
- 4/23/2017- BookHounds YA– Interview
- 4/24/2017- Books and Ladders– Review
- 4/25/2017- Confessions of a YA Reader– Excerpt
- 4/26/2017- Mama Reads Blog– Review
- 4/27/2017- Here’s to Happy Endings– Review
- 4/30/2017- Wonder Struck– Review
- 5/1/2017- Novel Novice– Guest Post
- 5/2/2017- laura’ bookish corner– Review
- 5/3/2017- Simply Daniel Radcliffe– Review
- 5/4/2017- Pretty Little Library– Excerpt