Kate Allen · 8 ReviewHaving 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 just 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 This Deleuzian Century: Art, Activism, Life porch with hisolice scanner and doling out words of wisdom at just the right moments and even Sookie the rough edged fisherman who is really just 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 Research in the Social Scientific Study of Religion, Volume 27 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 tenderoignant and grief in books for any age especially if they are or less contemporary That said I d heard such raise 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 just too much for me mind you Henkes feels just 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 age 23 because the writing is abysmal Sometimes you read about a book and it is so Networking for Career Success: 24 Lessons for Getting to Know the Right People 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 sweetreteen 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 the sorrow The story unfolds deliberately not a breakneck read but also hard to 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 for this one next be aware that this is definitely upper middle grade suitable for 10 there s a little bit of language as well as some reteen 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 around 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 lotwise 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 Zheng Guogu passion for sharks Her best friend Fred is the coolest guy on earth There is a moment when Lucy gets her firsteriod 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 eriod ain 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 Frںuhzeit Des Ostslaventums 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 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 s just what Iersonally take away from it but it s there There is not a single Forbidden Knowledge person in this book that is unkind Even though there is grief and loss even thougheople 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 warmthThis is such a gre. 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. At book for children and arents 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 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 roviding 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 izzazz over brains A lot of things sold to kids are easily slotted into the Option Writing Strategies for Extraordinary Returns pizzazz category and that s not a bad thing I love the loud and the flashy just as much as a 10 year old might That said I also know that there s a time and alace for loud and flashy literature and there s a time and lace for intelligent subdued writing Not every middle grade novel out there has to have big set ieces violent encounters a roaring climax and a celebratory conclusion There are books for kids that dare to be thoughtful than ulse ounding And if chosen freely by a child they can unlock something inside Something that means to the Genocide of One person reading than anyone else The Line Tender carries thisromise in its Nintendo Wii Flash Game Creator's Guide: Design, Develop, and Share Your Games Online pages It s the right book for the right readerWhen Lucy s mom died she was just seven years old A lot of time hasassed 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 not just 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 Star Wars - Jabba the Hutt - The Art of the Deal plans are not left undone And along the way she might just 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 fastaced I couldn t help BUT FEEL THAT IF IT PHYSICALLY feel that if it The Real Estate Entrepreneur: Everything You Need to Know to Grow Your Own Brokerage physically 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 onage 109 that all the ieces fell into lace Once that happened I felt a little relaxed It helped that I got keen on Allen s turns of New Cutting Edge Elementary Students' Book 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 Goose bumps covered my back like a cape Here s a good one Fred s backpack sat like aeeled banana on the step And her science teacher s bad drawings looked like Meditation Express: Stress Relief in 60 Seconds Flat preschool illustrations that someone hadoked a hole in and deflated Sometimes it did feel like Ms Allen had oked a hole in and deflated Sometimes it did feel like Ms Allen ushing 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 Challenged by Love E-Boxed Set 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 Take for example the moment when Lucy spots her father naked in the side yardulling on his wetsuit Not a Communicating With Animals : The Spiritual Connection Between People and Animals 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 lighten the grief any There s lots of sadness. Ttsreparing 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 art 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 Here but interestingly enough it didn t feel depressing to me Maybe that s the advantage of having a ro active rotagonist Lucy thinks and uestions and acts At one oint she hears the advice that her mom used to give Don t resist Our Fake Relationship 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 feelingain 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 The Blitzkrieg Legend pages The Line Tender looks impressive Weighty Like it s making aass 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 The Crown page spreads of sharks drawn 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 isretty Über Nacht predictable And then there s sharks PLENTY OF SPOILERS AHEADThere was a lot that just didn t mesh up in this book for me First off the timeeriod is very hazy At first I thought it was modern day and it s 100 Ad Astra pages in before we realize that it s all takinglace 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 re just in a comic book store looking at comics and the friend tells Lucy Real women don t look like that 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 that info at the time of the convo at all and it feels very random Then there are callbacks to it throughout the book again even though it didn t seem very important or like the characters were dealing with some deep seated issues there Of course the big crux of the story was obviously going to be Fred dying Saw it coming from age 1 But it was a weird situation and I didn t get how it happened He jumped into the uarry came back up was fine and thengot trapped by a tree How did that happen And I also saw that they were going to end up together if he hadn t died except Lucy didn t So she s spending all this time trying to figure out what s happening and were they going to be than just friends and I m like um duh girl Everyone knew that was going to happen Pretty dang obvious there Let s get back to the story Which isyou somehow need to find your mom s old study because of closure or something And everyone is treating the study as though it s this huge mystery to be solved whencouldn t you just READ it to figure out what she was roposing And then talk to the local other marine biologists to see if they d heard of it because um they Everything But The Girl probably did and huh turns out that they ve actually been working with it for years and it truly isn t a mystery and you took half the book to find out what they d known all alongAnd you re weirdly terrified of sharks even though your mom obviously taught youlenty about how noble and magnificent they are and your mom didn t even die from being eaten by a shark so where d this fear come fromMy copy was an ARC and maybe some of these concerns will be fixed in the final edition but here goes Some of the writing felt very disjointed like the writing didn t match up with what the author was intending to have happen or describe There s a scene where Lucy s having a conversation with Fred s mom everything seems Sport Social Work: Promoting the Functioning and Well-Being of College and Professional Athletes perfectly normal and then suddenly Lucy s sobbing Then the writing makes it seem like everything s back to normal And then she s crying Like the words and descriptions on theage didn t convey the entire scene the way it was laying out in the author s head I understand that grief manifests differently from scene the way it was laying out in the author s head I understand that grief manifests differently from to person but this wasn t a grief thing It was a writing thing Also another scene she s but this wasn t a grief thing It was a writing thing Also another scene she s for her dad who hollers that he s down in the basement She goes down into the basement And he s startled to see her there A lot of really bizarre similes it made a noise like a tub of Vaseline falling into
the toilet the way strangers hang around useless like when someone has had a seizuretoilet the way strangers hang around useless like when someone has had a seizure a grocery store The smell was The Lost Library: The Autobiography of a Culture pungent like opening a fridge that contained a rotting animal Very descriptive but these are coming from our 12 year old narrator How many 12 year olds have seen multipleeople have seizures in a grocery store Or opened fridges with rotting animals insideIt had a very sweet ending but the whole rest of the book just felt very awkward to me 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 Das Unbewusste vom Standpunkt der Physiologie und Descendenztheorie 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 just 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.