'Don't go near the lake, she waits there, under the water. When the sky is dark and the moon is full, the witch will come creeping.'..Leo has heard the stories since he was a baby and now he's determined to find out if it's true. With his best friend, Merilee, he sets out to kill the superstitions that haunt his village. Leo is a wizard, like his great grandfather Illuminato, but there are sinister secrets at work against him. Will he have the power to withstand a raging force of evil more terrible than any legend?..The Witch in the Lake is a magical adventure about challenging fear and finding courage to face the truth.
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(195mm x 130mm x 17mm)
Allen & Unwin Children's Books
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Country of Publication:
US Kirkus Review »
A gripping climax takes far too long to arrive in this glacial tale of young love and wizardry in 16th-century Italy. Born within minutes of each other, neighboring 12-year-olds Leo and Merilee (an odd choice of name, considering the setting) have always been inseparable, even though Merilee's termagant Aunt Beatrice has been trying to drive a wedge between their families ever since older sister Laura fell victim to the evil presence haunting a nearby lake. Amid a positively Shakespearean welter of plots and subplots, romances and revelations, Merilee is suddenly hustled away to a college of women herbalists, but escapes in time to see Leo come into his full wizardly inheritance, free Laura, and overcome the scary spirit. Cut to three years later for Leo's and Merilee's wedding, arranged by, of all people, Aunt Beatrice, who has suddenly gone from a crafty, powerful presence to foolish amiability. Replete with promising but undeveloped ideas, plus incidents that do more to signal a character's growth than to advance the plot-not to mention a cultural milieu largely defined by an occasional pasta dish or emphatic "Mamma mia!"-this will disappoint admirers of Fienberg's Borrowed Light (2000). (Fiction. 11-13) (Kirkus Reviews)
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Author Biography - Anna Fienberg
Anna Fienberg gets her ideas from her own dreams, people she meets, snatches of overheard conversation. She always carries a notebook with her in case she hears something interesting...Anna likes to live in books as well as real life. She was once Editor of School Magazine, where she read over a thousand books a year. She wrote plays and stories for the magazine and then began writing her own books. She has written picture books, short stories, junior novels and fiction for teenagers and young adults...Anna's first novel, Pirate Trouble for Wiggy and Boa, was shortlisted for the 1989 Australian Children's Book of the Year Awards, The Magnificent Nose and Other Marvels was the winner of the 1992 Australian Children's Book of the Year Award for younger readers, and Tashi was shortlisted for the same award in 1996. Ariel, Zed and the Secret of Life was the winner of the Alan Marshall Award in the 1993 Victorian Premier's Literary Awards, and Power to Burn was shortlisted for the 1996 NSW Premier's Literary Awards. Borrowed Light was an Honour Book in the 2000 Australian Children's Book of the Year Awards for older readers, and received the 1999 ACT Top YA Read Award.