Discussion Guide: The Summer We Found the Baby

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Book Summary The Summer We Found the Baby:

Twelve-year-old Bruno Ben-Eli misses his older brother Ben who is serving in World War II and looks forward to his letters, and in one of the letters, Ben asks Bruno to complete an important errand. Meanwhile, 11-year-old Julie Sweet and her 6-year-old sister, Martha, are visiting Bruno's beach town with their father for the summer and find a baby in a basket on the library steps! This heartwarming tale is filled with surprises told from the three character's perspectives.

For children ages 8 - 12 years old who love: The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley, Patricia MacLachlan’s Sarah Plain and Tall, the I Survived series, and any book by author Alan Gratz.

  • Reading historical fiction books is an enjoyable way to learn about different times and events throughout history. When you read The Summer We Found the Baby, you understand what it was like for the families in the United States waiting for their loved ones to come back safe from World War II. What did you learn about living in the United States in the 1940s from reading this book?

  • Do you have a favorite historical fiction book that you would recommend to a friend?

  • Author Amy Hest always puts the things that mean something to her in her books. Amy loves dogs, babies, coffee ice cream, and walks on the beach. Can you list four things that you love and that mean something to you? Can you include those things in any of your projects?

  • It’s fun to imagine Amy Hest at her desk writing her books and reading aloud as she works to hear how each character sounds and whether they sound authentic and realistic. Have you ever read aloud a chapter book with a friend or a family member? If you haven’t, please try because it can be a lot of fun!

—Thank you to author Amy Hest and Partner of Wunderkind PR Tanya Farrell.

“When I write a book, I always put the things that mean something to me in the book. Dogs mean a lot to me, babies mean a lot to me, ice cream means a lot to me, walks on the beach mean a lot to me, romance means a lot to me and I kind of stuck all of those things. I put everything I could think of in this book. A lot of me is in this book and dogs are certainly a part of my life and naughty dogs, especially.”

—Amy Hest

Book cover for The Summer We Found the Baby
The Summer We Found the Baby
Hest, Amy