In Betsy Byars’ Newbery Medal award-winning novel, The Summer of the Swans, fourteen-year-old Sara struggles with the complications of growing up. The young girl is enduring the awkward teenage years, and matters are complicated further by her brother, who is disabled. The children are spending the summer in the country with their aunt, and Sara is restless until she begins to observe a flock of swans that has come to the nearby lake. Sara brings her brother Charlie to see the swans, and Charlie immediately becomes entranced. When Sara and her aunt realize that Charlie has wandered off in the night, Sara is stricken with regret, and finally understands the depth of her feelings for her brother. It is this, now understood, strong connection that will ultimately help her to find her brother. Byars’ novel is rich in compassion and insight, and is an intimate portrayal of the inherent difficulties and tribulations of the sibling relationship. Recommended for readers 8 and up.