Carol Lunney-Hampson


Growing up, Carol Zalewski Lunney-Hampson spent summers with her family who ran a fish camp on the Delaware River in Northeastern Pennsylvania.

Summers on the river were always full of fun and challenges. The author has used her memory of these adventures to craft a historical fiction novel that takes place during the summer of 1955. It was a special summer in many ways: the Polio vaccine was approved for distribution, and the Northeast was hit with two consecutive hurricanes. The first one, Connie, dumped a lot of rain in the area and was followed within a few weeks by Diane, a more intense storm that caused tremendous damage.

In this story, the author focuses on the family’s financial challenges and how they might be resolved. But the fun times are also highlighted, Stella’s newfound friend and her horse, the July 4th Celebration, hayrides and corn roasts.

Stella’s Very Special Summer is meant to give tweens in the present time frame an idea of how Stella, a tween herself and her friends, spent their summer vacation. There were no cellphones, TV or iPad to entertain them.

Stella's Very Special Summer

“Stella’s Very Special Summer” is a heartwarming tale that takes us back to the summer of 1955, when families packed up their cars and headed to the mountains, beaches, and other vacation spots to escape the city. The author has crafted a nostalgic and captivating story that transports readers back to a simpler time and will open the eyes of young readers with delight.

Eleven-year-old Stella leaves her small hometown with her mother, brother, a set of four-year-old twins, and their dog to spend the summer in their cabin along the river, just a few hours from New York City. Her father can only join them on weekends due to work. The family’s cabin is part of a fish camp, where they rent out small cabins, rowboats and sell bait of various types to supplement the family income.

Sunset on Northwest Creek

Gentle evening winds sculpt the water’s surface,
Ducks leave floating “v” patterns after they dive

Lob-lollies align in dark silhouette against a setting sun, while
Sailboats waltz with their moorings on a watery dance floor

A final red glow bursts from the falling sun as it settles
Softly into the arms of the pines.

Book Video Trailer