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.)
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 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.