The Year the Swallows Came Early by Kathryn Fitzmaurice (Harper, 2009)
Some years can be noted by a special occurrence. for eleven-year-old Groovy Robinson this year was the time her father took all of the savings left by her grandmother and lost them at gambling. Now she would not be able to attend culinary school. It was also the time her friend Luis' mother came back into his life and he wasn't ready for that! These two friends are well-crafted in a story that will remind young readers how important families and acquaintances are to our growth and progress. This is the author's first novel for 'tween readers.