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Middle Grade Fiction 310
Family-centered story of identity, the past, and justice
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12-year-old Agatha lived her whole life believing she was the daughter of the Earl of Gosswater until Clarence, her 'cousin' who inherited the estate after the Earl's death, kicked her out to live with her real father, a goose farmer. In her new small home with a man she barely knows, Agatha struggles to adjust. She desperately wants to get to the bottom of her own history, and when she sees the ghost of a young girl on the lake, she realizes the truth may be darker and more serious than she imagined.

THE GHOST OF MIDNIGHT LAKE centers around the ideas of family, identity, history, and justice. Agatha's world was completely turned around when she learned she wasn't Lady Agatha at all, but Agatha, daughter of a goose farmer. It makes her question who she really is, and her new father isn't exactly eager to give her answers. She's also understandably angry at Clarence who drove her from her home (and then keeps harassing her afterwards). She wants revenge but, as in one of her favorite Shakespeare play's Hamlet, she isn't sure if revenge is the answer, even if it would feel really great.

With all her swirling emotions, her father and a new friend, Bryn, try to open her up to a different perspective and way of life. Bryn really challenges Agatha, and I love the adventures the two have on the lake and with the geese. Agatha's relationship with her father is less quick to bloom, but they have heartwarming small moments together where they really start to get to know each other.

THE GHOST OF MIDNIGHT LAKE is a solid historical middle grade novel about what family really is and how to hold tight to who you are when you're overwhelmed with questions over your own identity.
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