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The Leak



by
Kate Reed Petty
illustrated by
Andrea Bell

Edition
Hardcover edition
Publisher
Macmillan
Imprint
First Second
ISBN
9781250217950
POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
Language: Mild Language , Language: Infrequent Use
$20.76   $17.30
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In this compelling middle-grade graphic novel, Ruth, a young journalist, takes on issues of corruption, pollution, and freedom of the press, determined to uncover a secret that threatens her town.

Ruth Keller is brash and precocious; she argues with her dentist, her parents, and her teachers. So, when she discovers a strange black slime in the man-made lake of her suburban neighborhood, she decides to investigate. Fortified by the encouragement of those around her, Ruth seeks the truth at all costs, even if it means taking on the rich local country club owner, who she believes is responsible for the pollution. Between the teasing of former friends, and a sudden viral spotlight, Ruth discovers how difficult it is for a journalist to take a stand for what's right in the face of critique and controversy. From writer Kate Reed Petty and illustrator Andrea Bell, comes a story about corruption, pollution, and freedom of the press, and the young journalist at the center of it all.Afterword. Full-color digital illustrations created in Photoshop.

POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
Language: Mild Language , Language: Infrequent Use

Details

Format

Print

Page Count

240

Trim Size

8" x 5 1/2"

Dewey

F

AR

0: points 0

Genre

Fiction

Scholastic Reading Counts

0

JLG Release

Jun 2021

Book Genres

Graphic Novels, Mystery

Topics

Journalists. Journalism. Lakes. Water pollution. Middle schools. Friends. Mystery and detectives. Investigating. Science and nature. Environment. Corruption. Freedom of the press. Persistence. 

Standard MARC Records

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Cover Art

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Praise & Reviews

School Library Journal

Gr 4-7–Aspiring journalist Ruth Keller, 12, finds the next big scoop for her newsletter when she and her crush discover black sludge in the lake. She unearths a possible cover-up and suspects the involvement of the Twin Oaks Country Club. With help from her science teacher Ms. Freeman and her brother’s girlfriend, Sara, a New York Times intern, Ruth relies on her wits to unmask the culprits behind the water pollution. Ruth’s narration keys the audience in to important aspects of journalism and lends the book an intimate tone. Set in fall 2015, the graphic novel spotlights coverage of the water crisis in Flint, MI, reminding readers of the real-life power of the press. Subplots involving middle school mean girls and minor family drama keep the tale accessible for a middle grade audience. Within panels with rounded edges, cartoonish illustrations rely on a neutral palette. Ruth, her family, and Sara are dark-skinned, but their ethnicity is not explicitly defined. VERDICT An absorbing work that emphasizes that even the youngest voices can have a resounding impact.–Pearl Derlaga, York County P.L., VA

Horn Book

Eager to become an investigative reporter, tenacious twelve-year-old Ruthie begins an examination into polluted water at Particular Lake in her hometown of Twin Oaks. Her inquiry starts bumpily: her research is well-intentioned but incomprehensive, and she manages to ruffle a few feathers with her vigorous pursuit of the truth. With the mentorship of her older brother’s girlfriend, who interns at the New York Times, and additional assistance from her science teacher, who teaches Ruthie’s class about the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, Ruthie quickly learns that her sleuthing must be watertight to stand up to the corporate corruption she uncovers. Readers may expect this graphic novel, dedicated to “the people of Flint” and with a biracial protagonist, to include deeper discussions of racial inequities in water advocacy, but the narrative does present a detailed, dedicated focus on the proper way to conduct an investigation to hold wrongdoers accountable. Bell’s rounded, colorful art style feels modern and accessible to digitally savvy readers; it reminds them that Ruthie is still a kid and still learning, especially when she makes her more embarrassing mistakes. A refreshing addition to the contemporary graphic novel landscape for middle-graders and middle-schoolers. NIKI MARION

Praise & Reviews

School Library Journal

Gr 4-7–Aspiring journalist Ruth Keller, 12, finds the next big scoop for her newsletter when she and her crush discover black sludge in the lake. She unearths a possible cover-up and suspects the involvement of the Twin Oaks Country Club. With help from her science teacher Ms. Freeman and her brother’s girlfriend, Sara, a New York Times intern, Ruth relies on her wits to unmask the culprits behind the water pollution. Ruth’s narration keys the audience in to important aspects of journalism and lends the book an intimate tone. Set in fall 2015, the graphic novel spotlights coverage of the water crisis in Flint, MI, reminding readers of the real-life power of the press. Subplots involving middle school mean girls and minor family drama keep the tale accessible for a middle grade audience. Within panels with rounded edges, cartoonish illustrations rely on a neutral palette. Ruth, her family, and Sara are dark-skinned, but their ethnicity is not explicitly defined. VERDICT An absorbing work that emphasizes that even the youngest voices can have a resounding impact.–Pearl Derlaga, York County P.L., VA

Horn Book

Eager to become an investigative reporter, tenacious twelve-year-old Ruthie begins an examination into polluted water at Particular Lake in her hometown of Twin Oaks. Her inquiry starts bumpily: her research is well-intentioned but incomprehensive, and she manages to ruffle a few feathers with her vigorous pursuit of the truth. With the mentorship of her older brother’s girlfriend, who interns at the New York Times, and additional assistance from her science teacher, who teaches Ruthie’s class about the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, Ruthie quickly learns that her sleuthing must be watertight to stand up to the corporate corruption she uncovers. Readers may expect this graphic novel, dedicated to “the people of Flint” and with a biracial protagonist, to include deeper discussions of racial inequities in water advocacy, but the narrative does present a detailed, dedicated focus on the proper way to conduct an investigation to hold wrongdoers accountable. Bell’s rounded, colorful art style feels modern and accessible to digitally savvy readers; it reminds them that Ruthie is still a kid and still learning, especially when she makes her more embarrassing mistakes. A refreshing addition to the contemporary graphic novel landscape for middle-graders and middle-schoolers. NIKI MARION

Grades 5-8
Graphic Novels Middle Plus
For Grades 5-8

Book-length narratives presented in comic book style, graphic novels foster both visual and verbal comprehension skills while exposing readers to interesting dialogue and satire, as well as affirming diversity.

JLG's selection of these unique books, some of them only published in softcover, are ideal for attracting reluctant readers and introducing them to literature they might not encounter otherwise. You may find that the 12 books in this category will turn your reluctant readers into eager readers.

14 books per Year
$242.20 per Year
Interests
Diversity,ESL,Fiction,Graphic Novels,Reluctant Readers,Transitional Readers,Funny/Humorous
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Grades 5-8
Graphic Novels Middle Plus
14 books per Year
$242.20 per Year

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