Rescue at Lake Wild by Terry Lynn Johnson

In this funny and moving animals-in-peril adventure, a twelve-year-old girl and her two best friends determine to rescue two orphaned beaver kits—and soon find themselves trying to solve a local environmental crisis. Perfect for fans of Pax and A Boy Called Bat

Everyone knows that twelve-year-old Madison “Madi” Lewis is not allowed to bring home any more animals. After she's saved hairless mice, two birds, a rabbit, and a stray tom cat that ended up destroying the front porch, Madi’s parents decide that if they find one more stray animal in the house, she won’t be allowed to meet Jane Goodall at an upcoming gala event.

But when Madi and her two best friends, Aaron and Jack, rescue beaver kits whose mother was killed, they find themselves at the center of a local conspiracy that’s putting the beavers and their habitats in danger. As Madi and her friends race to uncover the threat targeting the beavers, Madi must put her animal whisperer skills to the test in both raising the orphaned beaver kits and staying out of trouble long enough.

Madi grew up learning to take care of animals in crisis with the help of her grandmother's expertise. Now that she's gone, it's up to her take up the mantle. Her mom doesn't take too kindly to all the animals running around her home so she's told to stop rescuing wild animals. But Madi can't, "If you see something, do something." When she and her friends Aaron and Jack discover some beaver kits whose parent's have been killed they rescue them. It was relatively easy compared to the adventure that awaits them.

Rescue at Lake Wild offers mystery, adventure, and teaching moments about wild animals. I particularly enjoyed how courageous Madi was and how she stuck to her morals in helping animals in need. I really enjoyed learning about beavers and Madi's observations on them. Her friends were always there with her to help her with saving the beavers and the animal investigation. We have the wary one in Aaron while Jack is bold. Jack in particular wants to be a game warden which is basically police for nature. He has a dog named Lid who consumes everything on sight. He's taught him to track which comes in handy since the group of friends investigate the deaths of the beaver kits parents. That is one thing that I would be wary of when recommending this to a younger audience since it does talk about animals getting shot and killed. 

There are some parts of the story that talk about the family dynamics within Madi's home. Her parents work a lot so most of the time she is being babysat by her older sister who thinks she's a pest. I thought it was a great addition into the story for the author to address the parent's absence and the relationship of the two sisters. I enjoyed the fast pace of this middle grade adventure story. I thought there were some moments where it transitioned to another section of the story a little too fast and I would have liked to get a little more detail at the end. Otherwise I thought Rescue at Lake Wild was a lot of fun and I could easily see myself giving this as a gift to my cousin who wants to be a veterinarian. An adventurous, mysterious, fast-paced story that will make you intrigued by beavers, Rescue at Lake Wild was a wonderful middle grade novel.

Thank you to NetGalley and Houghton Mifflin for letting me read Recue at Lake Wild in exchange for an honest review!

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