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In SUMMER OF STOLEN SECRETS, thirteen-year-old Catarina has never met her strict Jewish grandmother. But now, with a chance to spend three weeks in Baton Rouge, Cat leaves New York City to get to know the woman who has always been a mystery. Down South, she begins working at her grandmother’s department store with her rebellious cousin Lexie. Nothing seems to be going right and nobody talks about the past. But just when Cat is starting to think this whole trip may have been a mistake, she stumbles on secrets from a time her grandmother refuses to speak of. Suddenly Cat's summer, and everything she thought she knew, has changed.

Architect's rendering of store.png
The real-life store that inspired this story.


"[T]his thoughtful story is at times melancholy and at times delightfully deadpan ... Sweet and memorable." Kirkus Reviews

"An engaging realistic fiction novel about family trauma and healing that will have readers turning pages and wanting more. A solid purchase for ­libraries.” —School Library Journal

“Much of the charm of this intergenerationally focused story comes from Cat’s humorous epistolary narrative. The autobiographical and emotional roots of Sternberg’s novel rise on the pages, making for a sensitive heroine and a tenderhearted tale sprinkled with Jewish and Creole history.” Publishers Weekly

"Sum­mer of Stolen Secrets offers dynam­ic, lay­ered insights into the jux­ta­po­si­tions of fam­i­ly bonds and the heavy secrets and hid­den sto­ries that trick­le down through gen­er­a­tions. The book ignites vary­ing emo­tions, rang­ing from Cat’s humor­ous obser­va­tions to touch­ing and heart­break­ing dis­cov­er­ies. ... Mid­dle grade stu­dents will enjoy this high­ly rec­om­mend­ed, mov­ing, engag­ing story." Jewish Book Council

"A story to savor. Heartwarming and so real you’ll be melting in the heat of a Baton Rouge summer, craving fried chicken with buttery noodles, and cheering for funny, sharp, fiercely loyal Catarina, wishing she could be your best friend." --Eve Yohalem, author of The Truth According to Blue

"Is it ever too late for a fractured family to stop fighting and make amends? Julie Sternberg’s captivating new novel is funny, heartfelt, and moving." --Carol Weston, award-winning author of Speed of Life

"Summer of Stolen Secrets is a funny, poignant coming-of-age story about connecting to both family and family history. Through this, Cat figures out how to embrace her own Jewish identity in a modern world. It will undoubtedly engage the tween reader of every background in a way that’s relatable and authentic." --Laura Toffler-Corrie, author of The Life and Opinions of Amy Finawitz

"History, family secrets, and conniving cousins all collide in this beautifully written coming-of-age story about a New York girl finding her place in her Southern family. Funny and thought-provoking, this is the kind of book that sticks with you long after the last page." --Jacqueline Resnick, author of Raffie on the Run

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