The Lake

Jack Lasenby, Author Oxford University Press, USA $14.95 (176p) ISBN 978-0-19-558162-1
In the best tradition of Jean Craighead George, Scott O'Dell and Gary Paulsen comes Lasenby's evocative story of a girl's survival and independence in the New Zealand bush. But unlike many of the protagonists of other books, who are usually thrust by circumstances into survival situations, Ruth intentionally sets out for the bush to test her own mettle in a clear-eyed escape from home where her stepfather is abusing her. She heads for the lake, where her family was once happy, where her real father taught her nature skills and where she hopes to carve out a new life. She succeeds on all counts, but not before she has made peace with the harsh bush and with the heritage of her father's independence. Gripping and realistic to the end, this book establishes Lasenby as a first-rate storyteller. Ruth's calm, her willingness to face any obstacle at any cost, is entirely original; she's a role model for every reader who has ever dreamed of going it alone. Ages 11-14. (May)
Reviewed on: 04/30/1989
Release date: 05/01/1989
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