Summertime & The Livin’ is Easy is a short story based on the daily summertime life of a 10-year-old girl named Jasmine and her family. Jasmine and her family live a tough life as they suffer from poverty and the loss of her father, In the summer, Jasmine works with her mother to clean the home of a wealthy family, while her stepdaddy and older brother work to clean windows. Jasmine’s stepfather is unhappy with life and takes out his frustration on his stepchildren through physical abuse. Jasmine and her brother Frankie survive the unfortunate events they face, demonstrating life has its ups and downs.
Summertime & The Livin is Easy is a simple and light read. The authors use of Spanish words paints a nice picture of multicultural events in the book. Jasmine’s curious and innocent personality is evident as she questions everything around her, including faith in God. The author used imagery to delineate that even the rich have their own set of problems, coaching young readers to be not judgmental of others’ lives. The author did a nice job with the exposition and the resolution, but it was hard to identify a climax in the book. Many times, an unclear climax can reduce the degree of engagement in the book for certain readers. Further, I believe the author creates a dichotomy for the age groups. The book may resonate with young 8-to-10 years old readers who don't enjoy character building. However, they may struggle to interpret the symbolism which may resonate with a more mature audience than 8- to 12-year-olds.