"If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales." Albert Einstein

25 October 2013


McKinlay, Meg. Below. Candlewick, 2013.

Cassie was born eight weeks premature, so her family missed the drowning of their town while they were driving to the hospital to welcome her into the world.  Their town was intentionally drowned when a new dam was built, and the town moved a few miles away to higher ground.  Now Cassie spends every day swimming to strengthen her lungs, but when she decides to swim in the lake that covers the old town, she finds secrets that some preferred to keep hidden.

I was initially intrigued by the plot of this story, but it takes a significant amount of pages for the plot to be revealed and for the tension to build.  Even though this book is short, I don't think many of my weaker readers would stay interested long enough to find out that there's a mystery involved.  The book sounded like it should be intense and mysterious, but it sort of fell flat in that area.  Nonetheless, I am sure some of my students will enjoy this book.

Recommended for: tweens, middle grade

Red Flags: None

Overall Rating: 3/5 stars

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