Rescue at Lake Wild by Terry Lynn Johnson

Rescue at Lake Wild

Terry Lynn Johnson, Author

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Fiction, Apr. 27, 2021

Suitable for ages: 8-12

Themes: Animals, Beaver kits, Orphaned, Wildlife rehabilitation, Adventure, Mystery

Synopsis:

Everyone knows that twelve-year-old Madison Lewis is not allowed to bring home anymore animals. After harboring hairless mice, two birds, a rabbit, and a tomcat that ended up destroying the front porch, Madi is forbidden from inviting one more stray into the house. If she does, she risks her chance to meet her hero, Jane Goodall, at a gala during the summer. 

But when she and her best friends Aaron and Jack find two beaver kits whose parents were killed, they know the kits will die without their help. They know, too, that more beavers will die unless someone can solve the local environmental crisis that is brewing because of the dams flooding the town roads and crops. 

Can Madi find a way to show everyone how smart and amazing and vulnerable beavers are in time to save them? Can she show the community how humans can live in harmony with wild creatures?

Why I like this book:

Terry Lynn Johnson’s Rescue at Lake Wild is a fun and engaging adventure story for readers who are interested in wildlife rehabilitation. They will learn from a budding young naturalist, Madison, who has inherited her late grandmother’s passion and gift of caring for injured and orphaned wildlife. Like her grandmother, she listens to and observes animals.

Animal lovers will enjoy getting to know about beaver kits. Madi is an excellent teacher. Much of what she learns is through her observations, which she faithfully records in a journal. Who knew beaver kits are so intelligent, sociable, bond with other orphans from other lodges, like to cuddle and hug, chatter with each other, problem-solve, and eliminate themselves only in the water. Readers will cheer Madi’s journey with the beavers. 

Madi is so lucky to have two great friends in Jack, who is hot on a trail with his dog to track down the individuals who are killing the beavers, and Aaron who has excellent engineering and observation skills. They make a perfect team and know how to use their skills to make a difference in their community.

Make sure you read Johnson’s author’s note at the end, because you will discover many scenes in the book are inspired by stories shared with Johnson from experts who have experience rehabilitating beaver kits. In true Johnson style, she also includes “The Dos of Wildlife” for readers who may find a baby animal in need of rescuing. This is important for readers to know before they take a lost bunny home.

Rescue at Wild Lake is written for younger middle grade students. There are shorter chapters and and the narrative is perfect for bedtime read aloud with younger children. Adults will also enjoy this book because of the backmatter. It’s just a feel-good story for the entire family.

Terry Lynn Johnson writes about the wild with the wisdom and passion of someone who has spent her life working to preserve and protect it — both as a back country canoe ranger in Quetico Provincial Park and in her current job as a conservation officer with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry. She lives at the edge of a lake in northern Ontario, Canada, where she loves watching all wildlife, including beavers. She is the author of Dog Driven, Sled Dog School, Ice Dogs, and four Survival Diaries. Visit her at her website.

Greg Pattridge hosts Marvelous Middle Grade Monday posts on his wonderful Always in the Middle website. Check out the link to see all of the wonderful reviews by KidLit bloggers and authors.

*Reviewed from a library copy.

About Patricia Tiltonhttps://childrensbooksheal.wordpress.comI want "Children's Books Heal" to be a resource for parents, grandparents, teachers and school counselors. My goal is to share books on a wide range of topics that have a healing impact on children who are facing challenges in their lives. If you are looking for good books on grief, autism, visual and hearing impairments, special needs, diversity, bullying, military families and social justice issues, you've come to the right place. I also share books that encourage art, imagination and creativity. I am always searching for those special gems to share with you. If you have a suggestion, please let me know.

20 thoughts on “Rescue at Lake Wild by Terry Lynn Johnson

  1. I enjoyed this one, too, as do many kids and parents I’ve talked to. It’s the perfect animal rescue story with a unique animal like the beaver. Thanks for keeping this one out there. With so many books it;s important to keep the good ones afloat.. A great review for a Marvelous Middle Grade Monday!

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    • I believe it will be a hit with students. Johnson always includes great backmatter for kids. And, it is especially important since kids find homeless or injured birds and rabbits and need to know what to do.

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  2. I’ve heard so much praise for this book, and you make it sound like a delight as well! Not any kid would go to these efforts to raise beavers and protect their species, so Madi sounds like an impressive protagonist! And I can imagine there’s a lot to learn here about real-world wildlife and conservation too. Thanks so much for the great review!

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  3. I always enjoy reading Terry Lynn Johnson’s books and really liked this one, too (except the part where Madi swam underwater to rescue the beaver kit). There always a good story and important information for young readers in her books.

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  4. I liked this book as well for all the reasons you mentioned. It wasn’t as heart-pounding as other books I’ve read by Johnson, but it sure was a great story for the younger middle-grade set. I sure loved Madi, Jack, and Aaron. What a great team! And saving the beavers made for a terrific story. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I need to get my review up soon.

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  5. This sounds like an interesting book. We don’t have beavers here in Australia, so I’d be interested to find out more about them.
    What a perfect incentive for Madi, to meet Jane Goodall. But I guess saving the beavers is even more of an incentive for a conservationist.
    I like that the book can be read and enjoyed independently by middle graders or shared with the whole family.

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