Summer Sanctuary

Summer Sanctuary

Laurie Gray

Gold Medalist 2010 Moonbeam Children's Book Awards Finalist - 2011 Best Book of Indiana


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 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.

“Summer Sanctuary, exudes a strong voice for the two central characters . . . they learn what it means to measure a person’s worth not based on circumstances, but on the will to survive. Gray has captured the essence of what it means to be a young teen—wanting to grow as an individual while needing the security of a home and loving family. Summer Sanctuary can help guide teens through the difficult transition between childhood and becoming adults.” —Kayleen Reusser, author of Taylor Swift—a Blue Banner Biography

“What a big-hearted story, told with affection and humor. I loved spending time with Matthew and his family and with Dinah, the girl who looks in from outside. Like Dinah, young readers will find a place of welcome and comfort, a true sanctuary, in the pages of this book. Like Matthew, they’ll discover something important about friendship and independence.” —Helen Frost, Printz Honor Award-winning author of Keesha’s House.

“The book is an easy read and is well written to trigger questions in the preteen. The author has dealt with issues of science, religion and interpersonal judgments in a kind and respectful manner, which should delight parents wishing for their children to explore their own inner feelings.” — 5 Star Review

“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. So when I get my hands on as delightful a book as Summer Sanctuary, you can understand why I would be so excited.”


“SUMMER SANCTUARY 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.”

--Reading Junky

Discussion questions for educators and book groups.
Discussion by author, Laurie Gray, about the thought process in developing SUMMER SANCTUARY.

Laurie Gray has worked as a high school teacher, a deputy prosecuting attorney, and the founder of Socratic Parenting LLC ( In addition to writing, speaking and consulting, Laurie currently works as a bilingual child forensic interviewer at her local Child Advocacy Center and as an adjunct professor of criminal sciences at Indiana Tech. She has served on the faculty of the National Symposium for Child Abuse in Huntsville, Alabama, annually since 2009. Her debut novel Summer Sanctuary (Luminis Books/2010) received a Moon Beam Gold Medal for excellence in young adult fiction and was named a 2011 Indiana Best Book Finalist. Her third young adult novel Just Myrto (Luminis Books/2014) will carry readers back to ancient Greece to meet Socrates, Laurie’s favorite teacher of all times.

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CategoryChildrens - Teens
ImprintLuminis Books
Publication Date2010-05-15
Publication StatusIn Print
Trim Size5.50 x 8.00
Page Count193

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