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The Line Tender

4.31  ·  Rating details ·  886 ratings  ·  271 reviews
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
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published April 16th 2019 by Dutton
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4.31  · 
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 ·  886 ratings  ·  271 reviews

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Mar 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"My grief for her was like a circle. I always came around to missing her again."

The Line Tender resonated deeply with me right from the start. The first time I saw the cover and read the book I somehow knew exactly what I was in for. Not plotwise, simply the overall feeling. It's a sorrowful and hopeful, quiet and ultimately tender story.

At the centre of the story is Lucy, who loves her dad and misses her mum, a marine biologist with a passion for sharks. Her best friend, Fred, is the coolest gu
Hannah Greendale
Apr 02, 2019 rated it did not like it
DNF at page 23 because the writing is abysmal.
Nov 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Having been a children's librarian for over 20 years, it's very rare for me to say that there's a new book unlike any I've read so far, but in this case, it's absolutely true. Kids are crazy about sharks. I'm crazy about sharks. So when this galley landed on my desk, with it's stunning, shark-filled cover and even more shark illustrations within, I was already in. But then the story and the characters took over and I couldn't help but fall in love with all of them: the heartbreaking Lucy who you ...more
There’s this song from the musical of Matilda that keeps going through my head when I read The Line Tender. Have you ever had a song get caught in your head because of an ironic connection? I’m sitting here, contemplating Kate Allen’s quiet, thoughtful, contemplative novel and then the lyrics from the song “Loud” appear in my brain. They say, “The less you have to sell, the harder you sell it / The less you have to say, the louder you yell it / The dumber the act, the bigger the confession / The ...more
Oct 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Sometimes, you read about a book and it is so precisely your kind of book that you know without even reading it you'll love it. Such was the case with THE LINE TENDER, a debut middle grade coming from Dutton next spring. This book combines so many of my favorite things: a small seaside town, ocean life, grizzled fishermen, sweet preteen friendships, coming of age, and grief.

Kate Allen writes in a sparsely lyrical, straightforward voice; Lucy's discomfort in her own new-feeling body, her frustrat
Monica Edinger
First of all, a confession --- I tend to run the other way with "tender," "poignant," and "grief" in books for any age, especially if they are more or less contemporary. That said, I'd heard such praise for this title that I knew I had to read it. And having done so I completely understand the enthusiasm, while also having to say it still wasn't for me. The book is quiet, reflective, introspective, full of small moments, and long, long, long. I realize that when I do fall for this sort of book I ...more
Aug 12, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2018, middle-years
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kate ☀️ Olson
Jul 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-grade
Heartbreakingly, achingly, gorgeously sad. Also heartwarming and beautiful and excellently crafted - what an absolute gift of a book. All the superlatives - I sobbed and finished it in one afternoon.
Jul 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, 2019-reads
This book. THIS BOOK.

This book will sit with me for a while. It is beautifully written and really dives into grief and the coping mechanisms we create for ourselves. I seriously want a copy for my own personal collection.
May 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A moving book about Lucy Everheart and her father. Lucy's mother died when she was seven. What remains is her marine biologist mother's love of the ocean and all things shark. As Lucy prepares for a long, lazy summer hanging out with her friend Fred, things begin to take a new turn when a great white shark is caught in the bay.

There are drawings here that are nicely done and a story that just swept me away with all of its heartache and healing.
Erin Kelly
Mar 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was a poignant novel. It reminded me of The Thing About Jellyfish, which is one of my favorite books. The interior illustrations were beautiful. <3
Lauren Reed
Apr 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
“The Line Tender” written by Kate Allen is a soul-stirring upper middle grade novel that takes place in coastal Rockport, Massachusetts and follows almost 13 year old Lucy as she navigates her world without her mother by her side. Great white sharks permeate this heartening narrative bringing exciting facts and a bit of mystery around the sharks reemergence so far north.

Lucy, nor her father have quite come to terms with her mother’s unexpected death 5 years ago, but this generations old fishing
Dec 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is beautiful inside and out. I honestly have a huge fear of sharks and always will, but now I have a little bit more appreciation for them (though this book is not entirely about sharks). Even with my fear of sharks I loved just about everything in this book. Its more of a character driven book with sweet moment between people who are grieving and those who had drifted away. This is a sweet simple book that will tug at your heart strings yet leave a smile on your face.
Feb 15, 2019 rated it it was ok
A very awkward read that should have been young-adult due to the content despite the 12 year old protagonist that acted 8 or 9. The reader starts the story thinking it takes place in today's time, but at the 30% mark it's revealed that the year is around 1996 which put the story into a different perspective. All dialogue was stilted and awkward with characters acting like dolls instead of being lifelike. The twist comes when Lucy and her best friend Fred hang out with Fred's older sisters in the ...more
Kim McGee
Apr 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A middle-grade coming of age story about a very resilient girl trying to make sense of her mother's death, her father's pulling back from the world and the sudden loss of her best friend. There are so many things a young girl has to deal with - her feelings towards boys, changes in her body and her independence from her parents but Lucy could not have been more unprepared to deal with this or anything else after she loses her best friend (and potential boyfriend) just a few years after losing he ...more
Mar 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, 2019, realistic
I can see why librarians like this, because it feels like the heir to Katherine Paterson during her Newbery era. The writing is beautiful and spare, and while the characters felt very REAL, they didn't feel entirely plausible. The imagery was so vivid that reading this was like watching an independent movie, but the plotting also felt like an independent movie, with quick cuts and abrupt transitions.

I liked it, even as I'm still forming opinions on it. Will kids like it? Maybe those who liked T
Jan 08, 2019 added it
Shelves: middle-grade
This middle-grade novel about loss, grief and recovery after a death has a second tragedy early in the story that, for me, came too soon, left me feeling cheated, and made the book top-heavy. My head understands why the author made this choice (it propels a grief-stuck family and friends to come to terms with the death of five years before), and yet my heart felt the second tragedy coming so soon in the book didn't give me sufficient time with and investment in the object of that tragedy. And st ...more
Jun 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was very well done book, I really enjoyed the illustrations and learning about great white sharks. The book does move a bit slow, but I was engaged in the story the whole time. It was weird that I picked this up after reading “The Whispers” by Greg Howard since both books are similar (deal with missing mothers and grief).

Lucy and her best friend, Fred, are working on a Field Guide for their science class and as a result they stumble upon some of Lucy’s mom’s unfinished research. Lucy is det
Stephanie Fitzgerald
Aug 25, 2019 added it
Recommends it for: I wouldn’t.
Got to pg. 68 and DNFed it. Absolutely could not get into the story. A disappointment; the description sounded really good.
Jul 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is of my favorite MG reads of 2019.
Jul 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An exceptional novel. A beautiful book about the power of love and loss. As a reader, you are immediately hooked into the characters' lives till the end. The main character Lucy, is as memorable as Scout from To Kill A Mockingbird.
Lesley Burnap
Jul 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book! 💔❤ I don’t think I can find the words to describe my feelings for Lucy, Fred, and all the characters. Found myself weeping, sobbing, and smiling at different places. The writing is gorgeous, and the setting is so familiar to me that it just felt like home. I don’t want to give anything away here, but this may be my favorite book of the summer and high up in my all-time fave list. The characters are connected to one another like the Tom’s (Lucy’s Dad) dive team, but it’s subtle and mov ...more
Maria Caplin
Jun 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: newbery-19, science
Loved the setting! Seems to be a common theme for this summer. Maine, beaches, and ocean life. Good character development. One of my favorite characters was Lucy’s neighbor who loved across the street. Powerful message of the older generation and friendship. Not fond of the ending.
Laura Gardner
Jun 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Read it in 3 straight hours. So unspeakably sad, but beautifully written.
Barb Middleton
Aug 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: grief, historical
If you have read the reviews on this book many seem to say it was too long. I have a solution. Listen to the audio book at double the speed. That’s what I did in the parts where I wanted the pace to pick up. The writing is beautiful and detailed and if you enjoy biology, emotionally charged scenes on grief and slow character development then you might give this a go. I don’t particularly like sad books, but I thought the author balanced the topics well not getting too melodramatic. I liked how s ...more
Aug 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book! Although it's targeted for middle-graders, I found it a heartwarming story about how a family recovers after devastating losses. When Lucy's mother, a marine biologist well known for her white shark research, suddenly dies not only does this ravage her family, but also leaves a lasting scar on the community. The story starts several years after the death of Lucy's mother. Lucy and her father are ok, getting along, but not really thriving. It takes another devastating loss to b ...more
Aug 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book was recommended to me by my 9 year old, and I LOVED IT. Personal side: I also couldn't believe that my small child read this entire book (and also gave it 5 stars, btw). Kids grow up too fast.

This book was heartbreaking and beautiful. For anyone who has suffered loss, this book hits all the right buttons. It may not be the right book for everyone, but it's the right book for some.
Donna Galanti
Aug 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-grade
This was a heartwarming and also heartbreaking read. Lucy is a lovable and courageous character who must navigate old grief, new grief, and a mystery to help her heal and find her way. The relationships she builds around her add a richer dimension to the story. There are so many wonderful things about this book - the secondary characters, the ocean setting, the sea creatures, and the challenges Lucy faces. I was lucky to meet the author at a book signing in Cape Cod where this story is set and p ...more
Mary Lee
A very slow and lushly written book with exquisitely detailed description of setting. For much of the book I wondered what it was actually about, but toward the 2/3 point, that stopped bothering me and I just enjoyed being in Rockport, MA learning about sharks.
Aug 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Audio was just wonderful! I absolutely loved this book!
5 stars and my top Newbery pick so far. I listened to the audio which was perfect! I believe anyone who picks this book up will find something to connect to because of the dimensions that exist in this book. Beautifully written, the characters grow and unfold throughout the story. Each story so delicately intertwined that there weren't any questions left unanswered. And the descriptions were spot on, putting me right there, walking alongside
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Mock Newbery 2020: August Read - The Line Tender 18 121 Aug 26, 2019 03:14PM  

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