The First Summer of Callie McGee

– A.L. Tait –

Scholastic Australia

Published 1 August 2023


The Summer of Callie McGee is a fun middle grade novel about growing up, finding your voice, and family summer holidays, with a bit of crime solving sleuthing thrown for good measure.

Callie and her parents join their family friends at the beach holiday home every year. It’s a tradition Callie could do without. Between her parents and the teasing of Michael and his younger siblings, it’s not the ideal place to reinvent yourself. Calliope-Jean would love to start high school as CJ, bold, confident, CJ. But for now, Callie will have to do. When a series of robberies strike their holiday town, Callie, Michael and Michael’s cousin Owen (not nearly as awful as Michael is), set out to discover who is behind the thefts. Growing up and showing the world who you want to be isn’t easy, but Callie might find she’s got what it takes after all.

I so love the tone of this book. It’s just right for that lazy summer day read, perfect for our middle-grade readers who will totally relate to Callie as they head into high school and try to figure out who they want to be as they are shaped more by their peers and less by their parents. Callie faces some really tough situations in this book and each time she confronts very real, very relatable and authentic emotions -and fear, lots of fear – yet she discovers that she is strong, she is brave and she can be bold, when she needs to be. It’s the perfect growing up, finding your identity book for our young teens. It’s a quick read (thank you, A.L Tait, not all books need to be 400+ pages!!), and the mystery keeps the plot ticking along nicely.

A fantastic book I love having on my library shelves.

More information

Category: Middle-grade fiction

Genre: Realistic, Mystery

Subjects: Family, growing up, identity, summer, friendship, mystery, theft

Age guide: 10 and up

Published:  1 August 2023 by Scholastic Australia

Format: Paperback, ebook. 208 pages.

ISBN: 9781760260163