This is one of my all-time favorite books. Vicky Austin and her family (from Meet the Austins)
spend the summer on the island where Grandfather lives. Sadly, he is dying of leukemia, and death seems to be everywhere around Vicky. Her summer improves, though, as she helps her brother’s friend Adam with a research project about dolphins. Vicky discovers a pod of dolphins that reside in the area where she likes to go swimming. She finds herself not only studying the dolphins, but sort of joining their family, swimming and communicating with them every day. Meanwhile, her love life has taken off as she has to decide which of three boys she really likes – the troublesome Zach, her boyfriend from the previous summer (in The Moon by Night
); the upstanding Leo, son of Commander Rodney who died tragically at the beginning of the book; or the somewhat mysterious, older boy, Adam. Vicky is a romantic at heart, but the seriousness of other situations in her life make it difficult for her to work through all her feelings in this one eventful summer.
Unlike L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time
, this book does not have the fantasy elements of time travel and magic, except for the mystical quality Vicki discovers about herself – she can sometimes communicate with the dolphins and with Adam through ESP.