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Summer of Fire

by Karen Bass

Summer of Fire

A troubled Alberta teen spending a summer in Germany discovers the story of a teen with real problems -- pregnant and alone in the maelstrom of Nazi WWII.

When Canadian teen Delora James finds herself banished to Germany for the summer, reading the professor's old journals seems like a good time- waster. Once Del begins to read the translated diary of Garda - a teenager in World War II, pregnant and desperate - she is engaged by Garda's compelling story. Through a series of rebellions, she begins to draw similarities between her own world and Garda's, and is able to see past her own hostility.

Sixteen-year-old Delora has been shipped off to Hamburg, Germany to live with her controlling sister. Her 'behaviour' at home has caused considerable concern so she is under house arrest till she proves she can behave otherwise. Through her sister, she meets an English professor who asks her advice on a book she is working on. Del then encounters 16-year-old Garda, whose journals make up the professor's story.

Del is transported back to Nazi Germany in the Fall of 1942, is riveted by Garda's story and draws parallels not only between the places they reside but in the oppression they both feel. Garda's rape by a member of the Hilter youth, the subsquent pregancy and enstrangement from her family resonate with the reader and with Del. We are presented with the horrors of the Nazi regime through the eyes of an innocent girl. It is a strong dose of life for Del and mirrors so many of her conflicts. As Garda breaks free of her oppression, Del finds strength and acceptance of her world and those who love her.


5" x 7" 272 pages
12.95 CDN; 10.95 USD
E-Book Price
Teen Novel Tradepaper Adult
Karen Bass
Author Photo

About the Author

Karen Bass is the author of two Coteau novels based on World War II in Europe -- Run Like Jager and Summer of Fire. Harbouring an interest in World War II since childhood, Karen began writing shortly after she was hired to manage a local library. Her stories and articles have been published in local newspapers, magazine and anthologies, and nationally in "Writers Circle Nine" and the "Canadian Writer's Journal."

A fourth-generation Albertan, Karen attended the University of Alberta, and received a psychology degree from the University of Victoria. She currently lives with her family in northwesten Alberta, where she continues to work as a librarian.

From the author: I've always loved to read; life doesn't feel complete if I don't have a book on the go. And though my high school English teacher told me I should write, I never gave it much thought until I went to work at the local library. All along I'd been writing little articles for newsletters or reports about my sons' hockey teams for the local paper, but shelving novels day after day planted a seed. I didn't know it had sprouted until a friend suggested we try out a local writing group. I hurriedly wrote a page of prose so I would have something to share -- and the love of storytelling took immediate root in my soul.Now I can't imagine life without writing. When I get an idea, I feel compelled to write it and can get quite obsessive in the doing. It's deeply satisfying to turn an idea into a story, to feel the weight of my effort in the pages spit out by the printer, and finally, to be able to share that story, whether it's with a few friends or a wider circle of readers. After all, a story comes to life only when it is shared. And there is a special kind of magic in that.


Gold Medal, IPPY Awards, YA Fiction, 2010
Shortlisted, ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Awards, Y/A Fiction Category

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