*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 an award-winning author and illustrator of many books for children of all ages. He lives with his family in Madison, Wisconsin.