Monday, April 21, 2008

Bird Lake Moon by Kevin Henkes


"Mitch Sinclair was slowly taking over the house, staking his claim."

The Abstract is hidden to prevent possible spoilers. If you'd like to read this brief summary, just highlight it using your cursor and it will magically appear in the following lines.

Abstract: Twelve-year-old Mitch and his mother are spending the summer with his grandparents at Bird Lake after his parents separate, and ten-year-old Spencer and his family have returned to the lake where Spencer's little brother drowned long ago, and as the boys become friends and spend time together, each of them begins to heal.


Publisher: Greenwillow Books; 179 pages

17 comments:

Mary said...

Henkes paints a beautiful portrait of two boys who are each coming to terms with loss, and who manage to develop a friendship along the way. I was particularly struck by the honest portrayal of the adults in both families and how they were so clearly unaware of the tremendous impact everything they said and did (or didn't say or do) had on their kids. This is a powerful book for both kids and their grownups to read.

Heather said...

I agree completely with Mary.

I might even go so far as to call this one perfect.

Janet said...

I would also agree with Mary up until the last couple of chapters. I did like the fact that two boys were drawn to each other whom were each dealing with a family loss. I thought the characters were great for kids to identify with. However, the ending did nothing for me. I did not feel like the story reached any point of closure. I just turned the final page and was surprised to see the next one blank.

Jen said...

I was struck by the parallel feelings of pain and loss in this book, but the ending felt a little rushed and perhaps a little pat for my liking.

Mandy said...

The emotions and actions of the characters were very real and true-to-life, but something about the writing was lacking. It just didn't seem consistent. There wasn't enough suspense or surprise to hold my attention...I felt like I knew too much for the plot to be interesting. I did appreciate how Henkes portrays the kids in the book, and I think children will really relate to those characters.

Kris said...

I found this to be a beautifully written book. It was tender and at times painful - I could feel the torment both boys were going through. I'd like to read it again - there was a lot of imagery that I missed, I think because I read so quickly. And I liked the ending. I like the open-endedness, I like that it ends with a sense of hope...even though we don't know what happens next, we know that both boys have their friendship to help them get through whatever comes.

Jacquie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jacquie said...

It didn't end a moment too soon for me . . . YAWN . . . I guess I missed the point. I did enjoy the little sister, Lolly. I think I would like to read more about her!

Anonymous said...

This book was a good book about dealing with loss. It did not grab my attention though. I did like how the boys' friendship develops. Their characters are very believable.

Teresa said...

I liked this book a great deal and had no trouble with the ending. The most powerful element for me was the demonstration in the differences of communication styles among all the characters and how we often don't know why we act the ways we do when we are hurting.

Michele said...

Because this was such a realistic portrayal of dealing with loss, I thought that the ending fit this particular story perfectly. The boys are getting that first taste of "life goes on" - you don't always get the resolution or happy ending you dream of, but at the same time, what seemed like the end of the world usually isn't. That it didn't wrap up neatly at the end made it feel more like real life to me. I really enjoyed this quiet little read, thought the characters, especially the two boys were very believable. Also enjoyed the sense of place Henkes created - felt like I was at the lake with them.

Jewell said...

I would have to echo Janet's comments. I was really into the book but the last few chapters left me kind of flat. I guess I was expecting more from the ending.

Clare said...

I really liked this book. I liked how the chapters were set up and how the lives of the two boys were constantly running through one another. The parental role and the emotions of those parents in this book were pretty clear, which gave the reader and idea of what the kids might be going through emotionally as well.

hathead said...

Too slow for me.

Kayakgirl said...

I loved this book. Deserves more attention.

Jana said...

I have to say that I enjoyed reading this book. Henkes does an excellent job of causing the reader to develop a feeling of compassion for the boys. I was glad that I was able to experience the process of how the boys developed a friendship. Henkes gives a detailed description of the lives of the two families. It is as though I can see the the houses and the lake that Henkes describes.
This book would also be useful in the elementary classroom, specifically in the fourth or fifth grade. This would be a good book for those students dealing with difficulties in life such as a move, divorce, or a death. It would also be a good book for learning fourth and fifth grade vocabulary such as elaborated, deterred,and lopsided.

Holly B said...

What a heart capturing story that Henkes has managed to portray. Not one, really but two stories of two boys dealing with different pain and yet somehow managing. I love how I was able to feel as the characters were feeling as I read the story. This engaged me and made me not want to stop reading. Henkes also did a wonderful job of allowing me to see into the mind of a child.

This book is so relatable to children in today's culture with so many parents getting divorced. I would recommend this for any classroom library where students could read it and journal about their feelings. It could also be a great story to release long-held emotions students may have about sibling deaths, divorces, or anything else in their lives that have made them feel like Mitch or Spencer.