The Line Tender

by Kate Allen

When a dead great white shark is brought to the dock of their small Cape Cod town,... read more

When a dead great white shark is brought to the dock of their small Cape Cod town, Lucy, 12, and her best friend, Fred, are inspired to find out more about the work of Lucy’s late mom, a shark researcher who died five years before. Unlike Fred, Lucy is more interested in drawing the natural world than studying it, but she’s mildly intrigued by her mom’s last research proposal to tag and track sharks. The increased number of shark sightings is just one of many changes for Lucy that summer of 1996. She’s also noticing the way her body buzzes sometimes when Fred is near. It’s also clear that the dead shark has brought up a lot of feelings about her mom for both Lucy and her dad. Then a sudden, shocking accident stuns Lucy and the town, and Lucy is navigating new grief on top of the old. In this novel of change and love and loss, small conversations and moments are as vivid and important as big events and decisions. There is no magic antidote to grief, but the days keep coming, and people keep caring, and all of it is part of healing. Science, art, and music are all important in this beautifully realized story and the lives of its tender, true-to-life characters. (Ages 9-13)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2019

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