I really enjoyed this book. A younger reader can appreciate the story of friendship and overcoming your fears. A more mature reader can read it and understand the deeper fears of the kids, their families, and the town.
Gabe is a white boy in a racist town. He is an only child of poor parents living in a trailer park. Frita is a black girl in a racist town. She has an older brother involved in The Black Panthers and parents who fight for civil rights. Their school is integrated, but many people hate the fact a black girl is going to school there. Frita is afraid of Mr. Evans because he is mean. We know she should be afraid of him because he is in the KKK. This is one example of the many layers in the book.
I loved Frita and Gabe's friendship without prejudice, their innocence, and the life lessons they learn that summer.
I recommend this book for girls who enjoy reading or like books about friendship. I also recommend it for anyone interested in the Civil Rights Movement and how it affected children. It's too slow for reluctant readers and doesn't have enough action to make it a page turner. It wouldn't be a good match for that type of reader.