The Haunted Lake

Written and Illustrated by P. J. Lynch

This is a beautifully illustrated ghost story, one that I think many students will like. Jacob and his father live by a lake that covers the flooded village of Spetzia. In the right light, the streets and roof tops of the old town can be seen below the surface. Some say the lake is haunted, but that doesn’t deter Jacob and his father from fishing the waters. Besides, Jacob’s mother, Celia, is burried in the sunken village graveyard. As Jacob grows older, he meets and falls in love with Ellen, a young spunky girl who helps him catch and smoke fish. They promise to marry each other when Ellen gets a little older. But while fishing one night, Jacob is drawn to a mysterious glow in the old clock tower that rises above the surface of the lake. Lured under water by a beautiful ghost, Jacob is held captive for many years. Later, it will be up to Ellen, now a grown woman, to search for Jacob and rescue him from his watery fate.

This book has a fairy tale quality. It is spooky, but not too scary for older elementary students. The illustrations are gorgeous and tell the story beautifully, as in all of P.J. Lynch’s work. Just a head’s up – this is a picture book, but it’s very long with a lot of text, which is why I’d recommend it for older elementary students and not use it as a read aloud. But it would be great for all those students requesting scary stories or ghost stories.

Reviewed by Andrea LeBaron, Librarian, Upland Terrace Elementary School
Review shared in May 2021
Rating: ★★★★★ (5 stars)
Interest Level: Grades 2-5

The Haunted Lake
Written and Illustrated by P. J. Lynch
Candlewick Press
48 pages
Release Date: September 8, 2020
ISBN: 9781536200133
A review copy was provided by the publisher.

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