Read Summer Sanctuary by Laurie Gray Online


Matthew knows that this summer is going to be the worst ever. His best friend Kyle is gone, his younger brother Mark has surpassed him in size and athletic ability, and his mother is pregnant for the fifth time. The eldest home-schooled son of a preacher, Matthew plans to bury himself in books about the speed of light and Einstein's Theory of Relativity to see if he can prMatthew knows that this summer is going to be the worst ever. His best friend Kyle is gone, his younger brother Mark has surpassed him in size and athletic ability, and his mother is pregnant for the fifth time. The eldest home-schooled son of a preacher, Matthew plans to bury himself in books about the speed of light and Einstein's Theory of Relativity to see if he can prove his own theory about the dilation of time. Instead, he befriends Dinah, a homeless teenager seeking refuge at the library. Although from very different backgrounds, Matthew and Dinah come to realize that they have a great deal in common--their love for music and for cans of olives and potato chips found in a supermarket dumpster that are just past the sell-by date... and maybe even for each other. Matthew struggles with his feelings for his own family as he helps Dinah avoid Child Welfare. And in the process, Dinah helps him discover that even the smallest acts of kindness can make a very big difference....

Title : Summer Sanctuary
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781935462347
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 193 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Summer Sanctuary Reviews

  • June
    2019-06-03 12:53

    I got this for free from iTunes a few years ago. This is a simple story of a home schooled boy named Matthew and the short friendship he develops during the summer vacation. While it is never clear if his parents are aware of his secret friend, Dinah, they are not the absent parents of the ya genre. Honestly, this felt more like middle grade book. Despite being simply told, it deals mainly with helping someone who is less fortunate with dignity. A great message for any age.The main fault is that the ending seemed a bit rushed and some subplots were not as well fleshed out. But still worth a read.

  • Monique
    2019-06-12 13:58

    Laurie Gray's Summer Sanctuary is a wonderfully moving story in which both the shy and studious Matthew and the worldly and tomboyish Dinah grow up so much in just a few short weeks. Matthew meets Dinah, whom he originally thought was a boy, at the library, when she takes his half-eaten lunch out of the trash can and eats it. He's watching from a window inside the library. While Matthew is intrigued by this girl who has eaten from the trash, Dinah is extremely hesitant to tell her story the first time they talk, but by the next day, she obviously needs someone to confide in – and Matthew seems like he can keep a secret.Dinah, waiting on her mother to get out of a stint in jail, leaves the apartment they share with her mother's boyfriend after he asks Dinah to replace her mother in the bedroom. She has no place to go, so she's been sleeping wherever she can lay her head down. Matthew's father is the preacher of the nearby church, and he has an idea that Dinah can sleep in the church basement at night, and leave early each morning. Of course Dinah likes the idea since her other option is to sleep outside in the park.Dinah teaches Matthew how she has been able to survive for the past 10 days on her own, outside. He's a friend when she needs one the most – who won't tell his parents and get child services involved. She's there to encourage him when he's feeling depressed over his friend being gone for the summer and his mother being pregnant – for the fifth.He's the piano player who has taken lessons to be as good as he is. She's the harmonicist who can't read music and is able to play by ear. He's the 13-year old homeschooled student who has decided to study “time dilation and the speed of light” over the summer. She's the homeless girl who expresses her emotions through poetry.Neither of them is the same person by the end of the summer.Matthew and Dinah's story is a beautiful and touching one. The story is a well-written one and describes some of the feelings that teenagers have about their family, and about what it means to be a friend. The kids have different backgrounds and would never have met if not for Dinah's hunger and Matthew's lunch at the library.

  • Debbie
    2019-05-23 18:51

    Facing a summer without his best friend, Matthew decided on a summer project using the speed of light and the theory of relativity to try and prove his own theory about the dilation of time. Using the library resources on a daily basis to prove his theory, he met a girl that turns out didn’t really have anyplace to live or anyone to watch over her for a while. Sharing lunch with Dinah everyday, he would bring sandwiches and she would contribute anything she could find, even if it came from the supermarket dumpster. Wanting to help, he found a way to get her a warm, dry and safe place to stay - in his church basement. Discovering a friend who had a different back ground, a different family dynamic and outlook on life was one way for them both to grow and learn about thing from astrophysics to poetry, from each other and from themselves.The tenderness and the acceptance that these kids show each other is very touching. If only there were more people that could be so different from each other and yet still help one another learn from those differences. This is a quick and easy story to read, it did have a lot of sitting around a tree talking, some religious overtones (Matthews father is a preacher), a little science and even some music. These kids are gentle and kind, they show warmth and encouragement and all of this in a young, pre-teen boy who is finding his own heart full of friendship and good will toward someone he has only just met. Sad is some parts but over all an uplifting story that could be read by any age group. The science gets a bit technical in places and then the end is abrupt, leaving just a small piece of me wondering if that was it.

  • Janine Darragh
    2019-05-18 10:42

    A sweet little book for middle schoolers- the first I've read that portrays poverty/homelessness in this way- a delicate balance of agency between the girl who is (temporarily) homeless and the home-schooled-preacher's boy.

  • Sahar Sabati
    2019-05-30 16:31

    It’s finally summer! I’m delighted to finally have the time to get my hands on some of the books I have been meaning to read for so long.Because of my work with junior youth (aged 12 to 15), I’m always on the lookout for books that balance realism with high standards, as well as being approachable while not being patronizing. It has been rather difficult; there seems to be a growing market for books that do not have the high standards a junior youth adhering to religious convictions strives for. And unfortunately, many of the books that do adhere to high standards tend to preach.So when I get my hands on as delightful a book as Summer Sanctuary, you can understand why I would be so excited.Matthew has just entered that exciting period of time that I refer to above; at 12, he is a delightful young man, incredibly smart and eager, filled with the altruism that defines that age group and as well as many of the same questions. The summer looms before him empty and boring, as his best friend Kyle is spending it with his grandparents; home schooled Matthew doesn’t have many other friends, and certainly none of the ones he has compare to Kyle.But things take a turn for the best when he meets Dinah. She might only be two years older than him, but life circumstances (as well as gender) have developed her maturity well beyond her years. Although from completely different backgrounds, Matthew and Dinah develop a strong friendship, and their differences become the source of growth for them both.There is a small difficulty that Matthew and Dinah need to deal with. Dinah is homeless, and Matthew sets out to help her find a safer place to stay than the parks she has been using at night, as well as dodging Child Services until her mother comes back. Their friendship, born out of curiosity and strengthened through adversity, demonstrates how even the most different people can have the most meaningful and fulfilling relationships.There are many interesting questions and dilemmas peppered throughout Summer Sanctuary. Many of them remain unanswered by the last page; however, it’s clear that the author’s purpose isn’t to answer these questions, but rather to make her readers think. I most certainly did!The book’s realism is mainly related to the fact that the author Laurie Gray deals with some important issues without beating around the bush, but also without presenting it in a way that would be a little too much for a 12 to 15 year old to handle. For example, Dinah tells Matthew how, when she first was on her own, a creepy man followed her around making obscene gestures and saying obscene things. It’s an unfortunate reality we have to deal with which the author presents to the reader, but without specifying the actual things that were said and done. Thus, Gray balances out being realistic and not patronizing her readers while at the same time shielding them from reading things they just might not be ready for yet.The questions that are sprinkled throughout Summer Sanctuary include Matthew questioning the nature of faith: does it have to be blind, in that there is no place for individual investigation of the truth, or can it be individual (p. 38). Matthew also questions the fact that his brother’s life is centered only around superficial things such as sports (p. 90).Another great moment in the book is when Matthew is sharing some of his questions with his mother, who tells him that if he listens, God will talk to him: “God speaks to each of us differently. And I think you’re already learning to listen” (p.108).Summer Sanctuary is a delightful, heart-warming and thought-provoking book; the language used by Gray takes into account both the intelligence of the target audience by neither demeaning nor patronizing them, but also takes into account the fact that their young age has given them only a couple of years of life experience.(First published on Blogcritics and

  • Jennifer Wardrip
    2019-05-24 16:48

    Reviewed by Erikka Adams aka "The Bookbinder" for TeensReadToo.comWho doesn't remember what it's like to be stuck at home for the summer with nothing to do and no one to see?At first, this is the prospect for twelve-year-old Matthew's summer. He wants to be hanging out with his friend, Kyle, going to the movies, or doing anything but what he is really doing - hanging out with his family or working on a summer home schooling project which involves being at the library. Every. Day. What a lame summer.Then Matthew meets Dinah, a fifteen-year-old girl who is also hanging around the library. The two become friends and Matthew catches a glimpse of a world he has never seen before, only heard of. He's lived his entire life in the same town where everyone knows everyone else, especially him and his family, since his dad's the town preacher. Dinah shows him her world of uncertainties, an unstable mother, where meeting basic survival needs is a priority, not a given.Matthew's family is busy with his other brothers and a baby on the way. They wouldn't be able to understand Dinah's situation, and she's not a Christian. Can Matthew see outside of his own world to accept one like Dinah's? And how is he ever going to tell his Dad he snuck Dinah into the church basement to stay for a while?Find out what it's like to have your perspective on life challenged. Take a walk in someone else's shoes to see how the truths you know may not be true for others. And find a safe place and a safe person to share who you really are in SUMMER SANCTUARY.

  • Kate
    2019-05-25 13:36

    I received this book as a FirstReads winner. Thank you, GoodReads, and thank you, Luminis Books!This is one of those books that is good in ways that have not yet become apparent to me even though I'm done reading. Its long-term impact on me will be evident when I think of it years from now, and realize that my thinking about some subject has been affected by the book. That's one of my toughest measures of a well-written story.This is also one of those books that are difficult to describe, because a summary of the main storyline only describes about 10% of the content. Much like real life, the richness of this story is in the details. The thought processes of the main character, Matthew, the things he notices in his life, and the ways in which he grows over the few weeks that we are with him were the things I enjoyed most about the book. I'm very glad that this author has chosen to write for young adults, since that kind of craftsmanship is often lacking in books written for this age group, but is much deserved and needed by young readers.Because Matthew is a "preacher's kid" and his approach to problem solving and the restrictions placed on him by his parents are based in the church, I was at first very concerned that this was going to be a preachy book. On the contrary, Matthew is really grappling with the way he interprets life and the universe and is unsure about what he believes, and I think that will resonate with any young adult, or frankly any human being, regardless of background. A great story, very well told.

  • Alyssa
    2019-06-05 15:52

    I won this book in Good Reads First Reads raffle and wonder if they chose me based off of my interests, career and books that I've read! This is a YA novel, somewhat Christian-themed story that takes place in and around a library! I really enjoyed reading this book. It was something I could imagine myself giving my teenage child in the future. Matthew is one of four- soon to be five- children of a pastor of the local Peace Congregation. He is home-schooled and is required to do a summer project that he needs to use the library for. He's sad because his best friend is away for the summer, but meets a new friend under the most unlikely of situations. Dinah is a currently homeless teenager who Matthew befriends and they set out for many local adventures. Matthew learns a lot about himself throughout the summer by taking care of Dinah and learning that what he thinks is a secret, may not be just so!As a librarian, I loved the little bit of information literacy that came up when Dinah was showing Matthew to use the Internet. This is one of the hardest things to teach students and seeing it woven into a novel made me feel like this is another avenue for instruction and education. The age group this story is geared to is most likely middle-school, or even tween aged.I look forward to reading more of Laurie Gray's work in the future and am very glad to have had the opportunity to read her first novel! I recommend this to young-adults who are seeking for something in life and to anyone who has ever helped out a stranger with the luck to have found a friend.

  • Sally Kruger
    2019-05-22 16:47

    According to Matthew, this summer is going to suck. With his friend Kyle away visiting his grandparents' farm, there won't be anyone to hangout with except his annoying brothers and his pregnant mother. And what's up with that? Aren't four sons enough for one family?Being homeschooled by his mother and minister father, Matthew decides to throw himself into a science research project so he can spend the long summer at the local library. One of his first days at the library he meets a strange girl. She confides that she is currently living in a nearby park. Her name is Dinah, and she tells Matthew she has to live on her own for twenty more days until her mother comes back. He agrees to keep her secret, but is puzzled about just exactly where her mother could be.Even though a year apart in age, the two hit it off immediately and begin spending time in the library or perched in an old nearby tree. Matthew shares his lunch and Dinah shares her poetry. A few days after the meet, Matthew come up with a plan to leave the back door of his father's church unlocked so Dinah can sneak in every evening and spend the night. SUMMER SANCTUARY by Laurie Gray is the heartwarming story of a young boy who discovers the true meaning of friendship. The messages in his father's sermons have always been just words, but helping Dinah survive and becoming her friend teaches Matthew the real importance of caring for others.

  • Mindy Detweiler
    2019-06-04 17:28

    My Take: I really enjoyed this book. I was curious about it when I first read the summary because I homeschool my daughter and homeschooled my two older children all the way through school. Beside a few spots where the author made Matthew a little naive ( seemed that he was that way because of his being homeschooled, Most homeschooled children that I know are more away of the entire world than the average child their age) I thought that the author portrayed a homeschooled child very well.I was touched my how willing that Matthew was to watch after Dinah and how he tried to come up with solutions to her problems. They made a fine team. I was disappointed that he felt he needed to hide Dinah from his parents because I am sure that something could have been worked out that she wouldn't of had to go into child welfare. Over all I thought this was a very enjoyable books and I am going to give it to my daughter to read next.

  • Mary Louise Sanchez
    2019-05-19 16:55

    Matthew is a homeschooled PK preacher's kid who plans to spend much of his summer vacation at the library. He wants to study the speed of light and connect it to the biblical story of creation. On his visits to the library he befriends a homeless teenaged girl and offers her a physical sanctuary at his father's church but both characters receive an emotional sanctuary through their friendship. I loved the references to various books and library research and found it refreshing to read about church and the Bible.

  • Brenda
    2019-06-02 15:32

    I found this story was believable and it made me stop and think about life. The story proves to me that our children can outsmart us if they want to. I enjoyed the dialog between the characters. I was a little sad that Matthew felt like he had to keep the secret; but I also understand that the secret needed to be kept so Child Welfare did not get involved. Parts of this story made me laugh out-loud. I will share this book with some of the readers at the library.

  • Tiffany
    2019-06-14 13:37

    Matthew spots a girl sitting in a tree by the library and thinks she's a boy. When he finally meets her, he is fascinated by her and instantly wants to be her friend. Dinah is a girl who is struggling to survive while her mom is in prison for breaking probation. This story just felt really forced to me. I don't mind religious undertones, but these didn't work for me at all. And the ending was just a rushed, neat-package ending. Yeah, not my favorite book.

  • Cynthia
    2019-06-16 18:28

    I was a couple of pages into this story before I understood that the POV character was a boy. After that, I really became engaged and thoroughly enjoyed getting to know Matthew and Dinah. They both touched my heart. I expected a different ending and was perhaps a bit disappointed, but that means the ending wasn't predictable. I recommend this novel to pre-teen and early teen boys and girls as well as adults who care about that age group.

  • Barbara
    2019-06-05 18:41

    I recieved Summer Sanctuary in the Goodreads book contest. Although it was a young reader book,which I'm only young at heart I enjoyed this book very much and will be giving it to a grandaughter that I know will enjoy it. Summer Sanctuary keeps you very envolved in the main character,Matthew and Dinah. I truly enjoyed this book.

  • Amy Palmer
    2019-05-31 14:29

    The end left me wanting more. Did Matthew's parents know about Dinah? Did Dinah and her mom make it to Cincinnati? Did Matthew tell Kyle about Dinah? There could have been much more to this book. That being said, the friendship between Matthew and Dinah was incredibly sweet. Maybe the author will write part 2? One can only hope!

  • Lyndsey
    2019-05-18 13:44

    This rating could even pass as a three. I felt like lowering it because, I WANTED TO READ MORE! This book is a quick read. I wanted more. I just love the friendship Michael and Dinah had going on. This book wasn't overly religious which I liked. Hopefully there is a series to these books!

  • Katy
    2019-05-30 13:40

    This is a FirstReads giveaway book. The lesson I learned was a sanctuary is often found in unexpected places by people with whom we have little in common. A sanctuary isn't always a PLACE of safety, but involves friendship and trust. This young adult novel is one I would recommend for others.

  • Mellissa
    2019-05-23 17:51

    I had to remove a few stars for the abrupt ending to the book, and the feeling like there never ended up being a climax or main objective to overcome. It read more like a diary than a story.

  • Krista
    2019-06-12 15:49

    As I began this book, it reminded me of "Bridge to Terabinthia.". Waited for the plot twist. It never came.

  • Destiny Causby
    2019-05-22 10:55

    A good quick read

  • Michele Whitecotton
    2019-05-17 10:54

    Very fast read, took less than a day thank goodness, I wasn't into this story at all, I thought it was boring and pointless. I'm glad it was a free kindle book.

  • Michelle Campbell
    2019-05-16 17:46

    A quick read - sweet story. Will let my 7th graders know about it!

  • Al Riske
    2019-06-11 13:38

    This is a great book for middle-grade readers. It has a lot of heart and a great deal of soul, and author Laurie Gray throws in her gentle humor at no extra charge.

  • Mangold
    2019-05-22 16:44

    Peaceful summer storyNicely written without being predictable. This is a good one for young readers. It's a coming of age kind of story.