Monday, March 21, 2022

RESCUE AT LAKE WILD by Terry Lynn Johnson

Why this book?

It's a great read for kids who love nature, animals…and mysteries! In this middle grade mystery, 12-year-old Madi rescues two young beaver kits and brings them home, even though her parents have forbidden her from rescuing any more wildlife. Madi and her friends work together to find out who was responsible for orphaning the beaver kits as well as working on solving the town’s beaver problem.

I really loved the short chapters and how this book touched on lots of the issues that kids experience -- like having an annoying older sibling, doing a secret project that you want to hide from your parents and having problems with friends who get distracted. It was also interesting that Madi was a fan on scientist Jane Goodall.

Connections: solving mysteries, cooperation, Canadian animals, wildlife & human interactions, animal rescue, friendship problems

Activities for learners:

Literacy – Design a log book for collecting animal observations. Find an animal to observe (e.g., birds, family pet) to add entries to the book.

Literacy (story structure) – Make a list of the problems Madi and her friends have to solve in the story. Do they succeed or fail?

Literacy (biography) – Research scientist Jane Goodall and find out some of her contributions to helping the environment. What other scientists are helping us learn about the environment? Choose one and create a short poster or bookmark to share their contribution.  

STEM: Research beavers and create a model beaver dam or lodge. Are beaver dams built like dams made by humans? Another good (outdoor) STEM project would be to investigate different ways to control the flow of water using tubes, ramps and dams.

More resources:

Visit Terry Lynn Johnson’s website to find out more about the author.

Over here at Unleashing Readers, you’ll find another perspective on this novel as well as lots of great discussion questions for the book.

Description from the publisher:

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.

Rescue at Lake Wild by Terry Lynn Johnson was published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in 2021.

For more great middle grade books, check out Marvelous Middle Grade Monday over at Greg Pattridge's blog, Always in the Middle.


  1. Definitely a fun story to read. And the beavers!

  2. Science teachers seem to always want fiction books with science connections, but I hadn't thought about this one in that way. Thank you for pointing out all of the STEM connections.

  3. I read this one and enjoyed it thoroughly. It's perfect for new middle grade readers. Thanks for featuring it on MMGM.

    1. Yes! It was definitely easier o read than some.

  4. This sounds like another great story to Terry Lynn Johnson. And it dealt with a lot of middle grade issues too.

  5. Love that this story is about rescuing beavers! :)

    1. Yes! I learned a lot about them from reading it!

  6. Absolutely loved, loved this story! I loved Madison and her compassion for saving the beavers. Great book to give to younger MG readers. Enjoyed your suggested activities! Glad to see it given some more book love!

    1. Thank you! I love thinking of ways to engage kids with books!


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