|Leak : for the love of truth
Author: Petty, Kate Reed
Ruth Keller is brash and precocious. So, when she discovers a strange black slime in the man-made lake of her suburban neighborhood, she decides to investigate. Fortified by the encouragement of those around her, Ruth seeks the truth at all costs, even if it means taking on the rich local country club owner, who she believes is responsible for the pollution. But she soon discovers the difficulties of taking a stand in the face of critique and controversy. In graphic novel format.
|Accelerated Reader Information:
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 3.00
Points: 1.0 Quiz: 512272
School Library Journal (00/01/21)
The Hornbook (00/07/21)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 01/01/2021 Gr 4–7—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. Ruth's narration keys the audience in to important aspects of journalism and lends the book an intimate tone. Set in fall 2015, the graphic novel spotlights coverage of the water crisis in Flint, MI, reminding readers of the real-life power of the press. Subplots involving middle school mean girls and minor family drama keep the tale accessible for a middle grade audience. Within panels with rounded edges, cartoonish illustrations rely on a neutral palette. Ruth, her family, and Sara are dark-skinned, but their ethnicity is not explicitly defined. VERDICT An absorbing work that emphasizes that even the youngest voices can have a resounding impact.—Pearl Derlaga, York County P.L., VA - Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 02/01/2021 *Starred Review* When Ruth, a 13-year-old aspiring journalist, stumbles upon some strange black goo at her local lake, she’s sure she has a story. After some investigating, she lands on a culprit: the lake-adjacent country club that’s already been cited for EPA violations. But is she right? Amid the tension of Ruth’s investigation and classic middle-school experiences, like dealing with a new crush and the pressures of fitting in, Petty folds in a thorough exploration of key journalistic concepts. Ruth consults with experts, interviews sources, faces pushback, and—this is key—makes some instructive mistakes along the way, all of which help her recognize the dangers of confirmation bias and rushing a story. As her newsletter gains some notoriety, she starts to recognize her responsibility to be accurate and fair, especially when powerful adults push her to change her story. The lessons of her investigation nicely parallel some of her friendship troubles, and the emphasis on water pollution, politics, and propaganda will strike a chord with kid activists. Bell’s rounded figures, sun-dappled scenes, and warm palette of colors are in striking contrast to the rather serious stakes of the story, and that approachable look will help give this an even wider audience. Grounded in tween concerns, this is a surprisingly deep dive into investigative journalism that will appeal to fans of classic middle-school drama. - Copyright 2021 Booklist.