Cover image for The door in the lake
The door in the lake
Butts, Nancy, 1955-
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
Arden, N.C. : Front Street, 1997.
Physical Description:
159 pages ; 22 cm
After vanishing without a trace one night during a camping trip, twelve-year-old Joey reappears two years later, showing no signs of having aged and carrying memories of a strange light in the sky.
Reading Level:
730 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG+ 4.9 5.0 34837.

Reading Counts RC 6-8 4.2 7 Quiz: 19069 Guided reading level: NR.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Young Adult Fiction Young Adult

On Order



Explore the life cycle, habitat, and history of one of nature's most misunderstood creatures.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Gr. 5^-8. Joey Finney is the boy on the milk carton who disappeared at age 12 when he was camping with his family and his best friend near Smokewater Lake in the Allegheny Mountains. He comes back 27 months later, but he does not look a day older than when he disappeared. It turns out he was abducted by aliens and time had stopped for him inside their parallel world. Even more interesting than the time-travel mechanics is the drama of Joey's return home and his struggle to fit in at school. What is it like to be fast-forwarded through life? Does he belong in ninth grade or in seventh? His bratty younger brother is now bigger than Joey; his best friend is ashamed to be seen with him. The suspense builds to a surprising climax that leaves you wondering: If time can stop, can it also go backward? --Hazel Rochman

School Library Journal Review

Gr 4-7ÄThe last thing 12-year-old Joey remembers is that he got up in the middle of the night and headed to the restrooms just down the path from where his tent was pitched. The next thing he knows he's in the hospital after collapsing in a convenience store, being told by everyone how glad they are to have him back and that he's been gone for over two years. Joey can't tell them where he might have been or why he hasn't grown at all. Then the seizures start and Joey begins to remember what happened to him on that summer night. By chance, he gets an e-mail through one of the electronic bulletin boards for missing children that his mother has been on, and he tracks down a couple of college students who have a theory about what may have happened to himÄone that his returning memories supportÄthat he was abducted by aliens. The action and resolution of the story are fairly compressed and taut, and as for the believabilityÄwho's to say?Äwe're talking alien abduction here, but the details are convincingly written. A few scenes with Joey's old best friend, who is now too cool to talk to him, and his now bigger, younger brother add the right pangs of adolescent angst. But one must question the author's wisdom in allowing her young character to pedal off on his bike to meet someone he's met on-line, purposefully concealing it from his parents. Although this book is a quick and exciting read, be aware that this one element can all too often lead to tragedy in the real world.ÄCarrie Schadle, New York Public Library (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.