Farquhar, Polly

Lolo Weaver Swims Upstream

(2) 4-6 It's an unhappy summer in the town of Sycamore Lake, where the lake itself, which the town depends on for tourism, has been drained to prevent the dam from collapsing. Lolo, having failed a state test, is stuck in summer school with "mean" Mrs. Cryer. She's also worrying about her mother's precarious pregnancy and, along with the rest of her family and especially her grandmother, grieving the recent loss of her grandfather. There's one problem Lolo believes she can solve: Hank, her grandfather's foster dog, is now in a new placement across the lake for reasons she thinks are her fault, so she sets out to retrieve him. The resulting adventure--told mostly in Lolo's affecting first-person narration, with interspersed journal entries from the classmate who is Hank's new owner--involves a fair amount of humor (a skunk plays a significant role). But the emotional core of the novel lies in the acknowledgment that life isn't perfect, and the reassurance that Lolo doesn't have to be, either. Bittersweet and heartwarming.


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