The Great Good Summer

Ivy Green’s mama has run off to The Great Good Bible Church of Panhandle Florida with a charismatic preacher who calls himself Hallelujah Dave. Ivy’s been left behind to question her mama, her daddy, and everything she’s ever counted on. But with her friend Paul, Ivy hatches a plan that will not only rescue the summer but help them both reclaim their faith in the things that are most important of all. With a cover illustration by Marla Frazee and published by Beach Lane Books/Simon & Schuster in 2015.


The Great Good Summer “hooks readers from beginning to end… this tender and funny story is reminiscent of Rita Williams-Garcia’s One Crazy Summer and Kate DiCamillo’s Because of Winn-Dixie.”

star School Library Journal

“The real strength of this folksy novel…is its earnest, nonsaccharine treatment of what it means to have faith and to question it…. Readers will be rewarded with both genuine adventure and intense reflection as Ivy finds a balance between safe comfort and disquieting wonder.” 

star Publisher’s Weekly

“… full of adventure, but also meditations on home, family, and the differences—and striking similarities—between science and religion… peculiar and poignant, Ivy’s story will have readers giggling as they root for her to find everything she’s looking for.”


“Heartfelt in content and authentic in tone, this will resonate with kids questioning their parents, God, or both.”

The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

Ivy is “a delicious character with a smart, believable voice. The conversations between churchgoing Ivy and science-loving Paul are some of the best parts of the book.” 


Ivy and Paul’s “strong bond by story’s end is both honest and moving.”

Horn Book

“Liz Garton Scanlon has, with courage and tons of artistry, given us a fun and suspenseful story that is not afraid to ask the big questions.” 

Francisco X. Stork, author of Marcelo and the Real World

Liz Garton Scanlon has written a great good miracle of a book.” 

Kathi Appelt, author of The Underneath

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