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THE GIRL IN THE LAKE by India Hill Brown


by India Hill Brown

Pub Date: Jan. 4th, 2022
ISBN: 978-1-338-67888-8
Publisher: Scholastic

While spending a week with their grandparents, cousins are haunted by a ghost.

Celeste did poorly in her last swimming lesson, so she is dreading the summer trip to her grandparents’ lake house. Mom insists that Grandad Jim can teach Celeste how to swim—loving the water and learning how to swim are very important to their Black family—but this doesn’t assuage her fear, and she has nightmares about falling into a body of water. As Celeste starts to settle in, strange things begin happening—a flickering light, the sound of footsteps in the attic at night, and strange events that family members attribute to Celeste even when she insists it wasn’t her. And then Celeste sees someone in the bathroom mirror—a girl who looks exactly like her. Celeste confronts her grandparents with her suspicion that the house is haunted, and Grandma Judy reveals that her sister, Ellie, whom Celeste uncannily resembles, drowned in the lake after being barred from Whites-only lessons at the local swimming pool. Although Grandma Judy insists that Ellie would never hurt any of them, the cousins are not convinced and race to discover the truth before someone really gets hurt. The pacing is strong, and Celeste is a character who will resonate with readers. Brown expertly reminds readers that the truth is scarier than fiction especially when it comes to historical truths and lived realities whose impacts echo through the generations.

A gripping scary story weaving in the history of segregation.

(Paranormal. 8-12)