The Light in the Lake by Sarah R Baughman

Goodreads Summary

I was lucky enough to receive this ARC at BookCon, so this book will not be out until September 19th. But keep your eye out for it because this is a book you won’t want to miss!

This is a middle grade book and before that fact puts you off this review let me just tell you I was not expecting the level of maturity I got from this book. This book deals with some pretty big adult like themes while seeming to explain it in a way a younger reader would understand and connect with. One of the big themes of this book is death and how to deal with it, and I think the author did an outstanding job with the portrayal of that journey. I have never lost someone so close to me, but I feel like the things the main character in this book went through would be an accurate representation of the stages of grief. Another big theme in this book is nature. I think any younger reader reading this will get a chance to experience some of the environmental changes we are dealing with in reality through this book’s main characters experiences. Being that this book is so closely tied to nature it is also closely tied with science and I feel like this book would be an amazing way to get kids interested in science. This book also does a great job of showing that it is okay to keep your imagination and fantasies while also looking at facts and truths of the world. Sometimes people assume that if you are a science oriented person that you don’t necessarily engage in the whimsical tendencies of the mind, this book has a perfect balance between the two. It connects just enough of the fantasy and science to make it interesting! I will warn you though, this book made me so emotional! I was crying every other chapter but that made me feel even more connected to the characters. Not only did I feel connected to the characters but the author did such a great job of connecting the characters to each other by creating an intense family dynamic. This is such a good read that every parent should recognize as important for their child to read and understand just because of the level of maturity and depth of the messages in the book. I feel like it is a great educational book as well. The character development in this book is phenomenal, you read as the main character struggles through a hard time in her life with many emotions and to see where she ends up is very emotional and satisfying. No, I really wasn’t joking about the emotional aspects earlier! This book does follow the classic “Before” and “After” timeline so that it makes it easy to follow along in the story of events. On a more superficial level the chapters are extremely short so it is sure to keep any age group easily entertained and moving along through the book, not just the recommended ages of 8-12. For my older readers, don’t let the fact that this book is classified as “middle grade” scare you off. I don’t usually read this kind of book and I enjoyed it a lot! And it didn’t hurt that the writing style is beautiful to go along with the beauty of the story and characters.

Let me know if you will be picking up this book when it comes out September 19th!


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