The Light in the Lake

Little, Brown. Sept. 2019. 320p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780316422420.
Gr 4-7–Just a few months after her twin brother drowns in Maple Lake, 12-year-old Addie accepts a summer position as a Young Scientist researching the source of the lake’s pollution. While taking water samples with her new friend Tai, Addie also investigates the mysterious creature rumored to live deep in the lake—the creature her brother was looking for the night he drowned. The well-developed Vermont setting shines as the book explores the fraught conflict between struggling family farms and the expensive changes required to comply with environmental laws. However, it is the nuanced depiction of grief within a small community, a family, and Addie herself that sets this story apart.
VERDICT A complex take on science, magic, grief, and family for fans of thoughtful realistic fiction in the vein of Kathi Appelt’s, Erin Entrada Kelly’s, and Ali Benjamin’s novels

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