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The Leak

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4.13  ·  Rating details ·  98 ratings  ·  31 reviews
In this compelling middle-grade graphic novel The Leak, Ruth, a young journalist, is determined to uncover a secret that threatens her town.



Ruth Keller is brash and precocious; she argues with her dentist, her parents, and her teachers. So, when she discovers a strange black slime in the man-made lake of her suburban neighborhood, she decides to investigate. Fortified by t
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Hardcover, 240 pages
Published March 16th 2021 by First Second
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Average rating 4.13  · 
Rating details
 ·  98 ratings  ·  31 reviews


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Meredith Ann
ARC courtesy of NetGalley.

A quick-paced MG graphic novel about a young reporter and her quest for the truth. The growth of Ruth's journalism from a hobby to something more serious was a highlight for me; she grows as a person along with her story. The author ties in the true story of Flint, MI, and the realities of being a journalist in today's world in a straightforward afterward that will inspire readers. I liked the art and the book's color palette as well, it really fit the story.
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Alix
Apr 12, 2021 rated it really liked it
A masterpiece, different, entertaining, and informative. I love when published works can be read by both children and adults; it gives off a timeless yet wonderful learning experience for all ages.

Ruth Keller is an ambitious young girl who shows great dedication to journalism; her work ethics in some ways are good examples for the future generation (aside from the lying and bias judgment).

I love the character Ms. Freeman. It reminds me of how these are the types of teachers that are truly need
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Lauren
Jan 25, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Both the content and artwork in this book were excellent! Ruth, an aspiring journalist, is convinced there is something wrong with the water supply in her town. Even if she can't get adults to take her seriously, she is determined to find out the truth and report on it.

The Leak did a great job of telling Ruth's fictional story while also pulling in and discussing the reality of places like Flint, Michigan where the water supply is contaminated and making people, especially kids, sick. This is br
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Annamarie Carlson (she, her)
Ruth Keller might be twelve, but she is already a passionate journalist, running her own email newsletter sharing fun rumors and stories about her community. When she runs into something very real--and very strange--at the local lake, she knows she has a story to find. This shiny black slime surely doesn't belong here (and really it probably isn't from aliens, as she first assumed). After she tells some adults about it, she finds a mysterious clean-up crew at the lake removing all traces of the ...more
Stephanie Bange
Apr 11, 2021 rated it really liked it
A graphic mystery that packs a punch...

Ruth is a middle grader on a mission: to share her sense of curiosity with her friends and neighbors through her self-published online newsletter. The day her friend Jonathan takes her fishing in a local lake, she finds evidence of potentially toxic pollutants in the water. She follows tips from her brother's girlfriend on how to report this objectively as a journalist and goes with her gut where it takes her to unravel and solve the cause of this problem t
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Panda Incognito
This graphic novel is well-illustrated and engaging, featuring a strong female protagonist who discovers contaminated water and is determined to trace the contamination back to its source. Throughout the book, she learns about how to pursue investigative journalism in a way that seeks the truth above all else, while still being respectful to others.

The story is partly inspired by the Flint water crisis. It will appeal to middle grade readers who are interested in journalism or environmental issu
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Jess
Dec 28, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review is based on an ARC provided by the publisher through NetGalley.

This book is a poignant look into how patronized young voices are when tackling big issues. Ruth has discovered a problem In her town and sets out to discover who is responsible for the problem, along the way she learns to trust her intuition and seek facts over her own judgements. This story mentions a real life situation that anchors and gives context for readers. I did find the ending a bit unresolved and open, I thin
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Jess
Dec 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
This review is based on an ARC provided by the publisher through NetGalley.

This book is a poignant look into how patronized young voices are when tackling big issues. Ruth has discovered a problem In her town and sets out to discover who is responsible for the problem, along the way she learns to trust her intuition and seek facts over her own judgements. This story mentions a real life situation that anchors and gives context for readers. I did find the ending a bit unresolved and open, I thin
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Laura
Great graphic novel about student investigative journalism. Ruth notices pollution at the local lake and tries to solve the mystery of why it is there, and who is responsible. She takes advice from her brother's girlfriend who is interning at the New York Times.

Nicely done story, in that it shows all the problems associated with jumping to conclusions, and trying to prove something that isn't true.

Solid story. Good middle-school level, with some personality thrown in so it is not just a journali
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Mary
Jan 06, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics, middle-grade
I really enjoyed this graphic novel. It shows the importance of clean water and how even kids can stand up and fight for what's right. Ruth is determined to find out what's wrong with her town's water. She is learning about journalism and what it means to gather evidence, conduct interviews, and write a story with just the facts. The story is interesting, the art is good, and the book leaves you not knowing what happens but hopeful for the future. I think anyone who enjoys character-driven, real ...more
Libby
Feb 18, 2021 rated it really liked it
In this graphic novel, Petty captures the drama of middle school, with gossiping friends and first kisses, but with a twist, as Ruth, a budding young journalist, tries to get to the bottom of a problem with the water in her community. In the process, like many middle school kids, she acts without thinking and has to deal with the consequences of lies and poor decisions. Ruth is a likeable, purpose-filled young lady who does learn from her mistakes. Future journalists will learn a lot while they ...more
Susan Rose
Apr 01, 2021 rated it really liked it
A welcome edition to your school library. Why? Because it's a graphic novel, which means that your students will read it. Even better, the protagonist is a student of color but that doesn't define her, it describes her, meaning that she will reflect a good number of your students. The message is great, it's the value of evidence and evaluation of resources and balance and understanding bias and reporting facts, which is typically dry for students to digest. But it is presented engagingly and suc ...more
Iggi
Apr 01, 2021 rated it really liked it
I really like contemporary middle-grade comics and this one is exceptional! It’s laugh-out-loud funny, serious, and compelling all at the same time. The artwork is so great, simple and round but with a realism of character that helps give a sense of hope even as the protagonist struggles with feeling powerless against the adults around her motivated to hide the truth. Not all the adults are bad and not all the kids are good! The characters are complicated, which I love in a story.
Hoover Public Library Kids and Teens
Aspiring journalist Ruth Keller, 12, finds the next big scoop for her newsletter when she and her crush discover black sludge in the lake. She unearths a possible cover-up and suspects the involvement of the Twin Oaks Country Club. With help from her science teacher Ms. Freeman and her brother's girlfriend, Sara, a New York Times intern, Ruth relies on her wits to unmask the culprits behind the water pollution. [from School Library Journal] ...more
Jess Smiley
Nov 24, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An adventurous, in-depth story about Ruth, a young journalist, who is searching for the source of what she thinks is a water problem in her city.through the help of friends, teachers, parents, and even business owners, Ruth learns what it means to be a journalist and even finds evidence to support her suspicions. Teens will love Ruth’s story and come away excited to tell their own!
Dale Barlow
Mar 21, 2021 marked it as to-read
(Graph JF) 03.21.2021: per NY Times Childrens Books/Graphic Novels recommendation; while I am veering away from JF fiction in general, this one is about a buddy journalist uncovering a "Flint-like" scandal in her own backyard, so I am hoping it will be more entertaining; at the Madison County Public Library, Berea...; ...more
Binxie
Mar 24, 2021 rated it liked it
Ruthie writes an online newsletter about local events. She becomes an investigative reporter when she discovers weird stuff in the shoreline water in her town. Bringing environmental issues to the younger reader, this graphic novel is just the right combination of adventure, tween angst, and activism
Michael Perez
Mar 24, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic-novel
I thought it was really cute. Good story that draws a lot of parallels to the Flint Michigan water situation. I didn't like the b-plot, but I think there's a lot here to like if you're looking for a protagonist who loves nature and can't be stopped. ...more
Princess Gomez
Apr 06, 2021 rated it it was amazing
You are knowledgeable in terms of writing a novel, I really enjoyed it! Well done! ... If you have some great stories like this one, you can publish it on Novel Star, just submit your story to hardy@novelstar.top or joye@novelstar.top
Asuna Kirisaki
Apr 13, 2021 rated it it was amazing
‌The story is powerful; I like how it was presented. Good job writer! If you have some great stories like this one, you can publish it on Novel Star, just submit your story to hardy@novelstar.top or joye@novelstar.top
Mary Lite
The story is powerful; I like how it was presented. Good job writer! If you have some great stories like this one, you can publish it on Novel Star, just submit your story to hardy@novelstar.top or joye@novelstar.top
Karah Power
Apr 16, 2021 rated it really liked it
I liked this; some of the speech bubbles were hard to track but the content and storyline were good. main character is 12 years old, content focuses on pollution with some relationship asides. Touches on the "you're a kid stay out of grown up issues" topic. ...more
Andréa
Note: I received a digital review copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.
Beth
Jan 10, 2021 rated it really liked it
ARC Courtesy of Netgalley and First Second.
This a middle grade graphic novel about environmental concerns and the difference a kid can make. Think Erin Brockovich/DarK Waters with kid journalists
Tam I
Jan 23, 2021 rated it really liked it
Read an ARC.

Good graphic with science in it.
Amanda [Novel Addiction]
A very good juvenile graphic novel - definitely recommended.
Christy Sibila
Apr 07, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Ruth is a relatable character who uses her voice to affect real change in her community while simultaneously navigating middle school drama. Inspiring.
Brenda Kahn
Terrific graphic novel about a budding investigative reporter uncovering a toxic leak in her small town. Palette leans toward pastel. Diverse cast of characters. Should have high appeal.
Yumi
Apr 11, 2021 added it
Your story deserves a lot of audience; you can publish it on Novel Star Mobile App.
Joe Anderson
Great start! I'd like to see how this is going to turn out. You know what, you can join NovelStar's writing competition.
...more
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