Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury (A Review)

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Summertime is a time of nostalgia for me. When I see my kids playing in the backyard, drinking from the water hose, eating ice cream on the porch, and creating backyard adventures, I can easily remember these same times from my own childhood.

Do you remember racing down the sidewalk in a new pair of tennis shoes or chasing your own shadow as it speeds down a fence line? What about the smell of fresh cut grass? Did you ever daydream about inventing a machine for happiness or scare yourself silly while you explored under the summer moon?


Known as the most autobiographical of all of Bradbury’s novels, Dandelion Wine moves away from Bradbury’s more popular works that deal with other worlds, advancing technology, or futuristic societies. Instead, Bradbury’s Dandelion Wine bottles up a series of vignettes about 12-year-old Douglas Spaulding and the one perfect summer of 1928 in his hometown of Green Town, Illinois. It captures everything that summer promises: adventure, fun, mystery, freedom. It’s the summer when Douglas Spaulding realizes he is alive.

I’ve talked about Dandelion Wine here at the Library Adventure, including it in my book list of classics for young adults, but I decided to dedicate June’s book review to this book because it is the perfect summer novel. Many of the chapters in this book stand alone as short stories, yet this beautifully crafted collection of prose makes you fall in love with the characters of Green Town and the magic of childhood.

After reading it, you, too, will remember you are alive.

As you prepare for summer vacation or lazy afternoons by the pool, remember to check out your local library. Enroll the kids in a summer reading program and grab a few good books for yourself. Check out the adult review section here at the Library Adventure for ideas. I think The Rosie Project, The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, George Washington’s Secret Six, One Summer: America, 1927, and Someday, Someday Maybe would all be great summer reads.

You might also check out Anne Bogel’s Ultimate Summer Reading Guide over at Modern Mrs. Darcy. She also has a 5 Book Summer Reading Guide for minimalists. I can always count on Anne for great recommendations.

Have a great summer! And, of course, happy reading!

About Kelly Wiggains

Kelly Wiggains, a high school English teacher turned homeschool mom, likes to surround herself with good literature, beautiful things, and big ideas, and she wants her home to reflect those things, too. She blogs atkellywiggains.com, where she talks about everything From Literature to Living.


  1. This one brings back some wonderful memories. I wish I could read it again for the first time. Guess I’ll have to settle for reading it again period.

  2. Such a great book. Your review reminds me that I want to reread it this summer.

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