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The Light in The Lake by Sarah R Baughman


Addie finds herself caught between science and magic, family and nature, and grief and hope. – The Light in The Lake

Teacher Thoughts:

The Light in the Lake was the perfect book to bridge our social issue and fantasy units of study in reader’s workshop.  Even my most reluctant readers could not put down this book as they read to find the connection between magic and science. While the book touches on the subject of water pollution and its causes, my sixth graders were more focused on the monster that Addie’s brother claims he saw in Maple Lake before he died.  When the book ends, and the question of the monster wasn’t completely answered, book club members really started thinking:

Book Club Discussion:

Andrew: “Do you think the monster is really a symbol for something else?”

Sam: “Maybe it represented the pollution in the lake? “

Brielle: “But what about the title The LIGHT in the lake…how does it connect to the monster?.”

Allison:Maybe the light in the lake represents Addie’s brother being the light in her life.”

Andrew: “Light usually represents something good, so maybe the light, a.k.a the monster, symbolizes Addie’s love for her brother and her finally finding closure with his death. “

The fact that the book didn’t end with an answer to every question, actually led to a much deeper discussion about why the author would choose to end the book the way she did. After much discussion, the group decided that maybe Sarah Baughman wanted each reader to decide for themselves if the monster really exists.

Allison tracked problems and solutions in her reading notebook as she read:


Final Thoughts:

Andrew put it perfectly when he said:

In the end, does it really matter if the monster exists? The journey Addie took in trying to find the answer allowed her to heal from her brother’s death.  For me, the big idea of the book is that when life throws you challenges, whether it is something serious like death or less serious like looking for monsters, if you face those challenges head on you are more likely to get the answers you are looking for.


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