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Bird Lake Moon
Cover of Bird Lake Moon
Bird Lake Moon
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Told in alternating voices, this smart and engaging middle grade novel from the beloved Kevin Henkes is the story of two boys coming together in friendship as they struggle with family conflicts and...
Told in alternating voices, this smart and engaging middle grade novel from the beloved Kevin Henkes is the story of two boys coming together in friendship as they struggle with family conflicts and...
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Description-

  • Told in alternating voices, this smart and engaging middle grade novel from the beloved Kevin Henkes is the story of two boys coming together in friendship as they struggle with family conflicts and tragedy.

    There are ghosts at Bird Lake, and they're haunting Mitch and Spencer. Not the Halloween kind, but ghosts of the past. Memories of how life was before—before the divorce, before the accident. Can their ghosts bring Mitch and Spencer together, as friends? Or will their secrets keep them apart?

    Mitch feels isolated at his grandparents' house and can't help hating his father, who walked out on him and his mom two and a half weeks earlier. Spencer's family has decided it's finally time to return to Bird Lake, years after his brother, Matty, drowned there. Both boys arrive at the lake scarred and fragile, but as they become friends, the sharp edges of their lives smooth out and, slowly, they are able to start healing.

    "Superbly crafted. A 'must have' for every library." —School Library Journal (starred review)

    "In a novel as tender as his acclaimed Olive's Ocean, Henkes probes the psyches of two boys facing family conflicts."—Publishers Weekly (starred review)


About the Author-

  • Kevin Henkes has been praised both as a writer and as an illustrator and is the recipient of the Children's Literature Legacy Award for his lasting contribution to literature for children. He received the Caldecott Medal for Kitten's First Full Moon; Caldecott Honors for Waiting and Owen; two Newbery Honors—one for Olive's Ocean and one for The Year of Billy Miller—and Geisel Honors for Waiting and Penny and Her Marble. His other books include Sun Flower Lion, A Parade of Elephants, Chrysanthemum, and the beloved Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse. Kevin Henkes lives with his family in a house in Madison, Wisconsin.

Reviews-

  • DOGO Books angelh20 - This is a great book because everything was fixed at the end and it is a happy ending. It is about two boys, Mitch and Spencer, who became friends during summer at Bird Lake. Mitch and his mom went there because his mom and dad are divorcing. They want to get away from the place they once live in. Spencer and his family went there because that was the place his brother drowned. When Mitch first saw Spencer, he wanted to drive them away because he wanted the house. But later, they became friends. After Mitch and Spencer became friends, Mitch was happier and was able to accept the fact of his parents divorcing. It also wrote about how a child would feel if his parents get divorced. The story tells us that things can be changed and everyone has something that other people don’t know. I recommend this book to divorce people who want to understand how their child think about them getting divorce.
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from April 7, 2008
    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.

  • School Library Journal

    Starred review from March 1, 2008
    Gr 4-7-Temporarily living with his mom at his grandparents' home on Bird Lake, 12-year-old Mitch Sinclair's plans to make the seemingly abandoned house next door his own are shattered when Spencer Stone arrives with his family. Both the Sinclairs and the Stones are in crisisMitch's parents are divorcing, and Spencer's parents are returning to the house for the first time since the death of their son Matty, who drowned there when Spencer was two. While each boy is deeply affected by his family's drama, both are powerless to influence its unfolding. Mitch, indignant at the Stoneses' intrusion, attempts to scare them off by creating mysterious signs that suggest a ghostly presence. Spencer observes these signs but chooses not to share them with his family. Eventually, the boys meet and connect immediately, leaving Mitch resolved to set things right. Characters are gently and believably developed as the story weaves in and around the beautiful Wisconsin setting. The superbly crafted plot moves smoothly and unhurriedly, mirroring a slow summer pace. Alternating perspectives between the boys gives readers deep insights into their feelings and actions. The secondary characters, the adults and Spencer's firecracker sister, Lolly, are also fully limned, complex individuals. Henkes creates compelling, child-centric images, excellent dialogue, and a believable resolution, with humor and just the right amount of tension to make this a significant and highly readable book. A "must-have" for every library that serves young people."Lee Bock, Glenbrook Elementary School, Pulaski, WI"

    Copyright 2008 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Booklist

    Starred review from March 15, 2008
    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 its 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 hedoes something worse. After the boys become friends, the truth becomes both barrier and bridge. As in his Newbery Honor Book Olives 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.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2008, American Library Association.)

  • School Library Journal (starred review) "Superbly crafted . . . with humor and just the right amount of tension to make this a significant and highly readable book."
  • The Horn Book "Unpretentious, spare, and timeless in the way of summers by the lake."
  • ALA Booklist (starred review) "Henkes knows children and their secrets, and readers will lean close to hear the whispers."
  • Publishers Weekly (starred review) "In a novel as tender as his acclaimed Olive's Ocean, Henkes probes the psyches of two boys facing family conflict."
  • Kirkus Reviews "Henkes deftly locates Mitch's pain and confusion, delivering a novel that's quiet, nuanced, and redemptive."
  • Kliatt (starred review) "This quiet, beautifully told story deals delicately but realistically with the boys' emotions."

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    Greenwillow Books
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