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Bird Lake Moonby Kevin Henkes
Synopses & Reviews
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.
"In a novel as tender as his acclaimed Olive's Ocean, Henkes probes the psyches of two boys facing family conflicts. Spending long, lonely days at his grandparents' lakeside home, 12-year-old Mitch Sinclair has plenty of time to brood about his parents' impending divorce and to plot against the family of 'intruders' who have moved into his favorite spot, the house next door that he assumed was abandoned. What Mitch can't know is that the newcomers have been shaken by tragedy, the drowning of a child in the lake eight years ago, and their stay is destined to be short-lived. Mitch becomes friends with 10-year-old Spencer Stone, the elder of the surviving children, and as trust builds between them, the boys risk exchanging their family secrets. Tranquil Bird Lake serves as an effective setting for this reflective novel, with Henkes alternating between Mitch's and Spencer's points of view. The most remarkable aspect of the book may be the author's ability to isolate the sources of the boys' shared sense of loss and then to express, via easily recognizable and even ordinary experiences, their growing acceptance of what cannot be changed. Ages 10-14." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
A ghost and more than one mystery hover in this quiet, affecting novel set on Wisconsin's Bird Lake. Twelve-year-old Mitch has been left "with more questions than answers" after his father decamps with a woman from his office in Madison. Now he's spending the summer at his grandparents' lakeside house and wondering not just about the impending divorce but about the "intruders" who've moved into the... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review) empty place next door. Angry and heartsick, Mitch sets about driving them out. That causes 10-year-old Spencer, a member of the intruder family, to fear the place might be haunted, even as he struggles to deal with the even more unsettling shadow of his brother, drowned years before in Bird Lake at age 4. Presences and absences jostle: "Almost anything could be construed as a sign." Gradually, the two boys forge a friendship, based at least in part on the suspicion each harbors that the other's loss might be even worse than his own. The moon of the title, meanwhile, sails in and out of the action, a metaphor for the clarity and illumination both boys seek. "Blinking, he looked for the moon. It was nowhere to be seen. A few nights ago it had been full, attention-seeking, a glorious advertisement for itself. Now it was concealed behind clouds. But it was still there. Somewhere. Just because you can't see something doesn't mean it isn't there." That last line, at once scary and consoling, sums up this novel so well it's spooky. Don't forget, though, that Henkes is also the creator of the hilarious picture book "Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse." At least two characters in "Bird Lake Moon," Mitch's snippy grandmother and Spencer's drama queen of a little sister, ensure that the going is far from heavy. Elizabeth Ward can be reached at warde(at symbol)washpost.com. Reviewed by Elizabeth Ward, Washington Post Book World (Copyright 2006 Washington Post Book World Service/Washington Post Writers Group)
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The whole time Spencer and Mitch hang out together at Bird Lake, there are secrets keeping them apart--and maybe a secret knowledge keeping them together. This latest novel by Newbery Honor author Henkes tells a story about that pivotal growing-up moment when one stops telling everything and starts holding some things in.
About the Author
Kevin Henkes and Laura Dronzek previously collaborated on the picture book Oh! They live with their children in Madison, Wisconsin. Kevin Henkes is the creator of many distinguished books for children, including Kitten's First Full Moon (winner of the Caldecott Medal), Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse, and Chrysanthemum. His novels for young people include Olive's Ocean (a Newbery Honor Book) and Bird Lake Moon.
Kevin Henkes vive en Madison, Wisconsin. La primera luna llena de Gatita es su trigesimocuarto libro para niños; todos fueron publicados por Greenwillow Books. Sus novelas incluyen el libro de Honor Newbery Olive's Ocean. Entre sus libros ilustrados se cuentan el éxito de librería No. 1 del New York Times Wemberly Worried, el libro de Honor Caldecott Owen, y el apreciado Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse.
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