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The Line Tender (Hardcover)
Spring 2019 Kids Indie Next List
“The Line Tender is the beautifully written story of Lucy, an almost-13-year-old girl in the oceanside town of Rockport, Massachusetts. Her mother, a shark scientist, died suddenly when Lucy was only eight, and she has found solace within a circle of caring friends and her father, who remains depressed since his wife’s death. I absolutely adored the characters in this book, and all the scientific information about sharks.”
— Vicky Titcomb, Titcomb's Bookshop, East Sandwich, MA
Heartbreaking but also filled with wit and hope, The Line Tender is the story of Lucy, the daughter of a marine biologist and a rescue diver, and the summer that changes her life. If she ever wants to lift the cloud of grief over her family and community, she must complete the research her late mother began. She must follow the sharks.
Wherever the sharks led, Lucy Everhart's marine-biologist mother was sure to follow. In fact, she was on a boat far off the coast of Massachusetts, collecting shark data when she died suddenly. Lucy was seven. Since then Lucy and her father have kept their heads above water--thanks in large part to a few close friends and neighbors. But June of her twelfth summer brings more than the end of school and a heat wave to sleepy Rockport. On one steamy day, the tide brings a great white--and then another tragedy, cutting short a friendship everyone insists was "meaningful" but no one can tell Lucy what it all meant. To survive the fresh wave of grief, Lucy must grab the line that connects her depressed father, a stubborn fisherman, and a curious old widower to her mother's unfinished research on the Great White's return to Cape Cod. If Lucy can find a way to help this unlikely quartet follow the sharks her mother loved, she'll finally be able to look beyond what she's lost and toward what's left to be discovered.
Funny, poignant, and deeply moving, The Line Tender is a story of nature's enduring mystery and the people willing to seek meaning and connection within it.
About the Author
Kate Allen grew up in Massachusetts and lives in Minneapolis, MN, with her family. The Line Tender is her first novel.
"A vivid portrait... Allen’s understated but richly detailed story will help young readers dig into their resilience to see how they, too, can draw connections in their lives."—The Minneapolis Star Tribune
“In following the adaptation of sharks to a shifting ecology, The Line Tender speaks to our own human capacity to adapt to loss--and Lucy's losses are profound. This is a novel that stirs our deepest hope that we can survive profound change, that we can even move into new channels that will support us and nourish us and point us toward what we had never anticipated. This is a celebration of our ability to survive.”—Gary Schmidt, Newbery and Printz Honoree and National Book Award Finalist
“This richly textured story calls us to our most pressing business on earth: to understand and respect the stunningly complex creatures around us before they disappear forever.” —Margi Preus, author of Heart of a Samurai, a Newbery Honor book
"Holy fish, this is a graceful, honest, special book. The Line Tender is a story of resilience. It's about how unbelievably strong and resourceful kids can be. About the real magic in the world--the magic of science, the magic of survival, and the magic of love." —Laurel Snyder, author of the National Book Award longlisted Orphan Island
★"Rich, complex, and confidently voiced."—Kirkus Reviews, starred
★"Allen tackles the complexities of grief with subtly wry humor and insight in this richly layered middle grade debut about the power of science and love."—Publishers Weekly, starred
★"There's no art or science to navigating loss, but Allen blends both into a hopeful path forward."—Booklist, starred
★“This book will appeal to just about everyone.” – School Library Connection, starred
★"Allen writes with tenderness and confidence....a classic life-affirming weeper, and readers will pick up some respect for sharks along the sniffling way."—The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, starred