Scholastic/Graphix. May 2020. 256p. Tr $24.99. ISBN 9781338264234; pap. $14.99. ISBN 9781338264210.
Gr 3-6–Gabby and her family head to their lake house for another lovely summer vacation. While Gabby would prefer to spend the time cuddled up with a good book, her parents introduce her to Paige, the daughter of another lake house family. Paige is everything Gabby isn’t: Paige loves adventure and the outdoors, and she’s a master at keeping secrets. When Gabby learns of an old, empty cottage home nearby that’s at the center of a celebrity disappearance, she’s inspired to write a story, and Paige becomes Gabby’s unlikely coauthor. Together, the girls decide to break into the cottage to discover its secrets. Their friendship is tested by Gabby’s desire to do the right thing and Paige’s distrust of people around her. This is a slow burn of a middle grade graphic novel. Bard spends the first third of the story introducing Gabby and Paige’s families, fleshing out the world in and around their summer homes, as multiple plot lines intertwine. The natural dialogue and sharp characterization carry this book; Bard’s artwork uses a minimalistic style reminiscent of Raina Telgemeier’s work, but the characters’ expressions and gestures remain realistic.
VERDICT A solid recommendation for libraries where middle grade graphic novels are popular.

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