Sunday, April 25, 2021

MMGM: Rescue at Lake Wild by Terry Lynn Johnson

I follow a bunch of animal rescue and rehabilitation sites, the goal of which is to eventually return the animals back into the wild, so I just knew this would be a book I wanted to share with young readers. And it did not disappoint.

Twelve-year-old Madison Lewis wants nothing more than to grow up and become the next Jane Goodall. Her beloved grandmother was a wildlife rehabilitator and now that her Nana is gone, Madi wants to carry on her work. But after she finds their parents dead, and even after she rescues their two beaver kits from their lodge Madi knows she's going to be in big trouble if she brings them home. Madi has been told no more rescues or she won't be able to go to the Jane Goodall Institute and meet her idol and find how she did her observations of animals in the wild.

So of course, Madi and her friends Jack and Aaron, along with Jack black Lab, Lid, rescue the kits and bring them to Madi's house. Hiding them in the shed turned clubhouse in the backyard, Madi realizes she has a lot to learn about the care and feeding of beaver kits. At least, she has Nana's notes to refer to, but even at that, it is a big job. Luckily, mom works a lot and dad is often away for a week at a time, but then there is older sister Marley, not much of an animal lover, to contend with.

Then Madi, Aaron, Jack, and, of course, Lid the tracking dog, discover that the dead beavers had built a dam that blocked the channel that flows from Lake Wild to Lake Little Hawk, and is now causing roads and bridges in their township of Willow Grove to flood. While Jack and Lid investigate to see if they can find the person who killed the two beavers, Madi works on caring for the kits. In the middle of all this, Madi finds another beaver kit. When Marley discovers the kits, she makes Madi an offer that she really can't refuse: if Marley keeps quiet about the kits, Madi won't say anything about the party Marley is planning when she is sure no parent will be home. 

Can Jack, Aaron and Lid solve the mystery of who shot the beavers? Can Madi figure out what to do with her beaver kits? And can a viable solution be found to prevent further flooding because of the beaver dams?

Rescue at Lake Wild is an entertaining, interesting and informative story for younger middle grade readers not quite ready for the Terry Lynn Johnson's wonderful but harrowing survival stories like Ice Dogs and Dog Driven. There's a lot of detail about beaver life, and especially about caring for them. Not everything Madi does goes well, but I like how she learns from her mistakes and also how the beaver kits, acting on their  natural instincts, are her best teachers. She certainly hones her observation skills watching and caring for them. 

Johnson really knows how to craft an exciting adventure story. She gives Madi and her friends a freedom of movement most kids don't have in today's world. They travel around in an ATV (all-terrain vehicle) and a small motor boat, but considering how little her parents are around, Madi does have a cell phone to check in with them. All in all, this make a nice way for young readers to have an outdoor adventure, even if it is only vicariously.

Whenever you read a Terry Lynn Johnson book, you know you are reading the words of a real animal lover, and her stories will hopefully inspire her readers to develop a strong love and respect for them, too. Do read the Author's Note for more information about this book and what inspired Johnson to write it. Besides the Author's Note, there is an important list called "The Dos of Wildlife" detailing what to do if you think a baby animal needs rescuing. Madi had the benefit of being her Nana's apprentice before she passed away, and has some experience with wildlife rescue, but as the head of the rehab facility that takes in the beavers kits tells Madi, people keeping wildlife does more harms to animals than good. 

Rescue at Lake Wild is an appealing book that should please animal and wildlife lovers looking for adventure and mystery.

This book is recommended for readers age 8+
This book was an eARC gratefully received from Barbara Fisch at Blue Slip Media

I haven't done a MMGM in a long time and it's good to be back. You can see all of this week's wonderful MMGM books thanks to Greg at Always in the Middle


  1. Funny how you and Greg reviewed Terry's book this week. I agree that this sounds like a different type of story by Terry Johnson. I'm going to try to get it at my library.

  2. Great minds think alike! I enjoyed your review as we made many of the same observations. Thanks for featuring RESCUE AT LAKE WILD on MMGM.

  3. Can't wait to get my hands on this new book by Johnson. Sounds very different from her other books and perfect for a younger readers.

  4. Two reviews of this book in one week! It really does seem like everyone's picked up a copy of it, and it sounds both sweet and thrilling! Thanks so much for the great post!

  5. I know kids who would love reading this book!

  6. I love Terry Lynn Johnson's writing, and I love that this book is getting plenty of coverage. It sounds great. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.


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