The Year the Swallows Came Early

The Year the Swallows Came Early

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"Expect the unexpected."

That's what Eleanor "Groovy" Robinson's horoscope says the morning everything begins to change. Suddenly, her father is in jail, her plans to attend culinary school when she grows up fall apart, and it feels like maybe nothing will ever be right again. But the swallows that return to her coastal town every year bring a message of hope with them that even Groovy can't ignore. Can she forgive the failings of someone she loves in order to bring her family back together again?

Kathryn Fitzmaurice's tender debut novel about food, family, friendship, and forgiveness is as full of promise as the swallows that return home to San Juan Capistrano every spring.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781440763298
Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC
Publication date: 02/05/2010
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 1.50(h) x 5.00(d)
Age Range: 9 - 12 Years

About the Author

Kathryn Fitzmaurice once received a book that was inscribed with the prediction that she might become a famous poet like Emily Dickinson. She became a writer for young readers instead, and her very first novel, The Year the Swallows Came Early, has received many honors and accolades. She lives in Monarch Beach, California, with her husband, sons, and faithful canine writing companion, Holly.

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The Year the Swallows Came Early 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 19 reviews.
Novel_Teen_Book_Reviews More than 1 year ago
In Kathryn Fitzmaurice's book The Year the Swallows Came Early, eleven-year-old Eleanor "Groovy" Robinson loves cooking. She's writing her own cookbook and plans to attend culinary arts school someday if she can afford it. Even her best friend Frankie's stepbrother, who owns a local store, gives her some secret family recipes to go in her special cookbook. Things start going wrong when her daddy is arrested as they're walking through town. Since no one will tell Groovy why, she hurries to her momma's salon to find out. Momma is in no hurry to let Groovy in on the details, but when she finally does explain, the truth breaks Groovy's heart. Groovy's sorrow for her daddy evolves into anger and Groovy turns her back on everything that makes her life special: her friends, her family, and her cooking. Nothing matters anymore. But when life brings unexpected surprises, Groovy discovers that there is more to every story. Sure, sometimes people just mess up, but sometimes the situation is out of their control. Either way, Groovy needs to decide if forgiveness is worth the risk. Having recently read Because of Winn-Dixie, this book felt quite similar. Bother were in first person and about young girls, so I guess that's why. This book is a great deal longer, but easy to read and entertaining. It's a character-driven novel, as well. No edge-of-your-seat action adventure in this one. I liked Groovy and the way she saw the world. I liked how she thought her mama's obsession with horoscopes were just superstitions and didn't apply her mama's believes to her own. I still don't know why her father was in jail. From what I can figure out, what he did was low and selfish, but completely within his rights as Groovy's father. I wish the author would have given me a little bit more there to help with the realism of Groovy's dad's sentencing, because it didn't make any sense to me. My favorite part in the book is when Groovy shows her chocolate-covered strawberries to Marisol, a girl she thought was a bit snobby about her artistic talents. But since Marisol had shared about her love of drawing, Groovy took a chance to reveal a bit of her heart-her love of cooking-and in doing so, Groovy found a great friend. Sometimes friendship is a risk, but isn't it always a risk worth taking? And if that's true, isn't forgiveness a risk worth taking, as well?
ChristianR on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Ernest book about a girl who is sorting out her feelings after her mother sends her father to jail because he gambled away her inheritance. Characters are overly wise, good, or quirky. Did not feel real.
connlibrary on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Groovy (given name Eleanor) is devastated when her father is arrested right in front of her. What could be worse than that? Her mom called the police on her dad. . . .for stealing Groovy¿s $25,000 inheritance and gambling it away! Eleanor¿s passion is cooking and the money was to pay for cooking school. Betrayed by her dad, and struggling to come to terms with the fact that the money for school is gone, Groovy has to heal. Despite the best efforts of friends and family, Groovy has to find her own way through this situation. Can she find it in her heart to forgive her dad¿s mistakes? How does she deal with the loss of her dream? This would be a great addition to any public or school library for middle school readers. Parents often make mistakes that kids have to deal with. Groovy¿s story is a great example of coming to terms with this mistake and finding her own voice in an appropriate manner.
skstiles612 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Groovy Robinson wants to go to cooking school. She plans and cooks all of their meals. Her father is her biggest fan of her cooking. That is until he is hauled off to jail. Groovy runs and tells her mother. She is shocked to find that her mother is the one who called the police. She is more upset to find out the reason why. How could her father steal from her? Frankie lives with his stepbrother Luis and the run Swallows restaurant. Frankie is bitter because his mother left him with out telling him why. Enter old Mr. Tom. He is a homeless sailor that has a lot to teach these two about forgiveness and moving on. The story was not one of my favorites. The characters were very believable and the situations were believable. It seemed like the story drug on and on. I believe the message is a good one. I believe I would have a little bit of trouble getting my students to read this because it goes so slow.
dkauer on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Beautifully written book with a touching story. Similar titles: Pictures of Hollis Woods, So B. It
mayaspector on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Groovy Robinson is a budding chef who lives in San Juan Capistrano. She knows she wants to go to culinary school when she gets older, and she even has the money to do it, left to her by the aunt she was named for. But everything changes when Groovy¿s dad goes to jail ¿ for taking and gambling away her money. Groovy feels shocked, angry and betrayed. Everything in her life comes into question, including her goal to be a chef. She needs to decide how to move on, and whether forgiveness is possible.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is very interesting and i really enjoyed it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A lovely coming of age novel set in an interesting location with believable characters. Contemporary middle grade at its best. This has been on my "to read" list since it came out and I'm sorry it took so long to get around to it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
BeagleMomVA More than 1 year ago
Groovy and her friend, Frankie, are affected by the actions their parents take. The two friends learn how to cope, make new friends, and, most importantly, learn how to forgive. This book is appropriate for children ages 10-14.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Reading this book soon for battle of the books soon excited
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Lisa Fotheringham More than 1 year ago
i love this book. i'm only 11, but i love it!
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TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
Eleanor "Groovy" Robinson dreams of going to cooking school. She plans menus and tries recipes and hopes to be like Betty Crocker.

But the year Groovy turns eleven is the year everything changes. Her daddy is suddenly taken away to jail, her best friend's long-lost mother makes a return, and the trusty faithful swallows that migrate through her town appear early.

Growing up is hard and families can be difficult - and Groovy is learning to expect the unexpected.

Reading THE YEAR THE SWALLOWS CAME EARLY was such a delightful treat! Groovy is a strong and lovable character whose growth throughout the story felt real. I felt like I was learning and growing along with Groovy as things were uncovered around her.

Author Kathryn Fitmaurice's writing is like poetry and her story pulled me in. Even though there was a lot packed into the story, the pacing was perfect and each chapter added a wonderful new layer to Groovy's story.

This is a wonderful pick for readers looking for something unexpected.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I just stared this book and it is really good. My friend read it and said that was her favorite book. Is the main chariter a boy or a girl.