Below
  • Below
  • Below

Below

4.5 4
by Meg McKinlay
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

Secrets have a way of floating to the surface. . . . Mystery, compelling characters, and an abandoned town beneath a lake make for a must-read adventure.

On the day Cassie was born, they drowned her town. The mayor flipped a lever and everyone cheered as Old Lower Grange was submerged beneath five thousand swimming pools’ worth of water. Now, twelve

See more details below

  • Checkmark Kids' Club Eligible  Shop Now

Overview

Secrets have a way of floating to the surface. . . . Mystery, compelling characters, and an abandoned town beneath a lake make for a must-read adventure.

On the day Cassie was born, they drowned her town. The mayor flipped a lever and everyone cheered as Old Lower Grange was submerged beneath five thousand swimming pools’ worth of water. Now, twelve years later, Cassie feels drawn to the manmade lake and the mysteries it hides — and she’s not the only one. Her classmate Liam, who wears oversized swim trunks to cover the scars on his legs, joins Cassie in her daily swims across the off-limits side of the lake. As the summer heats up, the water drops lower and lower, offering them glimpses of the ghostly town and uncovering secrets one prominent town figure seems anxious to keep submerged. But like a swimmer who ventures too far from shore, Cassie realizes she can’t turn back. Can she bring their suspicions to light before it’s too late — and does she dare?

Read More

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
A poetic sensibility shines through this coming-of-age mystery from McKinlay (Duck for a Day), first published in Australia. Twelve-year-old Cassie feels like a fifth wheel in her family, having been born eight years after her older siblings. Cassie was also the first baby born in the Australian town of New Lower Grange, which was established after the intentional flooding of the previous town to accommodate a dam. Cassie swims six laps every day at the local pool to keep her lungs strong (she was born eight weeks early), but she feels the pull of the forbidden lake above Old Lower Grange. There, she is joined by Liam, a classmate whose life was altered in a tragic accident, and together they search for the truth about the town’s past as its centenary celebration approaches. The weight of personal history hangs over McKinlay’s story, and she strongly evokes the claustrophobia of a small town where well-meaning people all know each other’s business. There’s also a very real sense of excitement and danger as Cassie tries to unearth the lake’s secrets, making her triumph all the sweeter. Ages 9–12. (May)
From the Publisher
A poetic sensibility shines through this coming-of-age mystery from McKinlay.
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Kirkus Reviews
A 12-year-old girl discovers a town secret hidden under thousands of gallons of water in this earnest, thematically rich exploration of the relationship between history and truth. Cassie Romano was the first baby to be born in the town of New Lower Grange, which replaced Old Lower Grange when Mayor Finkle "flipped the lever" turning the old town into an artificial lake and dam site. Since she was little, Cassie has been fascinated by the drowned town, which, together with New Lower Grange, is about to celebrate its centennial. Cassie's much older sister is making the celebration's centenary book, which Cassie feels whitewashes history, as it only shows the positive side of the changeover. Narrated in the first person by its likable protagonist, this quirky but thoughtful not-quite-mystery teams Cassie with Liam, a boy with an unfortunate personal history of his own. Together, the two kids swim on the side of the lake that is closed to the public, where dropping water levels reveal hazy but tantalizing impressions of Old Lower Grange. Although the author does a masterful job of making sure all the pieces fit at the end, the central mystery is hard to buy. This is mitigated by a reasonably suspenseful climax, an earned family solidarity message and the lesson: that to find the truth, one must delve below the surface. A quietly intriguing meditation on history and truth. (Fiction. 9-12)
School Library Journal
Gr 5–7—On the day Cassie was born, her town was drowned; the New Lower Grange replaced the old one but without its history. Cassie feels responsible somehow that her early birth disconnected her family from their past. As she turns 12, she finds herself drawn to the lake that now covers the town she has only heard stories about. Her mother insists that daily swims in the town pool are important to strengthen her lungs, but Cassie is distracted by Band-Aids in the water, the cruelty of more popular kids, and her own self-consciousness. But the now officially forbidden lake is quiet, removed, and very appealing. During the dry, hot summer, the lake gradually recedes as Cassie's friendship with a classmate, a surprisingly kindred spirit, develops. Together Liam and Cassie uncover the mysteries of Old Lower Grange hidden below the lake and see how their lives have been changed by those secrets. Though pacing is initially slowed by Cassie's introspection, readers will hold their breath as she challenges herself, swimming far into the forbidden side of the lake as the story unfolds. Her voice is convincing as she and Liam glimpse more of the drowned town. By novel's end, the town and all of its residents come to grips with the past and look forward to a bright, swimming future. Readers will enjoy spending time with Cassie and Liam and will appreciate the satisfying resolution.—Maria B. Salvadore, formerly at District of Columbia Public Library

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780763661267
Publisher:
Candlewick Press
Publication date:
05/14/2013
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
224
Sales rank:
1,391,167
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 7.80(h) x 0.70(d)
Lexile:
730L (what's this?)
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >