Bird Lake Moon

by Kevin Henkes

When twelve-year-old Mitch’s parents divorce, he goes to spend the summer with... read more

When twelve-year-old Mitch’s parents divorce, he goes to spend the summer with his mother and grandparents in their cottage on Bird Lake. Mitch feels angry, sad, and lonely, and he retreats into his imagination, pretending the long-vacant cottage next door belongs to him. He sweeps the front porch, cleans out the bird bath, and carves his initials into the porch’s wooden railing. He even resolves to keep the splinter he gets from the railing so the house will be a part of him. Mitch’s future plans are disturbed, however, when another family shows up to spend a week at the cottage. From his position in the crawl space underneath the front porch, he learns that they own the house, and he decides to try scaring them away by making them think the house is haunted. What Mitch doesn’t know is that ten-year-old Spencer and his family haven’t been to the lake for years because it was the site of his older brother’s drowning when he was four and Spencer was just two. Every small thing Mitch does to make them think the house is haunted is read by Spencer as a sign from his dead brother. Masterfully told with alternating points of view, Henkes shows the developing friendship between two boys who are each withholding information from the other. Only the reader knows the full story, and the dramatic tension builds as each boy gets closer to finding out the truth. (Ages 9–12)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2009

show less