Title: The Lake and the Secret Sweetheart
Author: Judith Grimme
Publisher: Encourage Publishing
“Who do you think that card came from? It’s so mysterious, don’t you think?” Simone asks Lucy in Judith Grimme’s children’s book, The Lake and the Secret Sweetheart.
~ What ~
This one-hundred-and-fifty-six-page paperback targets nine- to twelve-year-old children who like stories about family relationships and friendships during the 1960s in the Midwest. With no profanity or adult situations, it would best be read out loud to some readers due to occasionally complicated wording. The ending includes extras and activities, the author’s biography, information about other books in the series, and content ratings.
The final of a four in The Front Porch Diaries, this series chapter book set in Indiana continues with third-grader Lucy and her family going to a cottage by the lake and having her best friend, Simone, and her grandparents visit too. Not only does Lucy have to overcome her past fears, but she wants to know who sent her a special valentine’s card. With her friend soon returning to France, the two cherish their last few weeks together.
~ Why ~
This is a nice read about the past when kids spent ample time outside, enjoying the dog days of summer swimming and fishing with family. I appreciate the references to games like Monopoly and Little League baseball along with G.I. Joe dolls, Cracker Jacks, McDonald’s, and various consumer items. Having read the 2 other books in the series to our six-year-old granddaughter via Facetime, she is anticipating hearing this one next.
~ Why Not ~
Children who do not like chapter books or series that are written about how it was over fifty years ago may not appreciate this read. Others may not be ready to learn about boy/girl relationships. Some younger readers may be concerned about the fear of swimming or do not like the mention of God and the Bible. It is helpful if you read the books in order to understand the background (we did not read the second book but wish we had since this one relates to its story).
~ Wish ~
I found the book may be too advanced for a first grader due to the protagonist’s fears and love interest. There were far fewer French words in this one compared to the first book. The series should be professionally edited.
~ Want ~
If your elementary-school-age child likes chapter books that are in a series, this would be a fun read if he or she wants to know about someone having a crush on them, overcoming a past fear, and praying about being afraid.
Thanks to BookCrash and the author for this complimentary book that I am under no obligation to review.
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This book can be found at https://amzn.to/2Nt6pTG