Spencer thought the house might be haunted.
Mitch knew it wasn't. And he knew why.
The whole time Spencer and Mitch hung out together at Bird Lake that summer, there were secrets keeping them apart.
And maybe a secret knowledge keeping them together, too—together like members of the same tribe. Like friends.
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Kevin Henkes is the award-winning creator of many books for children, including the Caldecott Medal Book Kitten’s First Full Moon, the Caldecott and Geisel Honor Book Waiting, the Newbery Honor Books The Year of Billy Miller and Olive’s Ocean, and several bestselling books about mice, including Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse and Chrysanthemum.
*Starred Review* Mitch Sinclair, 12, is at Bird Moon Lake because his parents are divorcing. But there are tense moments with his grandparents, so Mitch fantasizes about moving into the empty house next door. Then Spencer Stone and his family, who own the cottage, arrive. Spencer and younger sister love the lake, but it’s also the place where their barely remembered brother, Matty, drowned at age four. Told in overlapping chapters, the story is spare. Mitch tricks Spencer into thinking Matty is haunting them; then he does something worse. After the boys become friends, the truth becomes both barrier and bridge. As in his Newbery Honor Book Olive’s Ocean (2003), every word counts, moving the story forward moment by moment. Yet the writing is as evocative as it is precise: fireflies are “pinpricks of topaz.” Emotions are just as carefully carved, turning characterization into portraiture; the children stand out in relief, against the deceptive tranquility of the lake. Some children may find the story too quiet or the ending too abrupt. But Henkes knows children and their secrets, and readers will lean close to hear the whispers. Grades 5-7. --Ilene Cooper
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Book Description Greenwillow Books, 2008. Library Binding. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0061470783