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En the grief any There s lots of sadness here but interestingly enough it didn t feel depressing to me Maybe that s the advantage of having a pro active protagonist Lucy thinks and uestions and acts At one point she hears the advice that her mom used to give Don t resist pain It s meant to say that you shouldn t repress your feelings but Lucy hits the nail on the head when she responds I ve been feeling pain all summer Now what The answer is yelled from the formerly sleeping Mr Patterson Adapt Adjust Chew on that one a while kids Clocking it at an impressive 350 pages The Line Tender looks impressive Weighty Like it s making a pass at becoming the Moby Dick of middle grade However even a cursory glance will show you two things First much of the book is broken into exceedingly small chapters Second between a lot of those chapters are two page spreads of sharks drawn in graphite As you read the book you realize that these are meant to be Lucy s art The sophistication almost makes this unbelievable but there s ust enough sketch to them to not completely go off the rails Though credited nowhere on the cover or title page this art is the work of artist Xingye Jin of Suzhou China Remember when I said the book wasn t depressing in spite of its content I think the art and the chapter lengths do a lot to keep a person from dwelling in grief It s natural to consider and contemplate grief but dwelling on it particularly in a book for young readers runs the risk of drowning your narrative in sorrow There is a uote at the beginning of the book from Rachel Carson that was expertly chosen It reads Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature the assurance that dawn comes after night and spring after winter Turn the page and you see the first sketched shark of the book And with every shark you encounter on these pages there is a comfort to them A repeated refrain of nature to get the reader throughNo kid is going to obsess like an adult reader over little things like time and place but for a while there I may have had some difficulty immediately soaking in Allen s words because I couldn t figure out when the dang book took place There are no cell phones but people don t really seem to use much outdated technology at first The price of candy seemed low and VHS tapes were prevalent but that didn t really explain anything to me Clearly Allen was setting the story in a pre internet and cell phones era but when It was only when we discover that Lucy s mother died in 1991 that you realize that this is a historical tale of the late 90s After that I was good to goSomehow or other Ms Allen has the fortitude to withstand invoking the movie Jaws for a good 311 pages For a book about great white sharks moving into areas where there are potentially swimming people this feels like an act of resistance Now I ve mentioned that the book isn t going to break any speed records but a lot of that may be because at its heart this is a book that cares deeply about science nature and the natural world This is a book for those kids that could patiently track data sketch in silence or exist in the outdoors for great lengths of time It s a book about family the one you have and the one you choose It s also about grief and time and the different ways that we learn to cope Do I wish the beginning cut through the treacle and got to the point of the book faster Maybe a little I don t know that my ten year old self would have had the patience to keep with it But if she had if she d stuck it through I think she would have found a lot to love and enjoy A book where science can be a balm For ages 10 and up Synopsis Lucy loses her marine biologist mom when she s young The summer she s 12 her best friend who happens to be a boy dies Which is pretty predictable And then there s sharks PLENTY OF SPOILERS AHEADThere was a lot that Grace Hopper and the Invention of the Information Age (Lemelson Center Studies in Invention and Innovation series) just didn t mesh up in this book for me First off the time period is very hazy At first I thought it was modern day and it s 100 pages in before we realize that it s all taking place in the mid 90s There s this weird this is what a real woman looks like conversation between Lucy and a friend that comes out of nowhere seriously they reust in a comic book store looking at comics and the friend tells Lucy Real women don t look comics and the friend tells Lucy
Real Women Don T Look 
women don t look Which first off I ve always had issue with the REAL women discussion We re all REAL Anyway later on it s shown that this friend has kind of been an older sister figure to Lucy so this conversation makes sense but we don t have A moving book about Lucy Everheart and her father Lucy s mother died when she was seven What remains is her marine biologist mother s love of the ocean and all things shark As Lucy prepares for a long lazy summer hanging out with her friend Fred things begin to take a new turn when a great white shark is caught in the bay There are drawings here that are nicely done and a story that ust swept me away with all of its heartache and healing. ??meaningful” but no one can tell Lucy what it all meant To survive the fresh wave of grief Lucy must grab the line that connects her depressed father a stubborn fisherman and a curious old widower to her mother’s unfinished research If Lucy can find a way to help this unlikely uartet follow the sharks her mother loved she’ll finally be able to look beyond what she’s lost and toward what’s left to be discovered. ,

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Having been a children s librarian for over 20 years it s very rare for me to say that there s a new book unlike any I ve read so far but in this case it s absolutely true Kids are crazy about sharks I m crazy about sharks So when this galley landed on my desk with it s stunning shark filled cover and even shark illustrations within I was already in But then the story and the characters took over and I couldn t help but fall in love with all of them the heartbreaking Lucy who you ust want to wrap up in a hug and tell that everything s going to be okay Fred who has an unuenchable thirst to know everything about the world and how it works Mr Patterson on his porch with his police scanner and doling out words of wisdom at Dialogue: Relationships in Graphic Design just the right moments and even Sookie the rough edged fisherman who is reallyust a softie deep down It s a book about loss and how we cope with it as individuals and as a community and how we are each important parts of our own local ecosystems I loved this book and it s very early but it s going on my list for Newbery consideration for 2020 Well done Ms Allen I can t wait to see what you write next Review from galley First of all a confession I tend to run the other way with tender poignant and grief in books for any age especially if they are or less contemporary That said I d heard such praise for this title that I knew I had to read it And having done so I completely understand the enthusiasm while also having to say it still wasn t for me The book is uiet reflective introspective full of small moments and long long long I realize that when I do fall for this sort of book I tend to appreciate tighter and shorter a good example being Kevin Henkes Sweeping the Heart also out this year Both authors are exploring grief both books are melancholy but while this one feels The Originality of the Avant-Garde and Other Modernist Myths just too much for me mind you Henkes feelsust right So there you are This book is not for me I do not feelconnect at all for the main character Read up to 40% of the ebook DNF at page 23 because the writing is abysmal Sometimes you read about a book and it is so precisely your kind of book that you know without even reading it you ll love it Such was the case with THE LINE TENDER a debut middle grade coming from Dutton next spring This book combines so many of my favorite things a small seaside town ocean life grizzled fishermen sweet preteen friendships coming of age and griefKate Allen writes in a sparsely lyrical straightforward voice Lucy s discomfort in her own new feeling body her frustrated attempts to make sense of the things happening in her world are infinitely relatable Although the main events of the story are devastating and horrific Allen manages to keep a light touch infusing the book with wonder and hope alongside the sorrow The story unfolds deliberately not a breakneck read but also hard to put down in a way that reminded me of a Rebecca Stead novel If you love the kind of heartfelt thoughtful middle grade stories that balance heartbreak and hope keep an eye out for this one next SpringDo Be Aware That This Is Definitely Upper Middle Grade be aware that this is definitely upper middle grade for 10 there s a little bit of language as well as some preteen drinking Heartbreakingly achingly gorgeously sad Also heartwarming and beautiful and excellently crafted what an absolute gift of a book All the superlatives I sobbed and finished it in one afternoon My grief FOR HER WAS LIKE A CIRCLE I ALWAYS CAME her was like a circle I always came to missing her again The Line Tender resonated deeply with me right from the start The first time I saw the cover and read the book I somehow knew exactly what I was in for Not plotwise simply the overall feeling It s a sorrowful and hopeful uiet and ultimately tender storyAt the centre of the story is Lucy who loves her dad and misses her mum a marine biologist with a passion for sharks Her best friend Fred is the coolest guy on earth There is a moment when Lucy gets her first period so she runs across the street to Fred s house because he s got two older sisters and a mother that could help her out But Fred is home alone so he matter of factly hands her something against period pain and stays cool in a situation that would easily freak out any other boy that age and many adult men as well Anyway Lucy and Fred work on a project for school a field guide where they document all the living things they find around town especially on the beach Lucy is the artist she studies the creature and draws it while Fred is responsible for the research he adds all the necessary information And when a shark turns up at the coast Lucy s adventure is Modeling and Analysis of Communicating Systems just beginningWhat struck me the most is that this book sends such a simple message without having to spell it out be kind Maybe that sust what I personally take away from it but it s there There is not a single person in this book that is unkind Even though there is grief and loss even though people make small and big mistakes every word and gesture carries kindness This sounds like utopia but it was exactly the right tone for the story People simply cared for one another and it filled my heart with warm. The Line Tender is the story of Lucy the daughter of a marine biologist and a rescue diver and the summer that changes her life If she ever wants to lift the cloud of grief over her family and community she must complete the research her late mother began She must follow the sharksWherever the sharks led Lucy Everhart’s marine biologist mother was sure to follow In fact she was on a boat far off the coast of Massachuse. ,
The Line TenderThThis is such a great book for children and parents alike I would recommend it for kids age 10 because it does get uite complex at times but I know that they will love Lucy her friends and family Inventing the Medium: Principles of Interaction Design as a Cultural Practice just as much as I did Not only does it feature a myriad of role models like female scientists and artists it s also a touching story about friendship and loss Further it talks about anxiety and how it s okay to not always be okay AND you learn so many cool things about sharks I immediately wanted to watch shark documentaries and learn even about themThis book can t get any better but I still have to mention Xingye Jin who did the cover art and the illustrations inside the book I ve only read an eGalley of the book which wasn t ideal when it came to the shark drawings but they were breathtaking Many thanks to Penguin Random House International for providing me with an eGalley in exchange for an honest review Find of my books on Instagram There s this song from the musical of Matilda that keeps going through my head when I read The Line Tender Have you ever had a song get caught in your head because of an ironic connection I m sitting here contemplating Kate Allen s uiet thoughtful contemplative novel and then the lyrics from the song Loud appear in my brain They say The less you have to sell the harder you sell it The less you have to say the louder you yell it The dumber the act the bigger the confession The less you have to show the louder you dress it If you re unfamiliar with the show that s the awful mother s reasoning behind choosing pizzazz over brains A lot of things sold to kids are easily slotted into the pizzazz category and that s not a bad thing I love the loud and the flashyust as much as a 10 year old might That said I also know that there s a time and a place for loud and flashy literature and there s a time and place for intelligent subdued writing Not every middle grade novel out there has to have big set pieces violent encounters a roaring climax and a celebratory conclusion There are books for kids that dare to be thoughtful than pulse pounding And if chosen freely by a child they can unlock something inside Something that means to the person reading than anyone else The Line Tender carries this promise in its pages It s the right book for the right readerWhen Lucy s mom died she was The Chinese Economy: Transitions and Growth just seven years old A lot of time has passed since then and the girl has grown up in the sleepy tourist town of Rockport Mass In the summer Lucy and her best friend Fred spend their days working on their extra credit field guide When a large shark is captured close to the shore Lucy thinks of her mother s work as a marine biologist and shark expert But why are the sharks moving so close to humans these days If there s an answer to that mystery Lucy s not seeing it She d rather enjoy the summer and her time with Fred Yet when tragedy hits Lucy a second time she finds solace notust in the field guide but in her mother s old work By hook or by crook Lucy will see to it that her mother s plans are not left undone And along the way she might ust be able to help the three men in her life move on from grief in their own ways as well I ve mentioned it before but it bears repeating that this isn t a book that moves at a rapid clip Recently I finished reading Eugene Yelchin s Spyrunner which was so fast paced I couldn t help but feel that if it physically touched a copy of The Line Tender the two books would explode upon contact As I read this book I tried to figure out what it might be about A dead shark No wait a missing dead shark Must be a dead shark mystery novel Wait what s that They figured out it dropped into the sea Huh Okay not a mystery It wasn t until the big reveal on page 109 that all the pieces fell into place Once that happened I felt a little relaxed It helped that I got keen on Allen s turns of phrase Lines like I walked across the creaky floors to look out the window In the light of the streetlamp the leaves were bending upside down like it was going to rain Or There were three things on my mind tangled up like necklaces
In A Jewelry Box Or 
a ewelry box Or bumps covered my back like a cape Here s a good one Fred s backpack sat like a peeled banana on the step And her science teacher s bad drawings looked like preschool illustrations that someone had a peeled banana on the step And her science teacher s bad drawings looked like preschool illustrations that someone had a hole in and deflated Sometimes it did feel like Ms Allen was pushing things like when she named her main character Lucy Everhart a tiny bit on the nose with that one don t you think But for the most part it was a relief to encounter an author unafraid to use her words Is it wrong that I d hesitate to call this book funny grief s a helluva buzz kill Because while It S No Chucklefest There Are Real Moments Of Humor s no chucklefest there are real moments of humor for example the moment when Lucy spots her father naked in the side yard pulling on his wetsuit Not a page later her neighbor Mr Patterson says Hello Lucy Your father has a hairy keister Yes he does I don t like looking at it No sir End of chapter What s interesting about some of the book s lighter moments is that I wouldn t say they light. Tts preparing to swim with a Great White when she died suddenly Lucy was eight Since then Lucy and her father have done OK thanks in large part to her best friend Fred and a few close friends and neighbors But June of her twelfth summer brings than the end of school and a heat wave to sleepy Rockport On one steamy day the tide brings a Great White and then another tragedy cutting short a friendship everyone insists was ,