Author: Kevin Henkes
Lexile Score: n/a Genre: fiction
Maturity level: 3rd grade (divorce, death)
Pages: 179 Chapters: 12 Average Chapter Length: 20 pages
Theme: Loss, Friendship, Family, Secrets
Project ideas: Develop some “symbols” that represent you, family, times in your life.
First Line: Mitch Sinclair was slowly taking over the house, staking his claim.
Main Character: Alternating protagonists: Mitch Sinclair, Spencer Stone
Review in 25 words or less: Kevin Henkes continues to demonstrate his ability to create rich, emotionally complex child characters.
Bird Lake Moon is a perfect book club book with complicated situations, misunderstandings, and themes of loss. The story is told from two viewpoints, both boys struggling with identity and large, defining family issues. The “anti-hero” choices made by Mitch early in the story are framed by the reader’s understanding of his attempts to control his situation. And while the actual resolution seems a little too hasty given the languid days of summer build up – I enjoyed the unfinished ending as a sign of change and new beginnings. I also enjoyed the use of symbolism throughout the book, and the characters wondering if such things as “signs” exist. Set on a small lake outside Madison, Wisconsin, this book will resonate with readers who’ve experienced any time at a lake cabin.