I’m honored to share two more lovely trade reviews for The Light in the Lake!
“Just a few months after her twin brother drowns in Maple Lake, 12-year-old Addie accepts a summer position as a Young Scientist researching the source of the lake’s pollution. While taking water samples with her new friend Tai, Addie also investigates the mysterious creature rumored to live deep in the lake—the creature her brother was looking for the night he drowned. The well-developed Vermont setting shines as the book explores the fraught conflict between struggling family farms and the expensive changes required to comply with environmental laws. However, it is the nuanced depiction of grief within a small community, a family, and Addie herself that sets this story apart. VERDICT A complex take on science, magic, grief, and family for fans of thoughtful realistic fiction in the vein of Kathi Appelt’s, Erin Entrada Kelly’s, and Ali Benjamin’s novels.”
Months after her twin brother, Amos, drowned in nearby Maple Lake, 12-year-old Addie is haunted by her late brother's belief that a mysterious Loch Ness–type creature, “something ancient and huge and shining,” lives in its depths, a notion she had initially rejected. When her science teacher offers her a summer opportunity to help researchers studying pollution levels in the lake, she jumps at it. Yes, she wants to protect the lake, but she also plans to continue Amos’ investigations. Drawn to Maple Lake, Addie acknowledges her parents’ safety concerns but sneaks around their protective rules. Tae, a Chinese American boy whose mother leads the pollution project, becomes her friend and fellow adventurer. Baughman’s first novel deals with a girl shadowed by her brother’s death but not consumed by grief. Instead, she tries to hold it at arm’s length until she’s ready to deal with it. Science-minded kids will value Addie’s fact-based approach to saving the lake, while fantasy-lovers will appreciate her open-mindedness. And every tween will understand her drive toward independence. The appealing jacket art will draw middle-grade readers.