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"Never trust anyone who has not brought a book with them."
Publisher: Greenwillow Books, an Imprint of HarperCollins Publishers,
Material: hard cover
Summary: Mitch Sinclair (age 12) wants a new life. His parents are separated and he has moved into his grandparents' house on Bird Lake for the summer. It has only been a little while, but his grandmother is already dropping hints, and his mother and grandmother's relationship is straining. The house next door is empty, and Mitch is so sure it would be a perfect place to live that he has begun to stake his claim. Not so fast! Spencer Stone (age 10) and his family just pulled up. When Mitch sets in motion his plan to get the intruders out of "his" house, he starts a chain of events that change his summer and Spencer's too. This is a YA novel about two boys and their shared secrets.
Type of Reading: bedtime story, family reading, independent reading, read aloud book
Recommended Age: read together: 10 and up; read yourself: 10 and up
Young Reader Reaction: I liked Bird Lake Moon because it tells the story of a great friendship. Both boys were feeling a little lost and through their friendship they grew and were happy. I really liked this story because it was heart warming. I didn’t like the end, because I didn’t want it to end! I think this story would be a great gift for a boy or girl age nine to twelve. I would highly recommend this book!
Adult Reader Reaction: This is a well-crafted, well written story. Readers can connect with both boys as they move through this well-paced story. The contrast in the characters and their families add depth to the story without taking over (or asking a reader to "choose sides").
Pros: Preteens (including boys) will enjoy this story of two boys who learn about friendship, the burden of secrets, and growing up.
Cons: None, really.
Borrow or Buy: Borrow, at least. This is a wholesome read with characters kids can relate to. Spencer and Mitch each are trying to "grow up" using their own definitions and trying to make them fit into their world.
Educational Themes: This is a story intended as recreational reading for pre-teens and teens. It is a book to be shared, and there are themes to explore, both in individual characters, as well as broader relationships and life (death of sibling, divorce, fear). This could be enjoyable as a partner read, as the chapter titles alternate "Mitch" and "Spencer."
Literary Categories: Fiction - Young adult, friendship, death and loss