I have come to realize that I probably owe a lot to this book! My dad bought me this book when it first came out (I was 12 at the time) and I remember thinking "What a stupid title!" But it was my first summer at the beach and I hadn't made any friends yet so I figured why not? I became utterly obsessed with it and read it repeatedly. I associate my wonderful childhood summers at the beach with this book, and I also believe it is what really solidified my love of reading!