Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Quicksand Pond

28797122Lisle, Janet Taylor. Quicksand Pond
May 16th 2017 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers
E ARC from Edelweiss Above the Treeline

Jessie, her father and her siblings Julia and Jonathan are staying at a run down house near Quicksand Pond for six weeks in the summer. The father is an English teacher who doesn't like to spend money, so he's fine with the moldy floors and lack of technology. Their mother is staying behind in Pittsburgh to work. Julia finds a group of teens to hang out with, and Jonathan is happy staying close to the house, but Jessie is enthralled with the pond. Once she finds a raft, and meets Terri, a girl from the neighborhood, she spends most of her time outside. Terri has a difficult life; her father is an alcoholic who frequently abuses her. A neighbor, Miss Cutting, meets the girls and tells them they may use the tools in her garage to repair the raft. Miss Cutting's own past is entwined with Terri's family; her parents were murdered when she was young, and Terri's great grandfather was sent to jail for it, although he was most likely not guilty. Terri makes some bad choices, and Jessie is not supposed to spend time with her, especially after there are a series of incidents that make Terri look guilty. Will Jessie be able to prove Terri's innocence, and will the girls' summer activities shed light on the issues from the past bothering Miss Cutting?
Strengths: This had a strong sense of place (I've stayed in a house like this one-- ick!), an interesting historical mystery, and modern day problems that my seventh grade girls who like depressing books will enjoy. Gruesome murder, as well. Cover is appropriately shaded-- not too dark, not too light.
Weaknesses: This was a bit confusing at times, and the ending was a bit odd. It didn't really wrap things up in any successful way. I don't like it when I get to the end of the book and expect there to be more pages when there aren't.
What I really think: Debating purchasing this one. Just not sure.
Ms. Yingling

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