Treasure in the Lake

Jason Pamment. HarperAlley, $22.99 (208p) ISBN 978-0-06-306518-5
Adventurous Iris, 13, and content-at-home Sam,12, both light-skinned, have been best friends since childhood: a sepia-tinted prologue pictures them as grade-schoolers, Sam trailing behind Iris, as usual. In their quiet town of Bugden, Iris collects odd “artifacts” and imagines becoming an archaeologist; unbeknownst to Sam, Iris intends to leave for boarding school, but when her mother deems it too expensive, Iris runs away. Sam catches up with her, and then things take an uncanny turn: the local river has run dry overnight, uncovering an abandoned city. A mysterious red-haired girl named Lily promises to lead Iris to “treasure,” and a rising shadow—submerging white negative space in black backgrounds—suggests that time is coming undone. As Sam loses track of Iris, another boy races to rescue Lily in the past, and the duos’ fates are twinned—even if a character’s suggestion of “young love” between Iris and Sam feels premature. In this graphic novel debut, Australian animator Pamment showcases a sharp eye for architecture, natural settings, and dynamic compositions, allowing rectangular panels to expand, contract, and break form, crashing down or shattering into shards, in this fine-tuned puzzle. Back matter includes inspiration and process notes. Ages 8–12. Agent: Sara Crowe, Pippin Properties. (Sept.)
Reviewed on : 08/23/2021
Release date: 09/07/2021
Genre: Children's
Paperback - 208 pages - 978-0-06-306517-8
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