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Lake Rules    by Maureen Garvie order for
Lake Rules
by Maureen Garvie
Order:  USA  Can
Key Porter, 2005 (2005)
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

A cottage on Lake Wasamak, five kids with varying personalities, a mysterious burglary, an old codger who's part-Indian, and a developer with big plans. Sound run of the mill? What makes Lake Rules better than the average book of this type is a well told story with good character development, effective surprises, and a touch of mysticism.

The narrator is thirteen-year-old Leia Greenway. She, her artist mom (amicably divorced from dad) and brothers Tim and Hugo are moving into their recently purchased cottage early because the boys have been ill with chickenpox. Peering into the cottage for the first time, Leia has an odd experience. She sees 'sun glinting off water, paddles dipping, people laughing and eating, campfires burning.' And, late one evening, she spots a mysterious paddler on the lake.

The siblings learn from their new friend Cass, an only child who lives next door, that the area around the lake was once inhabited by Algonkins, a tribe of peaceful hunters. Cass invites the Greenway trio to search for relics on Half Moon Bay. They meet part-Algonkin Marcel, an old man who lives in a shack. He tells them he inherited land around the lake from his grandfather. And they decide to do something about a developer's plans to build a tacky waterfront trailer community on Half Moon Bay.

The friends work hard on their own archeological dig, at what they believe to be the site of an Algonkin village and trading center. The plot thickens after they visit the rich Bonnycastles in their lakeside mansion and meet Mrs. Bonnycastle's sullen nephew Paul. They do eventually save the day, but Leia and Cass come into conflict along the way, and they're all saddened by what they learn of the Indians' fate. I recommend Lake Rules to you as an absorbing summer read, incorporating history, mystery, and environmental activism.

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