Summertime with Lizzie B. Hayes centers on the life of an eight-year-old, three generations of her colorful family, and one sultry summer – 1967 - in Newark, NJ.  Although the 60’s were often turbulent, it was a much simpler time when many families gathered around the table for dinner and children went inside once the street lights came on. Readers of all ages get a glimpse of this significant time period through the innocent eyes of a child.

Lizzie B. Hayes is the only child of divorced parents.  She lives with her grandparents and her two cousins, Shu Shu Mookie.  The cousins can’t wait to kick off their summer of nonstop fun with all the other kids in Newark, NJ.

Always wanting to be the center of attention, Lizzie is up to her usual antics and has several tricks up her sleeves to guarantee that all eyes are on her. But this summer is different!

Just as Lizzie gears up for a summer filled with jump rope contests, shooting hoops, trips to the local library, and of course, roller skating at break neck speeds, she begins to hear rumors of trouble brewing in her city. 

To make matters worse, Lizzie’s father plans to take her on a two-week vacation down south, South Philadelphia that is, and now she is faced with leaving everyone she loves for the first time. When she comes back, everything has changed.

The book is used to help children understand the 1967 Newark Rebellion, how to process life’s challenges, and the strength of family love.


Summertime with Lizzie B. Hayes

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