The Properties of Water

Hannah Roberts McKinnon, Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, $16.99 (176p) ISBN 978-0-374-36145-7
This heartfelt novel is narrated by 13-year-old Lace Martin, who has grown up beside a lake in Maine with her parents and her beautiful, confident older sister, Marni. Early in the summer, Marni leaps into the water and is horribly injured. She is taken to a hospital hours from their home, and Lace feels like she has lost both her sister and her mother, who moves to be close to Marni. Lace passes the time by avoiding the water, hanging out with her eccentric best friend, and trying to figure out what the strange new housekeeper her father has hired is up to. And then there is swim team captain Sully Tanner, who is suddenly paying attention to Lace. Although it's puzzling that Lace and Marni don't speak over the phone, McKinnon (Franny Parker) has created a cast of believably imperfect characters, and Lace's emotions ring true, especially when she finally travels to Portland to see Marni. Ultimately, Lace summons the courage she always saw in her sister and learns that comfort can come from unexpected places. Ages 10–14. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/20/2010
Release date: 10/01/2010
Genre: Children's
Open Ebook - 176 pages - 978-1-4299-8926-8
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