Below by Meg McKinlay

Below by Meg McKinlay (Published 2011; First US Edition 2013 – Candlewick Press)

I just read this book today – started it this morning, and finished it this afternoon.  I saw the book on the new book display at my local library, and had to pick it up.  In the case of this book, the cover is good, and grabbed my attention and imagination.   The cover portrays the main character and her friend swimming over a town vaguely positioned below the surface – as you can see to the left.

The day 12 year old Cassie was born (several weeks too early), the old version of their town was flooded on purpose for the good of the water supply in their area (it is a town in Australia.)   Now, people are not permitted to swim or boat or do anything beyond a certain point of  the new lake.   The actual area of the town under the water is off limits.   It is so peaceful there, and Cassie loves to swim in the forbidden area.   However, there seems to be a mystery as to why no one is permitted there.  The mayor says that it is dangerous, but the old town is so far down, that it is not really a problem.   What secret is the mayor hiding?

Overall, I liked this book so much that I did not want to put it down.  It was a quick read for m)e, but it also moved at a quick pace, and I never had the urge to skip ahead to the end!   I would highly recommend this book to fourth to seventh graders (ages 9 to 12, generally)!


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