Rummanah Aasi
   Summer is a time of relaxation and for kids a chance to have some adventure. So what happens when you find a mysterious homemade film about a monster, an old letter found hidden in the attic, a mystery involving your dad from the time he spent summers at the lake, and a ghost ship? Well, a recipe for awesome adventure of course!

Description: Nicholas and his twin sisters, Hetty and Haley, spend the summer with their Great-Uncle Nick at Forsaken Lake, where he and their new friend Charlie investigate the truth about an accident involving their families many years before.

Review: Summer at Forsaken Lake is a fun, light summer read. If you are expecting something with a bit more depth and significance you may be disappointed with it.
Nicholas and his younger sisters leave New York City for a summer-long visit at their great-uncle's lakeside home in quaint and quiet town in Ohio. Nicholas doubts his summer would be eventual unlike his father's fond memories of summers spent with Uncle Nick. Before long, though, Nicholas befriends Charlie ( an adorable girl with a wicked curveball ), learns to sail, works to finish a boat that his dad had built, and delves into troubling events dating back to his father's long-ago visits to Forsaken Lake. Though mostly in the background, a thread of mystery surrounding a secret kept for thirty years keeps the reader's attention and ultimately ties the inter-generational story together. I was disappointed in how anticlimactic the secret is after a good build up, but I was reading it with my adult lens. I'm not so sure that I would have mind it if I read this as its targeted audience. The characters are all delightful. Nicholas thrives on meeting the new challenges which help boost his self esteem. I enjoyed his friendship with Charlie which I thought unfolded in a realistic pace. Meanwhile, his twin sisters, Hetty and Haley (who names their kid Hetty, anyway?) provide comic relief, often annoying Nicholas by putting on fake British accents and dropping British phrases picked up while reading a sailing book. I would recommend Summer at Forsaken Lake for readers looking for a light but good summer read and is tired of all the prominent fantasy series that are available.

Rating: 3 stars

Words of Caution: None. Recommended for Grades 3-6.

If you like this book try: The Classroom by Robin Mellom, Raider's Ransom by Emily Diamand
6 Responses
  1. Jenny Says:

    YEAH OHIO!!! I love when things are set near where I live:) I love what you said about the secret being a bit anticlimactic after the build up but that could be in part attributed to your "adult lens". Brilliant Rummanah. I've read a couple books where I've thought the same thing - I know I wasn't the target audience so I tried to take that into account:)

  2. Hey this time of year I am always up for a nice light summer read. I read several feel good books last week and it really helped, this week I am back to more serious and dark and it is dragging me down. Funny how books can help worsen the winter blues.

  3. Not too many fun books have been that deep for me, but that is okay since I tend to read a lot when I'm stressed. So, this one could really make the pile.

  4. Who names their kid Hetty? Indeed! Maybe it's short for Henrietta? I know I've read the nickname before but I don't know what it was short for. Might have been Hester, which again I would ask, who names their kid Hester?

    Anyway, I always try to remember the audience if I find the book subpar. They weren't writing it for me so I try to remember that. That usually makes the book a little bit better because kids are usually looking for pleasure and don't really care if the ending was easy, for the most part. Sometimes, they do require a challenge but I think they'd look at this book and know it's light reading.

    What I want to know is...Who wants to vacation at FORSAKEN LAKE??? Not me!
    As always, great review!

  5. I wonder if I would have liked this book as a kid. It sounds like a good, simple mystery. Too bad it doesn't hold up to adult readers. The best children's books do that. Rebecca Stead is the first author who pops into my mind.

  6. Candace Says:

    I often find MG books to be anti climatic and I think its usually just me being an adult. I like this is a fun summer read. I have so many memories of going away for vacations as a kid, so these books bring back memories.

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