*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
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Kevin Henkes is the author and illustrator of close to fifty critically acclaimed and award-winning picture books, beginning readers, and novels. He received the Caldecott Medal for Kitten's First Full Moon in 2005. Kevin Henkes is also the creator of a number of picture books featuring his mouse characters, including the #1 New York Times bestsellers Lilly's Big Day and Wemberly Worried, the Caldecott Honor Book Owen, and the beloved Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse. His most recent mouse character, Penny, was introduced in Penny and Her Song (2012); her story continued in Penny and Her Doll and Penny and Her Marble (a Geisel Honor Book). Bruce Handy, in a New York Times Book Review piece about A Good Day, wrote, "It should be said: Kevin Henkes is a genius." Kevin Henkes received two Newbery Honors for novels—one for his newest novel for young readers, The Year of Billy Miller, and the other for Olive's Ocean. Also among his fiction for older readers are the novels Junonia, Bird Lake Moon, The Birthday Room, and Sun & Spoon. He lives with his family in Madison, Wisconsin.