Summer at Forsaken Lake

978-0-44901-023-5. 37.
Nicholas, 12, and his younger twin sisters are not very excited to be spending the summer with their great uncle in Ohio, until they discover that he is going to teach them to sail his 28-foot sailboat. Nicholas’s summer gets even better when he meets a girl, Charlie, and together they discover a mystery from the past that involves both of their parents. The result is a perfect summer full of family, friends, and adventure. The mystery gives shape and direction to the plot, but doesn’t dominate it. Michael D. Beil’s well-crafted story (Knopf, 2012) focuses on the relationships between the characters and the fun of doing something important together. The two main characters have such likeable, authentic preteen voices that most listeners will happily overlook a few stretches in credibility. Narrator Thomas Kelly does an admirable job of giving each of the characters a unique personality. While he doesn’t alter his pitch much, even for the female characters, he changes his cadence and accent so each character sounds distinct and age appropriate. While Beil’s “Red Blazer Girls” series is targeted primarily at girls, this book will appeal to both genders and is a great choice for upper elementary school mystery fans.–Donna Cardon, Provo Library, UT

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