Reviews

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Click here to review The Secret Lake on Amazon.co.uk
*5 stars from The Writers’ Advice Centre for Children’s books*

Click here to review The Secret Lake on Amazon.com
*5 Stars from an Amazon Top 1,000 Reviewer*

Scroll down to leave a review and read the author’s replies to reviews. 

😊📚Children’s Reviews 📚😊

Totty (Age 10) July 2019

When me and my mum were looking for books to read i saw this book, at first i didn’t want to get it but mum got it anyway so i decided to read it.From that moment on i couldn’t put it down and it was all i could think about.Its a brilliant book and i would definitely recommend it.

Merken, June 2019

This book was one of the BEST books I have ever read !! My mum bought it for me as a present and the tittle sounded very interesting which made me want to read it and because of that I finished it in two days. I told two of my friends to read it and that it was a amazing book !!!

Molly (aged 8), Isle of Wight,  June 2019

I chose to read this book because the title sounded interesting and adventurous. My favourite part was when Stella and Tom found out that [ …….*] – that was really cool! I also really liked finding out that [……*] another amazing surprise. I could picture what everything and everyone looked like in my head really easily because of the fantastic descriptions. I would like to read this to my own children one day! Me and my mum enjoyed this book so much, thank you. Molly Stone, age 8, Isle Of Wight, UK.

[*note from Karen: .these parts of the review have been hidden as they are top secret until you read the book! :-) ]

Blake (aged 10) May 2019

This was a really good book. I had to do a book report on Sci-Fi and had a hard time getting into the first three books I attempted to read. I tried this book and enjoyed it. Having a dog in the story did help since I love dogs. I cannot wait to turn in my report and see how I did. I think other kids in my class will want to read this book after I talk about it. Blake, age 10

Sasha (aged 10) May 2019

Hi Karen!
I thought your book was incredible!!! On the first page it had already drawn me in. I just loved everything about it😁! I would DEFINITELY recommend this book!
Sasha age 10

Nieve (April 2019)

I found this book amazing I think it would be one of my favourite books and I loved how it was about a time tunnel. I really want you to write what happens next. Will you be writing a sequel? I recommend this for 8/12 year olds.

Leo (aged 8 & 3/4) February 2019

This book was brilliant, because I love adventure stories, they’re the best. I like the way in other stories they fly through space and fight dragons but in this one they time travelled through a mole hole. I recommend that everybody should have this book. I like the way the authour made Jack speak and Tom because he is adventurous and likes digging up mole holes but he gets told off by Charlie Green. They met someone called Jack, Emma and Sophie down the time tunnel. Leo aged 8,3/4

Carson (in Canada) November 2018

This book was great because there was time travel. I recommend this book to everybody. I live in Canada and I really liked Jack’s accent, or I think he does because some of the words were cut off and a flashlight was called a torch. The characters are really interesting because they would always find something or do something that was surprising. This book was really exciting and it’s fiction and those are my favourite types of books to read. I’m going to ask my dad to buy me Walter Brown and the Magician’s Hat and Henry Hayes and the Great Escape, next. Thank you Ms. Inglis for writing this book!
Sincerely, Carson

Johnny, aged 6 & 3/4 (September 2018)

I loved The Secret Lake, it’s the best book ever. I really liked the pictures and the writing pushed me up a level with my reading, I learnt some new words!

I liked all the characters because they were exciting, especially the dancing moles.

The book was so much fun my mummy had to pull the book away to stop me reading at night! I’d recommend The Secret Lake to children aged 6-12 years old who enjoy mystery, adventure and surprises!

Beatrice (March 2018)

I thought this book would be amazing the first time I heard about it! I don’t want to give away the story because i don’t want to spoil it so you will have to wait and see when you read the book. It is about two siblings called Stella and Tom and they have just moved in a apartment in London in Notting Hill.Until one day Stella and Tom have just realised that they have gone back one hundred years back in time!WHO WILL THEY MEET! WHERE ARE THEY ! Those a probable all the questioned you are asking .Well you will have to wait and find out for yourself.

Freya , Cheshire (Age 10 )

The secret lake is very thrilling and exciting book; it has an exciting plot and I like the way it is so mysterious until the end when everything becomes clear. I like the way it is written because even though there are no pictures the description is so good that you can picture every single thing.
I also think that the Secret Lake is a very intriguing book; I picked it up this morning and couldn’t stop reading until I had finished. I liked it because there were some funny moments and some dangerous points in the story. It also brought lots of questions into my head which were cleverly tied up at the end. I really enjoyed the part where Sophie’s and Emma’s dad thought that crawly was inside Stella’s phone, because it was quite funny. I think it is a great book which I would recommend to anyone between the ages of 7-12. I am going to tell my friends about how good it is!
Please may you write another book involving the same characters on a new adventure in the garden?

Phoebe, West Sussex (Age 10)

I thought that the Secret Lake was an amazing book. I don’t want to give away the story or anything, but I thought that the contrast between modern and olden times was very funny, especially when the iPhone kicked in! I liked the characters both old Mrs Moon and her ever disappearing dog Harry because of their mysterious secrets. The book is quite hair-raising at times, but that just draws you in, and that makes the book difficult to put down! My sister now can’t wait to read it too!

 

Honor M (nrly 9!) Twickenham

I am 8 (nearly 9!!) and I love reading but not too girly books! My favourite books are Harry Potter. I really loved ‘The Secret Lake’ because it was really cool. It was very imaginative and the characters were brilliant. I liked the way the character Jack spoke and his clothes were very well described as well as his dirty face! I loved the character Harry and the way he came back very wet and came through the bush but I don’t want to give away too much of the story! I really got excited reading this book and I didn’t want to stop reading. At the end there was a really big twist and it was so cool. I wish I could have adventures like in this story. I would like to read other books by this writer. I liked the cover because they look about my age :)

Siân W (age 10) Leamington

I think that “The secret lake” is a great book with a very imaginitive storyline! Firstly the first few sentances draw the reader right in and makes sure that he or she reads on to find out what happens next, secondly the characters are described really descriptivly therefore it makes it an even better story to read by yourself or to others aloud.

Becuase I enjoy history I found this book fasinating as it made history come alive in my mind. It has everything, humour, history, adventure and much, much more!I particularly enjoyed the humour in the book and my favourite part was when Jack was given a listen on Stella’s ipod, his exact words were ‘Jeepers! Ya got people in ere or what, how d’ya do that then?’The scenes in the book are magically realistic and you can imagine the picture in your head and can almost hear the voices in your mind. Although there are no pictures in the book you can see all the characters and the scene that they’re in perfectly in your imagination.

The storyline is two children called Stella and Tom move to England and in their back garden they find a hole on the ground in a bush and when they go down it they travel in time back to the Victorian era and meet Jack the victorian boy whose father used to once work in a rich family’s house that in our times is a block of flats that the two children live in. The house belongs to a girl and her sister, mum, dad and servants, when she finds out that the kids are from a different time she quickly befriends them and tries to help them find their way home, but her sister and family think that Jack is a thief and try to catch them. I love how the story ends on a cliffhanger and out of ten i’d give “The secret lake” by Karen Inglis 10!

Mathieu (age 9) Barnes

This book is about Tom and Stella going back in time through a tunnel and I really liked it because it is about friendship.

The main characters are Tom, Stella, Jack and Emma. The main events are when Stella and Tom go for the first time in the time tunnel and meet Jack, Emma and Sophie who lived in their house a long time ago. Emma and Sophie invite Tom and Stella to their house but then Mrs Gladstone comes along with Crawley and some policemen because someone has stolen their silver and Mrs Gladstone’s purse. Tom and Stella decide to go home. But….! [Author’s note: A little edit here…I’m afraid that you will need to read the story to find out what happens next!]

My favourite character is Charlie Green because I like gardens and Charlie tries to stop Tom digging up the molehills. The molehills are all over the garden and a big part of the story!

Sophie (age 7 ) Carshalton

I loved this so much I could’t put it down! It’s about two siblings who have come to London for the holidays and they’re staying with a gardener called Charlie. They really do get up to loads of mischief when they find a time tunnel and travel 100 years back in time and discover an important secret from the past!

Ellen B (age 10) Leamington

I think that ‘the secret lake’ is a gripping novel and that it is a educational and exiting read. I love the fact that it does not just include one or two good points but a whole selection of them- such as humor,adventure, mystery and a whole range more! I believe that it would be a great read aloud to a child or a parent.

My favourite character is Emma Gladstone because she is very understanding and polite with a helpful attitude and a hint of cheek. My favourite scene is when…. I found it very moving when…. [Author’s note: I’m afraid I’ve had to edit these and one other little bit out because they gave the story away, but they were lovely!]

In summary I think that ‘the secret lake’ is an amazing story where everybody is everybody. It really is a time-slip adventure! :)

Issy F (age 10) Leamington Spa

The Secret Lake is a book packed full of adventure, suspense, and fun. It ensures that it is completely impossible to put the book down before you have read it through thoroughly at least three times. It is almost like a giant hand reaches out and grips you all the way from the first couple of sentences right up to the last page.

Personally, my favourite part was when Stella and Tom find out about Mrs Moons’ secret. Everything seems so exciting, and it’s clever how it all slots into place at the end.
The book does not include pictures, but they are replaced by imaginative descriptions that give the reader a clear picture of what was going on. I could almost hear the voices in my mind…”If Charlie Green finds this mess we’ll be grounded indoors for a week! “…

An addition to this, I found it hilarious when Stella let Jack listen to her IPod, and Jack simply couldn’t work out how earth a little box could make all that noise on its own, and he merely assumed that there were little people trapped inside!
I highly recommend this book.

Elia M (age 7 nrly 8!)

The very first page made me want to read more and more. I’m 7 years old, and I read it with my Mum – we took it in turns. Sometimes we had to stop but I never wanted to, it really kept me excited all the way through. My favourite character is Jack, because he is scruffy and fun (a bit like me). I’m keen on history, so I liked that the children went back in time to another era. I’m going to give a copy to my best friend. 

Declan S (age 8), USA

I loved The Secret Lake because there was a big garden and I like the outdoors and lakes. I think the kids in the book were very nice. I think I am just like Tom because I love to dig and get dirty and get out of trouble. Stella is a great big sister. I learned that torch means “flashlight” or flashlight means torch. It was a very exciting book with many things going on, lots of adventures and many surprises. The nasty people (aka the bad guy) were very mean and scary. Stella has an iPod, its awesome! I want an iPod. I was very happy to read this story. I’m going to buy one to share with my friends and tell them to read it. I am going to encourage my friends to read it because it is a great book and you are a great author Karen Inglis!

Lily G (Age 7)

i think the secret lake was very good, interesting and surprising. i really loved it!
lily g – age 7  Thanks, Lily!  I’ve replied below! Karen

Charlotte C (Age 11) London [Reviewer for Families SW Magazine :-) ]

When you pick up the Secret Lake,you follow Stella and Tom on an exciting adventure in their strange new house. Travel back in time with them and discover a seeming thief, some curious moles and a sinister butler. Meet iconic characters from the past, from kind inhabitants of the house to the mysterious ragamuffin you see rowing on the lake. Travel with Tom and Stella from the world of blaring iPhones to the much more unknown world of governesses and crocheting.

I found this book really enjoyable and literally un-put-down-able! You will be engulfed in this magical tale and as the plot thickens you’ll be with the characters every step of the way…I was enticed by the mystery and twist in the story. I also found Stella and Tom surprisingly familiar and easy to relate to. I recommend this book to any avid reader between ages 8 – 12 who loves a good adventure. 

See Charlotte’s review here   Thank you, Charlotte, for this lovely review! Have a great Christmas! Karen

Tara (age 11) (Tara left 3 comments when I was away so I’ve merged them! :-)

I am 11 years old. My birthday is November 2000. My name is Tara. My friend Lorna met you.
I love your book and I cannot wait for “Eeek: The Runaway Alien” to come out ! I hope to meet you one day! When you met my family’s friend Lorna she got your autograph in my copy of “The Secret Lake !
I am so glad you actually write back to people

I love the book so far Karen! My friend Lorna got your signature in the book! As I said before I absoloutly love everything in it … the descriptions … the characters (especially Stella)… EVERYTHING!
My friend Lorna was so lucky to meet you… I hope to meet you soon!
As I’m typing, my dear book is on my lap and every now and then I stop typing to admire it. It is so beautiful , Karen. I’m only 11 and if I was someone from a newspaper I’d put you on the front page!
Karen you aren’t like any other author , who has people to write for them , and I’m glad you aren’t!
I am really pleased that my friend Lorna inroduced me to you, you aren’t very well known but you truly will be!
Loved writing to you,
Tara xxxx :D

Rebecca (Age 9 ) Hereford

I loved the way the story unfolded. It was thrilling. I liked the bit about the dog – it was very exciting and adventurous. I felt like I was there and it was happening before my eyes. It was a fantastic twist at the end – very surprising – you would’t have thought it. Karen Inglis is my favourite author!

Dominika (Age 8) Hanwell

I love your books my best is The Secret Lake! Enjoy it! Dominika P.S.I AM 8 YEARS OLD

Abigail Stafford (London)

Thank you for the lovely book Karen! I absolutely loved reading it! I met you in waterstones and you signed the book for me. The way you wrote it was lovely. I really want to be an author one day! For anyone else who is interested in reading it, you should!!!!! How did you get the idea of the storyline Karen? It’s wonderful!
Love from Abigail xx

Savannah (Age 8)

It’s really good and I loved reading it.
Thankyou for your amazing book Karen.
How did you get such an amazing idea?
How did you think of the characters?

How to leave a review

I’d love to hear what you thought of The Secret Lake! You can leave a review by using the comments form at the bottom of the page below: it’s probably a good idea to type and save your review in a Word document first then copy and paste it into the form. Tips for posting:

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69 Responses to Reviews

  1. Totty(10) july 2019 says:

    when me and my mum were looking for books to read i saw this book, at first i didnt want to get it but mum got it anyway so i decided to read it.From that moment on i couldnt put it down and it was all i could thi nk about.Its a brilliant book and i would definitely recomend it.

    • kareninglis says:

      Dear Totty

      Thank you very much for your review of The Secret Lake 😊. I’m so glad you enjoyed Tom and Stella’s adventure and that you decided to follow your mum’s advice! There is something very special when you find a book that you can’t stop reading, I know that myself. And for we authors it’s always extra special to hear from our readers when they tell us how much they’ve enjoyed our stories. I still remember working away up in my office at the top of the house wondering if anybody would ever read The Secret Lake — and now over 25,000 children have!

      I hope you’re looking forward to the summer holidays and that perhaps you can find some magical adventures to have yourself!

      Thank you again for taking the time to write 😊. With very wishes, Karen

  2. Mercan Atakan says:

    This book was one of the BEST books I have ever read !! My mum bought it for me as a present and the tittle sounded very interesting which made me want to read it and because of that I finished it in two days. I told two of my friends to read it and that it was a amazing book !!!

    • kareninglis says:

      Hello, Mercan

      Thank you very much for taking the time to write such a lovely review — I am honoured that you have described The Secret Lake as one of the best books you have ever read :) I am also thrilled that it kept you turning the pages so that you finished it two days!

      As a child I loved stories about children going into other worlds — and for an author it’s a magical feeling to know that I’ve inspired the imagination of so many young readers.

      Thank you also for recommending The Secret Lake to your friends and do let them know that if they wish to leave a review here I will reply to them.

      It’s almost the summer holidays here in the UK — wherever you are, I hope you have a lovely summer school break when the time comes and that it’s filled with magical adventures!

      With very best wishes, Karen

  3. Anonymous says:

    I chose to read this book because the title sounded interesting and adventurous. My favourite part was when Stella and Tom found out that [ …….*] – that was really cool! I also really liked finding out that [……*] another amazing surprise. I could picture what everything and everyone looked like in my head really easily because of the fantastic descriptions. I would like to read this to my own children one day! Me and my mum enjoyed this book so much, thank you. Molly Stone, age 8, Isle Of Wight, UK.

    [*note from Karen: .these parts of the review have been hidden as they are top secret until you read the book! :-) ]

    • kareninglis says:

      Dear Molly,

      Huge thanks for taking the time to leave a review of The Secret Lake here on the book’s website!

      I love hearing from my readers and am thrilled that you enjoyed it :)

      So many children praise the story for how vivid the descriptions are – this does make all of those hours and days sitting alone dreaming up this story so worthwhile! To me it certainly ran like a film in my head and I was as surprised as the next person when Lucy appeared in the garden for the first time !

      I’ve just finished recording the audiobook (which I hope will be out in time for summer) and was reminded of just how vivid the different senes are!

      Just one thing on your review: I hope you don’t mind but I’ve edited out the parts where you uncover the ‘secrets’ – because for anyone who hasn’t yet read the book it would make it less exciting :-) (Don’t worry, you are not the first! I’ve had to do this before!)

      Happy reading and thank you so much, Molly, for taking the time to leave your review here :)

      Karen

  4. Stephanie Thompson says:

    This was a really good book. I had to do a book report on Sci-Fi and had a hard time getting into the first three books I attempted to read. I tried this book and enjoyed it. Having a dog in the story did help since I love dogs. I cannot wait to turn in my report and see how I did. I think other kids in my class will want to read this book after I talk about it. Blake, age 10

    • kareninglis says:

      Hi Blake,

      Thank you so much for letting me know how much you enjoyed The Secret Lake :) I love hearing from my readers!

      You’re not the first reader to tell me they love dogs! I recently had a letter from a young UK reader who told me that Harry was her favourite character!

      Best of luck with your book report and I’m honoured that you’ve chosen The Secret Lake for it. And I do hope that other children in you class will be tempted to read this magical tale. I’m about to record the audio book so I’ve been excited reading all the twists and turns once again — it was almost like reading it for the first time again.

      All the very best to you and thank you again — and keep on looking for great books!

      Karen :-)

  5. Anonymous says:

    Hi Karen!
    I thought your book was incredible!!! On the first page it had already drawn me in. I just loved everything about it😁! I would DEFINITELY recommend this book!
    Sasha age 10

    • kareninglis says:

      Hi Sasha :)

      Thank you for taking the time to leave your review and I’m so glad you enjoyed The Secret Lake. It really is extra special and I’m thrilled that so many children have discovered it and shared in Stella and Tom’s journey.

      The most wonderful thing about writing children’s book is you can make literally anything happen (and often things happen that even you as the author didn’t expect!). For example, when Lucy appeared behind Tom and Stella when they were trying to break back into the house to rescue Jack it was as much a surprise for me as it was for them!

      I realised after I finished the book that planning might have made things easier, but then again I might never have ended up with all the twists and turns and surprises.

      There is crossword you can download at https://thesecretlake.wordpress.com/puzzle-clues/ if you’ve not yet done so. And if you want to see a recent photo of the pond that inspired the lake in the story and the front cover of the book follow this link to my author website and scroll down a little way >> https://kareninglisauthor.com/2019/05/02/festivals-book-offers-hedgehogs-and-more/. It’s a beautiful pond in Richmond Park in southwest London close to where I live and the pink Azaleas also seen on the book cover are now in full bloom. The picture was taken when I visited two weeks ago.

      Thank you again for you review and I hope the rest of your summer term goes well.

      Happy reading! 📚

      All the very best Karen 😊

  6. Nieve says:

    I found this book amazing I think it would be one of my favourite books and I loved how it was about a time tunnel. I really want you to write what happens next. Will you be writing a sequel? I recommend this for 8/12 year olds.

    • kareninglis says:

      Hi Nieve — thank you so much for taking the time to leave your review. I am thrilled that you enjoyed The Secret Lake :) I have to agree that stories about children travelling through time into other worlds has always been something I’ve really enjoyed and writing about them going down the time tunnel was one of my favourite moments!

      Lots of children and parents/teachers ask whether I will write a sequel. At the moment I’m not sure but I do have an idea. It is just a question of finding the time and waiting for the full story to come to me… If you want to keep up to date with my new books just ask a grown-up to sign up to my Readers’ Club occasional newsletter. You’ll find the link top right on my website here > https://kareninglisauthor.com/ And if you enjoy funny books then I’d recommend Eeek! The Runaway Alien in the meantime. Thank you again so much for leaving your review. And don’t forget there is a crossword puzzle based on the story that you can download for fun here https://thesecretlake.wordpress.com/puzzle-clues/

      Happy reading and hope you have a great Easter break from school! Karen

  7. rosie dharamsi says:

    The Secret Lake by Karen Inglis
    Book Review 4th April 2019
    This a charming story that takes two young children on an adventure. They travelled back one hundred years in the past.
    Stella and Tom are siblings, who have recently moved house, so they feel the urge to explore the gardens and find out where Harry, the dog, keeps wandering off to.
    Back in time, they meet sisters who live in their house, and they get to know them. Read about ‘the boy thief’ and how, Stella and Tom try their best to solve his dilemma.
    I enjoyed the parts where Karen Inglis describes the scenery and setting in great detail, using fabulous imagery.
    By Amelia A. age 8

  8. Leo says:

    This book was brilliant, because I love adventure stories, they’re the best. I like the way in other stories they fly through space and fight dragons but in this one they time travelled through a mole hole. I recommend that everybody should have this book. I like the way the authour made Jack speak and Tom because he is adventurous and likes digging up mole holes but he gets told off by Charlie Green. They met someone called Jack, Emma and Sophie down the time tunnel. Leo aged 8,3/4

    • kareninglis says:

      Hi Leo — thank you so much for this lovely review :) I’m so glad you enjoyed The Secret Lake — and I wholeheartedly agree with you that adventure stories are the best! Tom is a real character, isn’t he? I actually based him on the son of a friend of ours who is also called Tom and lived in very similar gardens. He was always a little bit naughty – but only because he was being adventurous! Thank you again for taking the time to write this review. Don’t forget there is a crossword puzzle you can download for fun here https://thesecretlake.wordpress.com/puzzle-clues/ – the clues are based on the story and I’m going to add more activities here in the next few weeks. With very best wishes – and keep on reading! Karen

  9. Lucy says:

    I have been searching for the perfect book for guided reading and writing with my class of 8 year olds. Our theme is Go Wild and I wanted the perfect book with the content perfect for my topic too. Having read this I am so excited about next term’s learning. The children will love it!

    • kareninglis says:

      Hi Lucy — that is wonderful to hear and I’m so glad that you enjoyed it! It really is a firm favourite at all of my school visits!

      Please do let me know if you’d like to do a Q&A with me at some stage or a school visit (depending on where you are – if you’re out of reach I can do Skype).

      You can contact me at kpinglis [at] wellsaid.co.uk if you need to and, of course, and see my main website at http://www.kareninglisauthor.com

      If you like, I also have a teaching plan that I can share using ‘show don’t tell’ to paint a picture with words. It’s based on Chapter 4 when they go down the tunnel.

      With very best wishes, Karen

  10. Carson Monk says:

    My name is Ms. Lollar. I am typing this for one of my “Great 4” students, and submitting on his behalf!

    This book was great because there was time travel. I recommend this book to everybody. I live in Canada and I really liked Jack’s accent, or I think he does because some of the words were cut off and a flashlight was called a torch. The characters are really interesting because they would always find something or do something that was surprising. This book was really exciting and it’s fiction and those are my favourite types of books to read. I’m going to ask my dad to buy me Walter Brown and the Magician’s Hat and Henry Hayes and the Great Escape, next. Thank you Ms. Inglis for writing this book!
    Sincerely, Carson

    • kareninglis says:

      Hello Ms Lollar – thank you so much for posting this on behalf of Carson!

      Dear Carson – I am so glad that you enjoyed The Secret Lake and thank you so much for taking the time to write this review. I am always thrilled to get messages from my readers – especially when they are far away across the sea :)

      It really is such a special story and one that went around in my head for a long time before I wrote it. And even when I started to write, all sorts of unexpected things happened with the plot that I hadn’t planned for – for example when Lucy Cuthbertston appeared in the gardens at night when the children went back to find Jack!

      If you want to find out a bit more about the inspiration for the story, head over to my main author website where I have a blogpost here >> https://kareninglisauthor.com/2018/09/27/from-rejection-to-bestseller-the-magical-story-of-the-secret-lake/ and another one here (I wrote this one after I went to visit a school that is close to the communal gardens of Notting Hill that partly inspired the story) https://kareninglisauthor.com/2014/05/27/the-secret-lake-revisits-notting-hill/

      Authors love receiving reviews so thank you again and keep on reading and writing! I do hope you will enjoy Walter Brown and Henry Haynes – they are great fun!

      With very best wishes,

      Karen Inglis

      PS If a parent or grown-up could take a moment to help you post your review on Amazon too that would be wonderful as it helps other children and parents find the book. But no worries at all if that is too difficult to organise :)

      Happy reading and happy holidays when they come!

      PPS I have second cousins in Ottawa and once spent Thanksgiving in Canada! It’s such a beautiful country. We also took our boys there and stayed on a Dude Ranch about 10 years ago – near Cranbrook beyond Calgary. We even went to the rodeo, which was great fun!

  11. Johnny Hely Hutchinson says:

    I loved The Secret Lake, it’s the best book ever. I really liked the pictures and the writing pushed me up a level with my reading, I learnt some new words!

    I liked all the characters because they were exciting, especially the dancing moles.

    The book was so much fun my mummy had to pull the book away to stop me reading at night! I’d recommend The Secret Lake to children aged 6-12 years old who enjoy mystery, adventure and surprises!

    Johnny, aged 6 and 3/4

    • kareninglis says:

      Dear Johnny,

      Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a review of The Secret Lake — and I’m so glad that you enjoyed the story. The moles are very magical and I agree with you that they area very special part of the story. I sometimes wonder if I got the idea from them from Wind in the Willows and Tales by the Riverbank, which were both childhood favourites, and featured moles :) I am actually meeting someone tomorrow about the film and TV rights for the story (your mum will explain). So, who knows, maybe one day we will see The Secret Lake made for TV or film :)

      Have a great rest-of-weekend — and thank you for also posting your review on Amazon. It really does help other readers find the story.

      By the way, you can find out about my other books at http://www.kareninglisauthor.com – if you enjoy football I think you will love Eeek! :)

      With very best wishes — and keep on reading!

      Karen Inglis

  12. Beatrice says:

    I thought this book would be amazing the first time I heard about it! I don’t want to give away the story because i don’t want to spoil it so you will have to wait and see when you read the book. It is about two siblings called Stella and Tom and they have just moved in a apartment in London in Notting Hill.Until one day Stella and Tom have just realised that they have gone back one hundred years back in time!WHO WILL THEY MEET! WHERE ARE THEY ! Those a probable all the questioned you are asking .Well you will have to wait and find out for yourself.

    • kareninglis says:

      Hi Beatrice — thank you so much for taking the time to write a review of The Secret Lake :) I hope you enjoyed it and that you have had a lovely weekend! I’ve really enjoyed meeting lots of new readers in the last week and hope you enjoyed World Book Day! Keep on reading — and remember, those who look for it will always find magic :) Karen

  13. Savannah Wright age 8 says:

    It’s really good and I loved reading it.
    Thankyou for your amazing book Karen.
    How did you get such an amazing idea?
    How did you think of the characters?

    • kareninglis says:

      Hi Savannah — How lovely to hear from you again :-) In answer to your question, I based Tom’s character on my friend’s son, Tom and Stella on her daughter Jessica! They were friends who moved to an apartment that backed on to communal gardens near Notting Hill in London and this gave me the idea for the story.

      They both looked then (and still do now!) like the children on the front cover and Tom was always doing things he shouldn’t really be doing when he was younger. So having him dig up the mole hills when he shouldn’t be was typical. The rest of the characters just seemed to come from nowhere when I was writing — it often happens like that. I was particularly surprised when Lucy appeared! I had no idea she would be in the story but she just arrived there in my head. That is what is quite fun about making up stories and with The Secret Lake I didn’t have a detailed plan at the start — just a vague idea.

      I hope you’ve had a good Easter break from school! Please do ask a grown-up to help you leave a review of The Secret Lake on Amazon if possible — it’s quite easy to do and will help even more children and parents find the story :-) Have a great Sunday and sorry it took a while for me to reply! Karen

  14. Savannah Wright says:

    It’s really good and I liked reading it.
    Thankyou for your amazing book Karen.
    How did you get such a super idea?
    The way you thought of the characters was brilliant.

  15. Savannah Wright says:

    This book is really good.I really like it because Jack has a really good accent and always gets a dirty face.This book is about Tom and Stella going through a time tunnel because they are following their nabour ‘ s dog Harry who goes through the time tunnel dry and come’s up wet !!!!! The main character’s are Tom, Stella, Jack and Emma.

    • kareninglis says:

      Hi Savannah

      Thank you for leaving your review here and I’m really glad that you enjoyed this magical story. I wish we all had the chance to meet the children who lived in our homes 100 years ago – what an adventure that would be! Have a lovely weekend! Karen :-)

  16. Thank you for the lovely book Karen! I absolutely loved reading it! I met you in waterstones and you signed the book for me. The way you wrote it was lovely. I really want to be an author one day! For anyone else who is interested in reading it, you should!!!!! How did you get the idea of the storyline Karen? It’s wonderful!
    Love from Abigail xx

    • kareninglis says:

      Hi Abigail

      Thank you so much for taking the time to write and I’m so glad to hear that you enjoyed The Secret Lake! It’s so special to me and I’m thrilled that so many children have enjoyed it!

      I got the idea for the story when some friends moved with their two children (Jessica and Tom – who looked then a bit like Stella and Tom on the book cover) into an apartment in Notting Hill in London, which backed onto vast communal gardens where all the children were playing. Seeing the freedom and adventure they were all experiencing — all running around and hiding behind bushes, making secret camps and so on — really reminded me of my childhood growing up in the country when we were allowed to go off playing in the woods on our own! At the same time, as I looked around at the great Victorian houses that backed onto the shared the gardens I couldn’t help wondering what it would be like if the children playing there that day could meet the children who had lived in those same houses and played in those same gardens 100 years earlier. This was the start of the idea about time travel! The setting was also inspired by a place called Isabella Plantation up in Richmond Park where we used to take our sons to play when they were younger. It also has a very magical atmosphere and I really wanted to include the beautiful lake with the pink azaleas in it (which features in Isabella Plantation – though it’s a much smaller pond!)

      If you go to my author website you can see pictures of some of the Notting Hill gardens that inspired the story – I wrote this blog post after visiting a school in the area >> https://wellsaidpress.wordpress.com/2014/05/27/the-secret-lake-revisits-notting-hill/

      Thanks again for writing! (By the way, if anyone in your family has an Amazon account and it would be fantastic if they could help you leave a short review there if you get time! Someone called Caty aged 10 left one two days ago with the help of a parent and I now have 39 reviews there. It would be fantastic to have 40! But of course absolutely no worries at all if they aren’t on Amazon or you don’t have time.

      Happy reading and I hope you’re enjoying being back at school after the half term break.

      Karen :-)

      My author page on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/Karen-Inglis-Author/182308948511407?ref=hl

      My author website: http://www.kareninglisauthor.com/

      • Thank you Karen, I remember you telling me about Isabella plantation I’ve been there lots because my nan and grandad live up in Kingston, thank you so much for replying to my comment!
        Abigail xx

      • kareninglis says:

        My pleasure, Abigail – and I’m glad that you’ve also enjoyed Isabella Plantation! Have a great weekend. Karen

  17. kareninglis says:

    Hi Eira – I’m so glad that you enjoyed reading The Secret Lake. I’m not sure from your comment whether you have just read the three chapters on this website, or whether you have read the whole book. But either way – as you know, in chapter 3 Tom thinks he sees some moles dancing in a circle. The reason he can see them is magical – because they are connected with the time tunnel. That is what is such fun about making up children’s stories – you can make magic happen! I hope this answers your question? Just let me know if it doesn’t! With very best wishes, Karen PS you have done *very* well to have read The Secret Lake at age 6! Congratulations!

  18. Eira 6 years old says:

    Karen I enjoyed reading the secret lake specially chapter three how can tom see a lot of moles?

  19. Christine Andrew says:

    I loved this book!

    • kareninglis says:

      Hi Christine – I’m really glad you enjoyed it – thank you for taking the time to leave a comment here! There is a crossword puzzle you can download if you look at the links at the top of the page. (By the way if you want to reply to tell me your age or which town you live in I will post your comment up the page with the other ones… But no problem at all if you don’t want to…!) Karen

  20. Ola says:

    Hi, Karen i read the secret lake up to chapter four. From all of these chapters i liked chapter three. Also i’d like to say you are very friendly and kind. Thank you for visiting St.Joseph’s school.
    (i want to be writer like you!)
    Ola xxx

    • kareninglis says:

      Hi Ola! I hope you’re enjoying the Easter break!

      I’m really glad that you have enjoyed the story so far – and I agree that chapter three is fun, espeically when the children sneak out into the gardens while everyone is asleep to look for Harry!There is lots more adventure and excitement to come so keep on reading! And there are some surprises later on! I really enjoyed coming to see you all at St Joseph’s – it was great fun! Say hello to everyone from me and ‘thank you for having me’.

      All the best!

      Karen

  21. Dominika says:

    Dominika:Thankyou for Replying to me Karen!

  22. Dominika says:

    I love your books my best is The Secret Lake!Injoy it! Dominika P.S.I AM 8 YEARS OLD

    • kareninglis says:

      Hi Dominika – I’m so glad that you enjoy the books! And it was lovely to meet you all at St Joseph’s school yesterday as part of World Book Day week! I hope it has inspired you to keep on reading and maybe to make up some stories of your own! All the best! Karen

  23. I loved this so much I could’t put it down! It’s about two siblings who have come to London for the holidays and they’re staying with a gardener called Charlie. They really do get up to loads of mischief when they find a time tunnel and travel 100 years back in time and discover an important secret from the past!

    Sophie aged 7

    • kareninglis says:

      Hi Sophie

      Thank you so much for taking the time to post a review of The Secret Lake! I’m so glad that you enjoyed it! A lot of the children who have read it tell me that once they start they can’t stop!

      When I wrote it, it reminded me of my own childhood, where we were able to go off on our own for hours on end and our parents had no idea where we were. It really was like an adventure! However, we never discovered any time tunnels unfortunately! But writing the story was an adventure in itself – and it’s fantastic to share it with so many children!

      I don’t know if you have heard of them, but the story was inspired by the Notting Hill communal gardens here in London – where I saw my friend’s children playing – the freedom they all had reminded me of my days growing up in the country! I also got some of the inspiration from books I read when I was younger, such as The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe – those stores with parallel worlds are always fun!

      I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and thank you again for leaving a note here!

      Karen

  24. Phoebe, age 10, West Sussex says:

    Dear Karen,

    I thought that the Secret Lake was an amazing book. I don’t want to give away the story or anything, but I thought that the contrast between modern and olden times was very funny, especially when the iPhone kicked in! I liked the characters both old Mrs Moon and her ever disappearing dog Harry because of their mysterious secrets. The book is quite hair-raising at times, but that just draws you in, and that makes the book difficult to put down! My sister now can’t wait to read it too!

    Phoebe

    • kareninglis says:

      Hi Phoebe! Thanks so much for taking the time to leave your comment – I’m so glad that you enjoyed The Secret Lake! I certainly had fun mixing the two time periods – and children seem to love the blend of history, mystery and adventure between the two times!

      I wrote the story after visiting a communal garden close to Notting Hill here in London where some friends had moved. When I went out into the gardens and saw the children playing there, I couldn’t help wondering what it would be like for them to meet the children who had lived and played there in the past…. There was also a rather grumpy gardener there who used to confiscate the children’s bikes if they left them out overnight! So he inspired Charlie Green. I hope your sister enjoys it!

      All the best – I hope you are making the most of the end of the summer holidays. I’m looking forward to watching the Paralympics Opening Ceremony shortly!

      Best wishes,

      Karen

      PS If you’d like to leave a review on Amazon it’s easy to do (ask an adult to help you) and will help other children and parents find out about The Secret Lake! Quite a few children have left reviews there as well as parents. No worries at all if that’s too complicated but it helps spread the word more widely! My sister lives in Brighton by the way!

  25. julia says:

    Hi Karen I met you in in water stone’s my name is Julia you singed The Secret Lake for me and my sister, Nilo.
    I loved the book it is the best book I read so far so keep writing books the ‘re realy good.
    XXX Julia and Nilo

    • kareninglis says:

      Hi Julia! (and Nilo!)

      Thank you for taking the time to leave a review – I’m so glad that you enjoyed The Secret Lake! And it was lovely to meet so many young readers at Waterstones :)

      All the children who read The Secret Lake seem to find it very special, which is wonderful because it’s a story that sat in a drawer for quite a long time and I was worried that it wouldn’t get read by anyone else but me!

      And the grown-ups enjoy it too!

      The pictures on my website are from Isabella Plantation in Richmond Park, by the way, which was part of the inspiration for the story! If you haven’t been there (I can’t remember if you have) then it’s definitely worth going!

      I hope you have a lovely summer – and that this weather gets better!

      Thank you agan :)

      Karen

  26. kareninglis says:

    Hi Freya! I am so sorry for my delayed reply! This website has changed how it tells me about reviews and I didn’t see yours sitting in the queue!

    I am so glad that you enjoyed The Secret Lake! And you are not the first person to say how they can vividly see everything in their mind’s eye even though there are no pictures. That is exactly how it was for me when writing the book – and I could almost hear the voices too! What is really wonderful more than anything is to be able to share the story with so many children – especially since it sat in a drawer for a several years! It was fun to introduce some modern gadgets into past time too – I couldn’t resist that! I will have to have a think about how I might write another book with these characters – it’s not on my plan yet but I will never say never! I do have a new book out about a football-mad runaway alien called Eeek! It is very different to The Secret Lake but it does have a surprise and is fun to read. It may not be your cup of tea but if you have any brothers aged 7-9/10 I think they will enjoy it! And I’m now working with my illustrator on ‘The Adventures of Ferdinand Fox’. These are rhyming stories for 3-6 year-old children, but they can be enjoyed by any age really!

    Thank you very much for taking the time to leave your review and, once again, my apologies for taking so long to reply. I now realise that an orange light in the top right of my screen means I have comments to reply to!

    Best wishes and I hope you enjoyed the Jubilee celebrations!

    Karen

  27. freya says:

    Freya , Cheshire 10
    The secret lake is very thrilling and exciting book; it has an exciting plot and I like the way it is so mysterious until the end when everything becomes clear. I like the way it is written because even though there are no pictures the description is so good that you can picture every single thing.
    I also think that the Secret Lake is a very intriguing book; I picked it up this morning and couldn’t stop reading until I had finished. I liked it because there were some funny moments and some dangerous points in the story. It also brought lots of questions into my head which were cleverly tied up at the end. I really enjoyed the part where Sophie’s and Emma’s dad thought that crawly was inside Stella’s phone, because it was quite funny. I think it is a great book which I would recommend to anyone between the ages of 7-12. I am going to tell my friends about how good it is!
    Please may you write another book involving the same characters on a new adventure in the garden?

  28. kareninglis says:

    Thank you, Rebecca! I’m really glad that you enjoyed The Secret Lake – and that the ending was a surprise! I hope you have a lovely Easter :) Karen

  29. Rebecca Age 9 Hereford says:

    I loved the way the story unfolded. It was thrilling. I liked the bit about the dog – it was very exciting and adventurous. I felt like I was there and it was happening before my eyes. It was a fantastic twist at the end – very surprising – you would’t have thought it. Karen Inglis is my favourite author.
    (Rebecca, aged 9, Hereford)

  30. Andrea says:

    As a child my favourite books were always the adventure stories, I loved to read about all the exciting things the children got up to and where their escapades took them. Reading this book as an adult brought back lots of happy childhood memories, as it is full of adventure along with a touch of mystery and suspense. I really love this book, in fact I couldn’t put it down, it is such a page turner!
    The book is very well written, it keeps you hooked, wondering what is going to happen at the end and is finished with a fascinating twist, you just didn’t quite expect. The story is set in a lovely garden which is described so well by the author, that you can just imagine what a beautiful and stunning place it must be. The two main characters a brother and a sister, have such personalities that I think any child reading this could relate to them, making this book suitable for both boys and girls.
    Whether you are an adult or a child I thoroughly recommend that you read this book, as I am sure you will enjoy it as much as I did!!

    • kareninglis says:

      Thanks so much, Andrea! I really appreciate it! And it’s great that so many adults/parents are enjoying it too! I now have two 92-year-olds who have read it and one wrote to me afterwards :)) (She read it on her Kindle!)

  31. Tara says:

    Dear Karen
    This is my third comment here and the other two have not been posted sadly. So I shall make this one shorter than the others.
    I thought your book was beautiful. I love Stella she is very much like my sister :) . My friend Lorna met you. She actually introduced me to you and your beautiful books. I am so glad she did.
    Thank you for being such a fantastic author
    Tara
    —xXx—

    • kareninglis says:

      Hi Tara

      Happy New Year! I am so sorry for the delay in writing back to you which has meant you needed to leave 3 comments! They are all here (I’ve picked two to post) but I’ve been away for New Year in windswept Exmoor (in Devon) – We had lots of rain and wind (not so great!) but lots of walks in the hills, which was fantastic – a real change from London! There was no Internet or mobile signal where we were which was really fun (in a funny sort of way!) but also a bit frustrating when it came to trying to use my phone! And of course I couldn’t check my comments here on the website.

      I’m really glad that you enjoyed The Secret Lake – and how lovely to hear that Stella reminds you of your sister! She is actually based on the daughter of a friend of mine, who is the older sister of a ‘real’ Tom, who closely resembled Tom when he was younger! I’m also really glad that Lorna managed to give you a signed copy.

      Lots of people seem to have been buying the book for Christmas both in the UK and in America -and loads on Kindle. So I’m really excited that lots of children are reading the story :)

      In one of your other comments you said:

      “I love your book and I cannot wait for “Eeek: The Runaway Alien” to come out !”

      Just to let you know that I hope Eeek will be read by late January or early February. While I was away I was working on one tiny bit of it that I’m not quite happy with. I am nearly there!

      I will post a message here and on Eeek’s website as soon as I know the date it will be released. I hope to do some local signings again then and will post messages about that too.

      Happy New Year again and thank you very much for taking the time to leave your comments!

      Karen :)

  32. Tara says:

    Dear Karen,
    I love the book so far Karen! My friend Lorna got your signature in the book! As I said before I absoloutly love everything in it … the descriptions … the characters (especially Stella)… EVERYTHING!
    My friend Lorna was so lucky to meet you… I hope to meet you soon!
    As I’m typing, my dear book is on my lap and every now and then I stop typing to admire it. It is so beautiful , Karen. I’m only 11 and if I was someone from a newspaper I’d put you on the front page!
    Karen you aren’t like any other author , who has people to write for them , and I’m glad you aren’t!
    I am really pleased that my friend Lorna inroduced me to you, you aren’t very well known but you truly will be!
    Loved writing to you,
    Tara xxxx :D

  33. Anonymous says:

    i think the secret lake was very good, interesting and surprising. i really loved it!
    lily g – age 7

    • kareninglis says:

      Hi Lily!

      Thank you for your note! I’m so glad you enjoyed this magical story and thank you so much for leaving a review. I’ve done quite a few book signings recently and have met children who have loved the story, like you. It makes all the hard work worthwhile and I’m so glad that I didn’t leave it sitting in my drawer! My next book, ‘Eeek’ (about a runaway alien!) will be out in the New Year so look out for that! I will leave a message on http://www.eeekthealien.com when it’s available. Have a lovely Christmas! And thank you again! Karen

  34. Declan S says:

    I loved The Secret Lake because there was a big garden and I like the outdoors and lakes. I think the kids in the book were very nice. I think I am just like Tom because I love to dig and get dirty and get out of trouble. Stella is a great big sister. I learned that torch means “flashlight” or flashlight means torch. It was a very exciting book with many things going on, lots of adventures and many surprises. The nasty people (aka the bad guy) were very mean and scary. Stella has an iPod, its awesome! I want an iPod. I was very happy to read this story. I’m going to buy one to share with my friends and tell them to read it. I am going to encourage my friends to read it because it is a great book and you are a great author Karen Inglis!

    • kareninglis says:

      Hi Declan! Thank you for posting your review from all the way over there in the USA :). I’m really glad that you enjoyed The Secret Lake and it’s great that you can recognise a little bit of Tom in yourself! He’s a great character, isn’t he? And I agree about Stella being the best big sister – she looks out for him, even though he’s a bit silly sometimes! We had a big garden when I was little (but not as big as Tom and Stella’s communal garden!) and it was great going out for hours on end to play. In fact we used to live next door to a pig farm and I remember going to play over there too and once getting my Wellington boots stuck in a pile of pig manure! I was quite little and I think someone had to rescue me! We were often gone for hours at a time – that’s how it was back in those days!

      Thanks for sharing The Secret Lake with your friends – it’s wonderful that it’s being enjoyed in the USA too! Best wishes, Karen

  35. Isabelle Fullerton says:

    Issy Fullerton aged 10
    (Leamington Spa)
    The Secret Lake is a book packed full of adventure, suspense, and fun. It ensures that it is completely impossible to put the book down before you have read it through thoroughly at least three times. It is almost like a giant hand reaches out and grips you all the way from the first couple of sentences right up to the last page.
    Personally, my favourite part was when Stella and Tom find out about Mrs Moons’ secret. Everything seems so exciting, and it’s clever how it all slots into place at the end.
    The book does not include pictures, but they are replaced by imaginative descriptions that give the reader a clear picture of what was going on. I could almost hear the voices in my mind…”If Charlie Green finds this mess we’ll be grounded indoors for a week! “…
    An addition to this, I found it hilarious when Stella let Jack listen to her IPod, and Jack simply couldn’t work out how earth a little box could make all that noise on its own, and he merely assumed that there were little people trapped inside!
    I highly recommend this book.

    • kareninglis says:

      Hello, Isabelle! Thanks you for your lovey review – I feel very lucky to have so many nice things said about The Secret Lake! And it’s so nice to hear that the descriptions make it easy for you to picture everything in your head – that is exactly how it was when I was writing the book! It was a bit like a film running in front of me – and it was almost as if I wasn’t sure what would happen next! (And sometimes what happened surprised even me – such as Lucy suddenly turning up in the garden at night!) And I agree about the iPod scene. I remember many years ago when I first put on Sony Walkman earphones – I couldn’t believe the sound as it filled my ears, so when I was writing about Jack and the iPhone music I remembered that feeling! (Sony Walkmans were a bit like iPods but with a cassette player – when I was teaching English to foreign students in London many years ago one of my Hong Kong students brought one to the UK before they were in the shops here!)

      Thanks again! And keep reading :) Karen

  36. Ellen Branson age 10 Leamington says:

    I think that ‘the secret lake’ is a gripping novel and that it is a educational and exiting read. I love the fact that it does not just include one or two good points but a whole selection of them- such as humor,adventure, mystery and a whole range more! I believe that it would be a great read aloud to a child or a parent.

    My favourite character is Emma Gladstone because she is very understanding and polite with a helpful attitude and a hint of cheek. My favourite scene is when…. I found it very moving when…. [Author’s note: I’m afraid I’ve had to edit these and one other little bit out because they gave the story away, but they were lovely!]

    In summary I think that ‘the secret lake’ is an amazing story where everybody is everybody. It really is a time-slip adventure! :)

    • kareninglis says:

      Thanks, Ellen, for this lovely review. I am so glad that you enjoyed all the different aspects of the story – it’s good to know that they work! They certainly kept me entertained :) I agree that Emma is a lovely character! She usually spoke before I could stop her when I was writing! :) I hope you don’t mind that I had to take out a couple of bits of your review so that we don’t give the story away for children who haven’t yet read it. But I am keeping all of the full reviews for when I send the book out more widely to see what other children’s editors think! Thanks again! Karen

  37. Jasmin says:

    Haven’t read the book, but just read the chapters given here. It promises great adventure for the readers. Great that I reached your site through Iain’s site…;)….Best wishes, Karen!

    • kareninglis says:

      Thanks so much, Jasmin. It’s great to get the feedback – and lovely now that I am also getting children’s reviews in! Another one just in :) It really makes all the hard work feel worthwhile! I hope you’ll enjoy it and leave a review if you decide to buy it! Karen

  38. Mathieu, 9 says:

    This book is about Tom and Stella going back in time through a tunnel and I really liked it because it is about friendship.

    The main characters are Tom, Stella, Jack and Emma. The main events are when Stella and Tom go for the first time in the time tunnel and meet Jack, Emma and Sophie who lived in their house a long time ago. Emma and Sophie invite Tom and Stella to their house but then Mrs Gladstone comes along with Crawley and some policemen because someone has stolen their silver and Mrs Gladstone’s purse. Tom and Stella decide to go home. But…..! [Author’s note: I’m afraid that you will need to read the story to find out what happens next!]

    My favourite character is Charlie Green because I like gardens and Charlie tries to stop Tom digging up the molehills. The molehills are all over the garden and a big part of the story!

    • kareninglis says:

      Thank you for this lovely review, Mathieu! I’m really glad you enjoyed the story and I’m sorry I had to cut out a few little bits which told what happened next! I think you will be a very good journalist one day :) I have posted a copy of your review higher up the page below the other ones so that peope will find it more easily! Keep reading books :) Karen

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