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. 

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😊📚Children’s Reviews 📚😊

Alice – age 8 – August 2020

I loved ‘The secret lake’. I have been reading it by myself and my favourite characters are Stella and Emma. I would love it is you did a follow on of that book! 📙 I would give this 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 stars!

Alice
age 8

Lucy – July 2020

I loved the secret lake because it was entrancing, intriguing and magical! On top of that, the characters were so realistic I felt as though I was there and the author was so inspiring that I wrote my own story and now I want to become an author too! This book has everything: time travelling, educational information aboutf the past and present day, an AMAZING storyline and even a DOG!
I hope anyone who reads this review makes the RIGHT decision and buys ‘The Secret Lake!’

Megan – July 2020

I thought the book was great. It was so good I could not put The Secret Lake down! I like the characters Tom, Stella, Jack, Lucy and Emma. I could really picture every scene in the story because you described the places so well. There is so much action. After mummy or daddy has read to me I want to read more and more and more. I would like to hear when Tom and Stella go home.

Max (Age 7) July 2020

I am 7 years old and me and my mummy read this book together. It was epic! I loved that they went through the time tunnel and the mystery got solved bit by bit as the story goes on, (I won’t spoil it!). I loved all the exciting parts and I really hope there is another secret lake part 2 so we can go into the future tunnel and find out what’s going on. Thank you for writing such a fun book I will tell my class all about it.

Joyanti (Age 6) July 2020

Dear Karen,
My name is Joyanti and I’m 6 years old. Your book was simply lovely. My favourite characters were Lucy, Stella, Tom, Jack and Emma. My favourite part was when Stella and Tom discover that they were in the past and my favourite part was when Stella said,’Tom, look, I do think that is our house, but, well not at the moment. Look, don’t ask me how, but that tunnel we found seems to have taken us back to our garden in past time. That’s why everyone is wearing those funny clothes!’ I liked it because Stella and Tom had finally discovered that they were in the past time.
Regards,
Joyanti

Aaheli – July 2020

I loved the story! My favourite character was Lucy

Eve – July 2020

Dear Karen inglis

My name Eve and I loved this book My favorite part was when we found out who….

(Karen’s note: I’ve hidden the last bit of Eve’s comment here, just in case someone is reading this who hasn’t yet finished the book 😊…Thank you, Eve, anyway! Your full comment is in your post down below!)

Aurelio (Age 10) July 2020

I liked so much the story that i want to read more. Are you writing a part two with some more travelling to the future? I would love to read about Jack, Emma and Lucy travelling to the future.

Luke Melton (Age 13) June 2020

This book was really good, I’m 13 and I enjoyed it, but I feel like 8 year olds would like it!! It was really good, and probably one of the best books I’ve read in a long time!!! I know you probably aren’t reading this, but if you are, Mrs. Karen Inglis thank you so much for writing this book!

Amelia (Age 10) June 2020

Hi Karen,
I absolutely loved The Secret Lake, it was one of the best books I have ever read. It was a page turner from beginning to end and I just couldn’t believe the ending, what a brilliant author you are.
Do you plan to write any more books on the adventures of Stella and Tom? I would be so interested to read them.
Thank you for publishing this book, I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Kind regards,
Amelia, age 10

Katy (Age 10) June 2020

Thank you for writing this book! I really enjoyed it and liked all the friendship in it. My favourite character was Tom, Stella and Emma. It was really clever how you put time travel I in there! The moles also had a big part in there to let people (and Harry) time travel. I liked it when they were all hiding up the chimney. :D thank you! x Kate age 10

Danny Murray (Age 5) June 2020

I really loved this book! I really like the part at the end of the book with Charlie Green. I won’t give it away for the other kids, but it was a wonderful book! Thank you. Danny Murray, age 5

Jacob (Age 10) June 2020

Hi, Karen.
I really enjoyed reading your book!
I thought it was intriguing and I really liked how real yet unreal it was.
It was truly an amazing book!
Sometimes I had to read something twice because you need to think about what’s happening and it’s fun to guess what is going to happen.
I’m glad my school chose this book to read.
Yours Truly,
Jacob age 10

William Taylor – June 2020

I think it’s the best story i have ever read. I hope there will be a other one because it was awesome. :)

FruitRuby – June 2020

I LOVE the book so many interesting twists and turns. Sometimes I didn’t understand what’s going on but no hate because I honestly think that the book is AMAZING 😍💕

Alfie – June 2020

I thought the book was really good especially how the secret moles were appearing everywhere and Tom sore them before they found the tunnel which was very lucky. And how Mrs Moon [….] * which was really cool and how Charlie Green […]* I really enjoyed reading it and I think it might be one of my favourite books I have ever read

Thank you

Thomas Cunningham (Age 9) June 2020

To Karen Inglis
I really enjoyed this amazing book because it was page turning and exciting.
from
Thomas
age
9

Zoe (Age 9) June 2020

Hi, I absolutely loved this book ⭐️✨!! and the reason why I liked this book was because it is very page turning and you want to know what happens next

Anonymous – June 2020

I liked your book because I thought it had a good element of mystery and was interesting.

Karolina – June 2020
Dear Karen,
I love the book!I was soooo intresrested that I started reading it and I stayed up all night reeading it!I love it and I will thank my mum soo much and I ,will ask her if she could buy me more of your books.
love karolina

Marijane, (Age 85 😊) June 2020

Dear Karen Inglis, a friend gave me your book and said that I had to read it. So right. I am Emma! I had the most wonderful dog in the world, and I began crying soon after page 100 (no spoiler, but it is NOT a sad book). I’m not sure what those deep sobbing tears meant, but you will know, since I AM EMMA!
I loved your book. Thank you first to my insistent friend, and then to you for writing it.
Best wishes, Marijane: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marijane_Osborn

Ted (Age 8) June 2020

Everything about the book was good. What I liked the most was how Tom and Stella were able to escape from Crawley. I am 8 years old. I give it 4.99 stars.

Amy Allen (June 2020)

The secret lake is a great book and you’ll feel like your on the adventure with them!
Loved it😍😍

Oliver (age 7) June 2020


It is a great book! You should make a second :) thank you for writing this book I love reading! 👏 I’ve always wished that I could time travel.

Ella (June 2020)

Hi I am Ella I loved your book so much I read it twice I loved how it was so mysterious at some points and not at others.My favourite character is definitely Stella because she is so adventurous but I also quite like Emma because she’s really kind.

Blair (age 8) June 2020

dear, Karen Inglis, i love this book so much this book got me really attached and it lured me in, this book was really well done and i love it, but i am only on the 7th chapter and it is AMAZING!!! and i am going to review this book again after i finish reading it. worm regards, your friend, Blair Herman (age 8)

one more thing. are you writing another book right now ??? from blair herman

Olivia (age 10) June 2020

This book was amazing! I love the way you describe things. This book definitely made my top 5! My favorite character is probably Emma, she is just so kind and caring, I don’t know who else I would pick. All I can say is that you are an amazing author, and there is no denying that! Thank you for making this book Karen! 👍

Myra (May 2020)

Hi!!! My name is Myra. I really loved this book, it was so adventurous, and I couldn’t stop reading after the first few pages! You are a amazing author, and you should make a 2nd book of this, or make another book like this

Olivia Rose (May 2020)

Dear Karen, I loved the book the best book I have read and I have read loads of books, millions!
I really like the mystery, excitement and friendship. my favourite character is Tom because he likes going on adventures like me. My favourite part is when they find the tunnel and the ending. I like when they go to the tunnel and go into the past and come back into the present and meet friends, you must get this book.

Julia (age 9 ) May 2020

Your book was very intriguing. At the end I got very curious and then I understood. I would never think of a story like that. That story was AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!

Zahra (age 9) May 2020

Hi Karen my name is Zahra and I am 9 years old. I really enjoyed the secret lake as you don’t have to wait till the middle of the book for the interesting part. I think I have an idea for your next book. It is about 3 siblings called Bella, Lilly and Mark. They get send to live in an orphanage after their parents die. When Lilly goes to the basement to get some cleaning supplies she finds a secret door. She also notices that she needs a key to open it. She tells Bella and Mark and they all try to find the key without getting caught. They finally find the key and when they open the door they found a picture of their parents and they found out that they lived there before them. Hope you like my idea Karen!!!!

From Zahra

Noah (age 8 in 3 weeks!) May 2020

I really enjoyed this book and read it with my Mum. I liked how the characters were described at the beginning and you got to know Tom and Stella really well. Sometimes I felt sad for Stella because they had just moved back to London and she was missing her friend but the adventure they went on soon meant she forgot all about that! I thought Tom was very brave how he was always trying to help people that were in trouble. Once he set his mind to something he would do it. I also liked Harry the dog and I wanted to read more because he was very mysterious, the way he kept disappearing! I liked how everything linked together at the end and want to know if you will be writing a second book about the garden and the lake. An adventure where they go into the future this time would be so awesome!

Yeshe Amma – May 2020

I absolutely loved reading this book! Once I started, I couldn’t stop!

Emma K (on behalf of her daughter) May 2020

My daughter loved this book, this is what she had to say “This was one of the best books ever! I really liked it because it has a dog in it and because it is very secretive and fun.”

Katy R (Age 8) May 2020

My name is Katy and I am 8. I am a real bookworm and absolutely gobble books!! I am a bit fussy about books so lately, me and my mummy went on the internet as we didn’t have any more books for me. This was one of the first books that we found!! It also arrived first and I was very keen. I have finished it from 1 chapter on Sunday 3rd May to Monday 4th May morning. I thought it was really good. How did you come up with the idea for that book? Did you do something that inspired you to write this book? What other books do you recommend to me that are by you??? I don’t really like scary books and I have only just finished book number three of Harry Potter and everyone is saying don’t read it as it will be too scary for me. I have got an idea for your next book. It is about 4 children who like going to the park. Then they are discovered by their horrid aunt. They have to go and live there. Then they find a trapdoor in their room and escape!! I would say that book would be for 6-12 year olds. In the book, I like how the moles make the tunnel so that Stella and Tom could escape. Would you be able to do a series like that book but maybe have more children or they go up to the future??? Also in the book, is Sophie still alive or did she die??

Katy 🐦🐝

Julia (Age 9 ) April 2020

It’s one of the best books ever! You must get this book!

Nathaniel (Age 10) April 2020

I thought this book was amazing. My favorite character was Tom, because he is funny. I would recommend this book to anyone.

Annabelle (April 2020)

I LOVED this book it was a cliffhanger at the end of every chapter and was written so well I also loved having to decode Jacks words.And my favorite character is Emma because she seems so sweet and adventurous and that is so me.I would recommend this book to someone looking for a cliffhanger and an adventure book

Olivia Jennings (Age 9) April 2020

This book is one of my favorite books. I wish this was a series! The end of the book is the most shocking. My favorite character is Emma because she is thoughtful and when she hears something most people wouldn’t believe, she still goes along with it. I highly recommend this book because it is mystery, but it’s also adventure and suspense.

Elena (Age 10) April 2020

This book was one of the best books I have ever read! From all the cliffhangers to the intriguing surprises that lured me into the book it was all in all SPECTACULAR! How did you get the idea of the storyline Karen? Anyways, I hope that one day I would get to go into a time tunnel and find out that later I would become one of the best authors, just like you are.

xx love from Elena 💫 age 10


Jessica (Age 10) April 2020

This is one of the best books ever! I loved it! You are one of my favorite authors and everyone should read this book!

Evie (Age 8) April 2020

Oh my Gosh! This book is so good and it has got so many lovely details. It’s always left on a cliff hanger and it made me feel excited when I finished each chapter – I couldn’t wait to read the next and find out what happens. When I finished the book I felt like I wanted more. Stella was my favorite character because she was funny and I could imagine what she was like in real life. I pictured her a bit like my big sister. :-)

Anonymous (April 2020)

This is such an awesome book! It is definitely one of my top 3 books. I would love to hear the story of Stella and Tom meeting Mrs.Moon in the future. If you have already published a book telling this story let me know. I would LOVE to read it. If not, please consider my request. But if you decide not to do it, that is fine, I know that I’m just one out of millions of fans. Thank You!

TheTNTteam (March 2020)

Awesome book – every chapter was left on a cliff hanger

Eliza (March 2020)

I LOVE the book ! I want to hear more from the story my favorite part about the book is
that it has soooo much details! I want to read so much more ! It’s so good


Gaby (Age 10) March 2020

Dear Karen
I thought your book was so amazing and interesting! when it was time to go to bed I just simply couldn’t put your awesome book down. However my favourite part was when [* Note from Karen – I have hidden this top secret comment and one more so as not to give away the story to those have not yet read the book! 😊] But when mrs.moon said that harry [***] I thought she was going to say he turned into a ghost dog but she did not say that Im just crazy! Alright back to the beginning your book rocked don’t let anyone tell you any different obviously they won’t because your book is the best of the best!
From Gabby (age 10)

Elaine Phillipson (School Teacher, Kuwait) March 2020

Dear Karen,

I just finished reading The Secret Lake. I had selected it to use with my class out here in Kuwait. While there are some challenging words in the story, the children will love learning their meanings and expanding their own vocabularies.
The story is wonderful. I didn’t know what to expect when I began reading it, but I couldn’t put it down. As a teacher, I know that this story will get my class hooked from the beginning and we are going to be able to do some great activities based around it, culminating in writing their own stories in a similar style.
I would recommend your book to everyone, regardless of age or gender. It gets a full 5-star rating from me and I am looking forward to reading more of your work. ‘Walter Brown and the Magician’s Hat’ sounds fun and will be my next purchase.
Thank you, Karen, for writing a great story. Pl3ease keep writing!

Katerina Anderson – March 2020

Your book Was amazing! I really loved it.It is a ten out ten. It is was my favorite book in the world . I totally give you a good review. I especially loved when Tom and Stella were in the past. And when they met Emma and Jack. Love it so much my sister wants to read it.

Kitty Jay, (Age 8)  – March 2020

Dear Karen

My Book Review of The Secret Lake by Karen Ingles

This story is about a brother and sister who find a hole which has a ladder which leads on to a tree and into the past. They meet a boy called Jack who is suspected to be a kidnapper. They meet Emma and her sister Sophie, they are quite posh. They have lots of adventures. At the end they find out that {*****Note from Karen: I’ve hidden some top secret information here, just in case children who have not read the book are reading this review 🙂 With my apologies, Kitty Jay – I love your comments here and in the other places about the story!}. It is sad because on the night they find {*** More top secret information hidden here by Karen again!*}.

My favourite part was when they find out that {***} I wasn’t surprised because they gave clues during the story. I thought it was a bit like Tom’s Midnight Garden.
{More top secret info hidden here – Kitty Jay is great at guessing things and nearly being right!*****}

I really liked guessing what happens next and I really love doing that.

I would recommend it to people that like reading adventures and guessing what happens next.`

I would give it 5 stars but I think Charlie Green should have been more included.

Kitty Jay, age 8

Newmill Primary School, Scotland – February 2020

Dear Karen,

We are P123 from Newmill Primary School and we have just finished reading The Secret Lake and we loved it. After a conversation about mysteries and suspense stories our teacher chose your book as an example. We have been hooked into the story trying to predict what would happen next. The story held our attention throughout as it unravelled with lots of twists and turns. We really enjoyed getting to know the characters and have our own personal pictures in our mind of the different settings. We were glad that Harry was safe too!

We highly recommend this book. Our next step is to create our very own stories of going down a time tunnel.

Kind regards,
Mrs Watt and Primary 123

Reem (Age 6 1/2) January 2020

To Karen, I think the book The Secret Lake is really exciting. I read it before I went to bed every night. My favourite part is when they go down the time tunnel and see The Gladstone’s! I highly recommend this book to other children so they can discover the Secret Lake’s secrets,
Reem

Adam (Age 6 1/2) January 2020

Dear Karen, I thought The Secret Lake book was really exciting. My favourite character was Harry the dog. I think this one of the best books I’ve ever read. I would like to read some of your other books now.
Adam

Hannah (Age 6) January 2020

I love your book, The Secret Lake. My dad read it to me and made some of the words a bit easier to understand. I think you should write lots more books. I think it might be good if you add some pictures too. I hope that I can become an author like you when I grow up.

Clara (Age 9) January 2020

i loved your book!!!! must read this book!!!!- clara age 9

Harmony (Age 7) November 2019

To Karen
I really enjoyed The Secret Lake.I read it as my school reading book. My favourite bit was when they went down the time tunnel, it was very exciting .My favourite character was Stella because she was helpful and funny I would like to be like her.I made a model of her for my school reading challenge ,it is now displayed in my school on our love to read board.I had a lot of challenging words in it for me that I had to ask people the meaning, but this made it interesting.I would recommend this book to other children as the story was exciting.
Thanks for writing this book
Harmony

Volodymyr V (and daughter) October 2019

I got the book to read for my daughter when she tries to fall alseep. Well, with this book I killed 2 birds with one stone: my daughter was going alseep very quickly and I read a wonderful story. I really enjoyed it.

Tassia (Age 10) October 2019

I am ten years old and my name is Tassia. I really enjoyed reading The Secret Lake and finding out that […….]* was in on the secret too! I loved how close Stella and Tom were and all of there adventures. Please write a second one!
*Note from Karen — I’ve hidden something here so as to keep the storyline top secret 😊

Julia (Age 10, Houston) September 2019

My mom just got me this book a few hours ago and already finished i always surprise my parents when it comes to reading super duper fast lol^^

Grandparent / Granddaughter (August 2019)

I bought this book on kindle to read with my granddaughter. I am already done as I don’t have her everyday but I thought it was absolutely wonderful. So full of adventures and twists and turns. A good book transports you to that time and this is one of them. Two thumbs way up!

Elsie (Age 7, nearly 8!) August 2019

The Secret Lake is one of my favourite books because the characters are like me and the story has lots of action in it. It is one of those books that I will probably read for a second time. I really enjoyed reading this book and I look forward to reading more books you write. Elsie (7 almost 8!)

June (On behalf of her three granddaughters😊) August 2019

I bought this book to take on my kindle to read to three granddaughters, aged 7 and 10 on holiday. Each day we read three chapters and it became quite an integral part of the week. The girls loved it and it was very special time for me to read it to them. They loved the adventure and the descriptions of the characters, especially Tom and thought it would make an excellent film with CGI for the trip down to the Lake, Thank you Karen for a wonderful story.


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:

  • Children – if you are in the UK, Ireland or USA and are under age 13 please ask a grown up to post your review for you or get their permission first and have them sit with you while you add your review. (If you are in any other EU country or elsewhere and are under age 16 please ask a grown-up to help you.)
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  • Parents/Grown-ups: it’s easy to add reviews to Amazon too and it will help more parents and children find out about ‘The Secret Lake’. If you are able to take a moment to copy your/your child’s review there that would be wonderful! Thank you!

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201 Responses to Reviews

  1. Alice says:

    I loved ‘The secret lake’. I have been reading it by myself and my favourite characters are Stella and Emma. I would love it is you did a follow on of that book! 📙 I would give this 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 stars!

    Alice
    age 8

    • kareninglis says:

      Hello Alice!

      Thank you very much for all those lovely five stars! 😊 🌟 I am so glad you enjoyed The Secret Lake, and that you particularly enjoyed meeting Stella and Emma. What fun they had! I still remember sitting thinking that as I was writing their adventure – I was never sure of what would happen next – especially when Emma discovered the children up the chimney in the middle of the night! Luckily her character was strong enough that she just took over at that point and the story carried on from there :)

      Many people ask me about a follow-on book and I do have some ideas swirling about in my mind, but at the moment I’m waiting for the magical tingly feeling I need to be sure a story will work. So watch this space is all I can say just now!

      Thank you again for writing and I hope you are enjoying the summer break despite this challenging time, and that you find many more stories and adventures to escape into – and perhaps even write some of your own!

      With very best wishes,

      Karen 📚 ❤️ 😊

  2. Lucy says:

    I loved the secret lake because it was entrancing, intriguing and magical! On top of that, the characters were so realistic I felt as though I was there and the author was so inspiring that I wrote my own story and now I want to become an author too! This book has everything: time travelling, educational information aboutf the past and present day, an AMAZING storyline and even a DOG!
    I hope anyone who reads this review makes the RIGHT decision and buys ‘The Secret Lake!’

    • kareninglis says:

      Dear Lucy

      Thank you so much for your kind words about The Secret Lake. I am delighted to hear how much you enjoyed it and how wonderful that it inspired you to write your own story! I hope you had fun and that you will feel encouraged to write even more. 😊

      I’m also glad to hear that you enjoyed learning about past time while reading The Secret Lake. I really enjoyed researching some of the detail for this: how children dressed in Edwardian times, what the houses were like inside and so on. Now that we have the internet it is so much easier doing research than it used to be for writers – in fact, having so much information at our fingertips these days is a bit like magic!

      Everyone seems to enjoy the fact there is a dog in the story — I named Harry after a good friend’s rescue dog (also a terrier) that she got from Battersea Dogs’ Home here in London. Her Harry was always running off too – but usually chasing sheep in fields, which was very naughty of him!

      I hope you are enjoying the summer break and that these last few months haven’t been too difficult with the lockdown. All I can say is, ‘Thank goodness we have books to escape into!’ I hope you agree and that you find many more adventures in books in the coming weeks.

      Keep on reading and writing – you’ll find that the more you read and write, the more ideas you’ll get!

      With very best wishes and thank you again for taking the time to write,

      Karen ❤️ 😊 📚

  3. megang2013 says:

    I thought the book was great. It was so good I could not put The Secret Lake down! I like the characters Tom, Stella, Jack, Lucy and Emma. I could really picture every scene in the story because you described the places so well. There is so much action. After mummy or daddy has read to me I want to read more and more and more. I would like to hear when Tom and Stella go home.

    • kareninglis says:

      Hello Megan — thank you very much for writing to me and I’m so glad to hear that you enjoyed The Secret Lake! 😊

      A lot of children tell me how, when reading the story, they could see everything so clearly in their minds and I have to say it was exactly like that when I was writing it! It was as if I were watching my own movie where I got to decide what happened next – oh, except that usually the characters took over and took me by surprise!

      I don’t know if you have read my blog post or seen the video, but the setting for the story (the children’s modern-day home and their past time-home and the communal gardens) are based on a Victorian house that has been divided into apartments near Notting Hill in west London, which some friends of ours moved into when our children were little.

      And the woodland areas and the lake were inspired by a place called Isabella Plantation in Richmond Park, close to where I live in Barnes. The background images on this website with the trees and bluebells are taken at Isabella Plantation.

      As writers we often use real places that we have been to inspire our stories and I was just looking at your website and see that you completely understand this — I love how you have given your readers photos as prompts to help with story ideas! And how wonderful that you are so keen on writing. Well done!

      I am often asked if there will be a follow-up to The Secret Lake and my answer is that I’m not yet sure but I do have some ideas swirling around in my head. But I have to wait for my special ‘tingly’ magic feeling that I get — as I did for The Secret Lake — before I start to write!

      I hope you are enjoying the summer holidays now that school has broken up, and that you find many more adventures to get lost in! And keep up the writing! Below are links to the articles about The Secret Lake in case you haven’t yet seen them. (One of these is on my YouTube channel – please ask a grown-up to help you view.)

      Here’s a blog post from a few years ago when I visited a school close to Notting Hill – it has images of the houses similar to Tom and Stella’s https://kareninglisauthor.com/2014/05/27/the-secret-lake-revisits-notting-hill/

      And here’s a video of the woodland and pond in Isabella Plantation that inspired the lake in the story — as you can see it’s very magical https://youtu.be/6xEEjvASIbw

      With very best wishes and thank you for writing.

      Karen 😊 📚 ❤️

  4. Max says:

    I am 7 years old and me and my mummy read this book together. It was epic! I loved that they went through the time tunnel and the mystery got solved bit by bit as the story goes on, (I won’t spoil it!). I loved all the exciting parts and I really hope there is another secret lake part 2 so we can go into the future tunnel and find out what’s going on. Thank you for writing such a fun book I will tell my class all about it.

    • kareninglis says:

      Hi Max!

      Thank you for writing to let me know how much you enjoyed The Secret Lake. And ‘epic’ is wonderful feedback 😊 📚 ❤️ !

      When I was writing the story I was keen for it to have lots of twists to keep children turning the pages – and at times when I was writing (all alone at the top of our house) I became very excited because even I wasn’t sure what might happen next — the characters just seemed to have minds of their own! (And Lucy appeared from nowhere in the garden in the middle night when the children went back to see if they could find where Jack was. I had no idea she was there until she spoke to the Stella and Tom!)

      I often get asked about a possible sequel. The answer is that I have a few ideas going around in my head, but need to get my *special magic tingly feeling* before I start writing – and I never know when that might come. The fact that there are some ideas tumbling is usually a good sign at least! So sorry that I can’t be more specific!

      Thank you again so much for writing, and I hope you find many more adventures to escape to over the summer. 📚

      With very best wishes,

      Karen

      PS If you enjoy surprises (and funny stories) and you don’t mind soccer, I think you would enjoy Eeek! The Runaway Alien! 😊 👽

  5. Anonymous says:

    Dear Karen,
    My name is Joyanti and I’m 6 years old. Your book was simply lovely. My favourite characters were Lucy, Stella, Tom, Jack and Emma. My favourite part was when Stella and Tom discover that they were in the past and my favourite part was when Stella said,’Tom, look, I do think that is our house, but, well not at the moment. Look, don’t ask me how, but that tunnel we found seems to have taken us back to our garden in past time. That’s why everyone is wearing those funny clothes!’ I liked it because Stella and Tom had finally discovered that they were in the past time.
    Regards,
    Joyanti

    • kareninglis says:

      Hello Joyanti — thank you so much for writing to me and apologies it’s taken a few days for me to reply! It is a busy time just now.

      I am so glad to hear that you enjoyed The Secret Lake, and that you enjoyed meeting the children from past and present who took part in the adventure. They are quite a team, aren’t they? And I know what you mean about how Tom must have felt when he finally realised they were in past time. What a shock that must have been for him! Lucky he had Stella there to explain!

      I often ask pupils at school visits if they’d like to meet the children who lived in their house 100 years ago — or (if they live in a modern house) whether they would like to go back in time and meet the children who lived and played in their neighbourhood 100 years ago. They nearly all say yes — though they also say they would not want to dress in past-time clothes!

      I hope you’re managing to escape to lots more stories during the coming weeks and months. And maybe you could even dream up your own time travel or summer adventure?

      Thank you again for writing to tell me how much you enjoyed The Secret Lake.

      With very best wishes,

      Karen 😊 📚

      • Joyanti Bhowmick says:

        Hello again,
        It’s OK it took you a few days to write a reply to me. Actually, I didn’t even notice your reply😊! How are you? How many years are you old? I kept writing and writing hoping I would get a reply! I have already finished the book and the one I am now reading Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Why has it been busy? I hope you are well.
        Kind regards,
        Joyanti

  6. Aaheli says:

    I loved the story! My favourite character was Lucy

    • kareninglis says:

      Hello Aaheli

      Thank you so much for letting me know how much you enjoyed The Secret Lake. And I’m so glad that you enjoyed meeting Lucy. She is one of my favourite characters too – I just love how she joins in and plays along in situations where she doesn’t really understand what’s going on. She’s great at adapting like that — it’s probably why she and Emma are such good friends.

      I still remember when she appeared out of the blue when I was writing the scene in the garden at night when Tom and Stella are looking through the kitchen window wondering what has happened to Jack! I really had no idea she would be there until she spoke — and that is the joy of being a children’s author. And of course she was very helpful after that.

      I hope you have a great summer and find many more stories to escape into in the coming weeks!

      With very best wishes and thank you again for writing.

      Karen 😊 📚

  7. Eve says:

    Dear Karen inglis
    My name Eve and I loved this book My favorite part was when we found out who Mrs.moons is.

    • kareninglis says:

      Hello Eve

      Thank you so much for writing! And I’m so glad to hear that you enjoyed The Secret Lake – including the ending. It was great fun writing those last chapters, I must say, especially throwing in a few extra surprises too! 😊

      Just so you know, when I post your comment higher up on the page with the others I will hide the part that names Mrs Moon, in case someone reads it who hasn’t yet finished (or started!) the book. There’s a small chance otherwise that it could give the plot away. (I’ve had to hide a few things from other children’s reviews too, so don’t worry — yours isn’t the first! And you have been more discreet than some others!)

      I hope you manage to escape into many more adventures over the coming weeks and months, and even to dream up and maybe write some of your own! You will be surprised by where they can take you!

      It’s just been raining here in London which is good for the grass, but we wouldn’t mind seeing the sun again soon. I hope the weather where you are is a little brighter!

      With very best wishes and thank you again for writing!

      With very best wishes!

      Karen 😊 🌺 📚

  8. Aurelio q says:

    Aurelio (age 10)
    I liked so much the story that i want to read more. Are you writing a part two with some more travelling to the future? I would love to read about Jack, Emma and Lucy travelling to the future.

    • kareninglis says:

      Dear Aurelio

      What a lovely note — and how honoured I am to hear that you would love to read more about Stella and Tom’s adventure! 😊

      Many readers ask if I’ll be writing a sequel to The Secret Lake, and it’s a question that I ask myself regularly too! At the moment there are various ideas tumbling around in my head, but I really do need to wait for that ‘tingly moment’ (as I describe it) when I suddenly realise I have a perfect story. A sequel would need to be just as magical as The Secret Lake, as I’m sure you will agree, so I don’t want to rush it.

      Oh — and, yes, one idea does include some of the children coming forward in time — I’ve even already visualised the opening scene :)

      How long it will be before a sequel is ready it’s just rather hard to predict – for me stories seem to have a life and mind of their own and I only finally sit down to write when they tell me they are set and waiting! At that point I can’t avoid them!

      I hope you are enjoying your summer and managing to meet up with friends. And I hope that you find many more adventures to get lost in over the coming weeks and months.

      Thank you again for taking the time to write and I’m so glad that you enjoyed The Secret Lake.

      With very best wishes!

      Karen 😊 🌺 📚
      (PS The background photos on The Secret Lake’s website are from Isabella Plantation, a magical woodland in Richmond Park close to where I live. This setting was part of the inspiration for the story and you can see videos from it over on my YouTube channel using the link below. It’s safe to watch but be sure to ask a grown-up’s permission first.) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6xEEjvASIbw&list=PL1PNHEeXsZ6REPWtNdumV4edGoPB1AlJr&index=6&t=0s

  9. Luke Melton says:

    This book was really good, I’m 13 and I enjoyed it, but I feel like 8 year olds would like it!! It was really good, and probably one of the best books I’ve read in a long time!!! I know you probably aren’t reading this, but if you are, Mrs. Karen Inglis thank you so much for writing this book!

    • kareninglis says:

      Hello Luke — thank you so much for your note and, yes, I certainly am reading this! (In fact I saw it arrive in my inbox the other day but unfortunately was too busy to stop and reply then!)

      You aren’t the first teenager who has told me how much they enjoyed the story — in fact The Secret Lake seems to have fans of all ages — the oldest being 95! 😊

      I hope you’re having a good summer and managing to meet up with friends at school or online. And thank goodness we have books to escape to in this challenging time! Writing also provides an escape, so perhaps you might even want to think about writing your own time travel adventure?

      I hope you enjoy the rest of your summer and find many more great books to disappear into! Thank you again so much for writing.

      With very best wishes,

      Karen 📚 ❤️ 😊

  10. Amelia, age 10 says:

    Hi Karen,
    I absolutely loved The Secret Lake, it was one of the best books I have ever read. It was a page turner from beginning to end and I just couldn’t believe the ending, what a brilliant author you are.
    Do you plan to write any more books on the adventures of Stella and Tom? I would be so interested to read them.
    Thank you for publishing this book, I thoroughly enjoyed it.
    Kind regards,
    Amelia, age 10

    • kareninglis says:

      Hello Amelia

      Thank you very much for your note and I’m so glad to hear that you enjoyed The Secret Lake.📚 ❤️

      Writing a page-turner wasn’t something I set out to do, but as the story unfolded before me it got more and more exciting, by which time I realised that it was indeed becoming a page turner. This is what I love about writing children’s books, and I’m glad it worked for you! (The ending was also a bit of a surprise to me too by the way! 😊 )

      Lots of children have asked if I’ll be writing a sequel to The Secret Lake and my answer is that I haven’t ruled it out but that I need to think carefully about what the story would be and wait for it to appear. At the moment there are various ideas tumbling around in my head, which is what often happens before a story comes. A sequel would need to be just as magical as The Secret Lake, so I really do need to wait for that ‘tingly moment’ as I describe it when I suddenly realise I have a perfect idea.

      Thank you so much for writing and I hope that you manage to read lots more books over the summer. (Perhaps you might also want to plan and write your own summer adventure?)

      With very best wishes,

      Karen 📚 ❤️ 😊

  11. Helen Gundry Fletcher says:

    Thank you for writing this book! I really enjoyed it and liked all the friendship in it. My favourite character was Tom, Stella and Emma. It was really clever how you put time travel I in there! The moles also had a big part in there to let people (and Harry) time travel. I liked it when they were all hiding up the chimney. :D thank you! x Kate age 10

    • kareninglis says:

      Dear Katy

      Thank you very much for your note – we authors love hearing from our readers :)

      I’m so glad you enjoyed the part where the children were hiding up the chimney. It was such fun writing that scene as I wasn’t completely sure myself what would happen next! This is what makes writing children’s book such fun! 😊 It was also fun watching as the children all made friends and got to know more about each other. I often ask children at schools if they would enjoy going back in time to meet the children who lived in their home (or some other old house) 100 years ago and the answer is nearly always yes. There would be so much we could all learn from each other.

      I hope your summer is going well and that you’re managing to meet your friends during this challenging time.

      Happy reading and writing in the coming weeks and months! Thank goodness for books! And thank you again for writing!

      With very best wishes,

      Karen 📚 ❤️ 😊

  12. Jacob age 10 says:

    Hi, Karen.
    I really enjoyed reading your book!
    I thought it was intriguing and I really liked how real yet unreal it was.
    It was truly an amazing book!
    Sometimes I had to read something twice because you need to think about what’s happening and it’s fun to guess what is going to happen.
    I’m glad my school chose this book to read.
    Yours Truly,
    Jacob age 10

    • kareninglis says:

      Dear Jacob

      Thank you so much for your lovely note telling me how much you enjoyed The Secret Lake. And I love your comment about how both ‘real yet unreal’ you found it. I think I know what you mean — the fact that you can picture all this normal world activity going on (with iPhones and so on!) yet there is this magical time travel and past-time world mixed up with it. I must say that is why I love writing children’s books — we can make anything happen!

      And I do agree that it’s fun guessing what might happen next. In fact it was a bit like that when I was writing the story! Sometimes I had no idea what would happen next – for example when Tom, Stella and Lucy broke into the house at night to rescue Jack from the cellar… During that rescue I knew that something dramatic would happen but had no idea of what it was until it actually did happen! And that is the joy of writing children’s stories.

      I hope you find many more adventure stories to escape to over the coming weeks and months. The more you read the more you will start to get ideas for your own stories! And perhaps you can think about writing your own time travel adventure?

      Thank you again so much for writing. With very best wishes.

      Karen 📚 ❤️ 😊

  13. William Taylor says:

    I think it’s the best story i have ever read. I hope there will be a other one because it was awesome. :)

    • kareninglis says:

      Hello William

      I am honoured to hear that you think that The Secret Lake is the best story you have read up until now! 😊 We authors love getting feedback because when we are writing our stories we always worry that readers might not enjoy them!

      Lots of children ask if there will be a follow-up to The Secret Lake and what I tell them is that I have a few ideas but they are not ready yet. So watch this space! What I do know is that if I write a sequel it needs to be just as magical as The Secret Lake, so I cannot rush it. Stories always come to me so it’s a matter of waiting until everything slots into place for the main idea…

      In the meantime if you enjoy aliens and soccer you might want to check out Eeek! The Runaway Alien. This is my second most popular book at school visits with both boys and girls – it’s very different from The Secret Lake, but great fun!

      I hope your summer is going well and that you’re managing to meet up with friends from school now. I also hope that you find many more books to go on adventures with! (You may even find you can come up with ideas for your own summer adventure?)

      With very best wishes and thank you again for taking the time to write to me.

      Karen 📚 ❤️ 😊

  14. fruitruby says:

    I LOVE the book so many interesting twists and turns. Sometimes I didn’t understand what’s going on but no hate because I honestly think that the book is AMAZING 😍💕

    • kareninglis says:

      Hello — As you Nickname is Fruit Ruby I’m guessing your name might be Ruby but I’m not sure! Either way, thank you very much for letting me know how much you enjoyed The Secret Lake 😊 – and how you enjoyed the twists and turns.

      When writing the story it was sometimes hard for me to keep up with what Stella and Tom were going to find out next – or who might appear from where to surprise them! But that is what I really love about being a writer — and especially of children’s stories where just about anything can happen! And the more you write the more the ideas keep on coming. Organising them into a story is quite challenging though — so having a plan at the start really helps. (I made the mistake of not really having a plan when I started and, as a result, I think it probably took about twice the time to finish the story as it would have taken if I had made a plan!)

      I hope you are managing okay during this challenging time and are able to your friends.
      And I hope you find many more books to escape to over the coming weeks and months! Maybe you can start planning your own page-turning adventure?

      With very best wishes and carry on reading! And thank you again for writing,

      Karen 📚 ❤️ 😊

  15. Alfie says:

    I thought the book was really good especially how the secret moles were appearing everywhere and Tom sore them before they found the tunnel which was very lucky. And how Mrs Moon [….] * which was really cool and how Charlie Green […]* I really enjoyed reading it and I think it might be one of my favourite books I have ever read

    Thank you

    • kareninglis says:

      Dear Alfie

      Thank you very much for your lovely review of The Secret Lake. I am so glad that you enjoyed it! I hope you won’t mind but I have hidden a couple of your comments as they tell the secrets from the story. (I do this just in case other children and parents who have not yet read the book read your review. It will be more fun for them to read the book without knowing what happens! Don’t worry — I’ve done the same for other children’s reviews in the past…😊 )

      And I’m glad to hear you enjoyed the magical moles — as soon as I saw the communal gardens of Notting Hill, which inspired the setting for The Secret Lake, I knew that moles would have a part to play in the story. They’ve always felt very magical to me — probably because I’ve only ever seen one once! There were several molehills in those gardens and the idea of tunnels and travelling through time came to me quite quickly. I also loved the idea of connecting the natural world of the garden with the ability to move through time.

      I hope you are managing okay during this challenging time for us all. How wonderful to have books to escape into on the days we can’t see our friends!

      Carry on reading! (By the way, if you ask a grown-up’s permission you can find out more about the setting that inspired The Secret Lake over on my YouTube Channel here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kW8f2nymq4Y&list=PL1PNHEeXsZ6REPWtNdumV4edGoPB1AlJr&index=4 )

      With very best wishes,

      Karen 📚 ❤️ 😊

  16. Thomas Cunningham says:

    To Karen Inglis

    I really enjoyed this amazing book because it was page turning and exciting.
    from
    Thomas
    age
    9

    • kareninglis says:

      Hello Thomas

      I am so glad to hear that you found The Secret Lake both page-turning and exciting!

      When I was writing the story I wanted to make sure that there was enough action and mystery in each chapter to make children want to carry on reading. And after all the hard work writing away at the top of our house on my own it seems to have paid off! (Like most other authors I was worried about whether it would be good enough — but thankfully children have loved it, and every little comment such as yours is very much appreciated.)

      I hope your summer is going well so far and that you are now managing to see some of your friends. Remember, there are lots more book that you can disappear into over the coming weeks and months! It’s a lovely way to pass the time. And maybe you could even try writing your own adventure?

      Stay safe and carry on reading! And thank you again for writing.

      With very best wishes,

      Karen 📚 ❤️ 😊

  17. Zoe aged 9 says:

    Hi, I absolutely loved this book ⭐️✨!! and the reason why I liked this book was because it is very page turning and you want to know what happens next

    • kareninglis says:

      Hello Zoe – I’m so glad that you enjoyed The Secret Lake and thank you very much indeed for those yellow stars! 🌟

      Lots of children tell me how they find The Secret Lake is a page-turner and that is certainly what I planned when I was writing it. I kept thinking back to books I enjoyed as a child — and even today — where I just want to keep on going. So I made sure to end each chapter on a bit of a cliffhanger, or as close to one as I could.

      I hope you are managing okay during this very challenging time and are able to start meeting with your school friends now or soon.

      Carry on reading — it’s a wonderful way to escape! And maybe you could even try writing your own summer adventure?

      With very best wishes and thank you again for writing!

      Karen ❤️ 😊 📚

  18. Anonymous says:

    I liked your bookbecause I thought it had a good element of mystery and was interesting.

    • kareninglis says:

      Hello — thank you very much for taking the time to write to me about The Secret Lake. I’m so glad that you enjoyed the mystery in the story. It certainly was very exciting when I was writing it because I was often not sure what would happen next! That’s one of the best things about being a writer — and especially a children’s author.

      I hope you have a good summer and manage to find many more mysteries to escape to. Maybe you could even make up some of your own?

      Thank you again for taking the time to write 😊

      With very best wishes,

      Karen 📚 ❤️

  19. Karolina says:

    Dear Karen,
    I love the book!I was soooo intresrested that I started reading it and I stayed up all night reeading it!I love it and I will thank my mum soo much and I ,will ask her if she could buy me more of your books.
    love karolina

    • kareninglis says:

      Dear Karolina

      I am so pleased to hear how much you enjoyed The Secret Lake. I do hope you weren’t too tired staying up into the night to read it 😊 We authors love hearing from our readers when they enjoy our stories — after all the hours we spend on them it really does make it worthwhile. And I hope you will enjoy some of my other books — they are all very different. If you’re not sure which to choose would probably recommend Eeek! The Runaway Alien or Walter Brown and the Magician’s Hat. (Even if you’re not a football fan Eeek! is great fun and at my school visits both boys and girls love it!)

      I hope the rest of your summer goes well and that you will find many more adventures to get lost in!

      Thank you again for writing to me.

      Karen 📚 ❤️ 😊

  20. Marijane, 85 years old. Dear Karen Inglis, a friend gave me your book and said that I had to read it. So right. I am Emma! I had the most wonderful dog in the world, and I began crying soon after page 100 (no spoiler, but it is NOT a sad book). I’m not sure what those deep sobbing tears meant, but you will know, since I AM EMMA!
    I loved your book. Thank you first to my insistent friend, and then to you for writing it.
    Best wishes, Marijane: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marijane_Osborn

    • kareninglis says:

      Dear Marijane

      Thank you so much for letting me know how much you enjoyed The Secret Lake and my huge apologies for such a delayed reply. It has been a very busy last few days dealing with requests to translate the book into various languages so I’ve been becoming a bit of an expert in contracts!

      I have had several elderly readers contacting me to say how much they enjoyed the story — I think my oldest fan to date is 95! How lovely and interesting that you identified with Emma!

      I was just looking at your Wikipedia page and am so impressed with your background. And I immediately zoomed in on the fact that you have studied old Norse texts. I lived for two years in Norway and speak Norwegian (though it’s rather rusty now!). Such a magical place and the whole of Scandinavia and beyond bursting with inspiration for tale-telling. When living there I felt very at home and saw many people who resembled me. My maiden name is Sandiford so I think there is an historic connection!

      Many thanks again for taking the time to write 😊 ! Stay safe during these very challenging times.

      With very best wishes,

      Karen

  21. Ted Hirsch says:

    Everything about the book was good. What I liked the most was how Tom and Stella were able to escape from Crawley. I am 8 years old. I give it 4.99 stars.

    • kareninglis says:

      Hello, Ted*!

      Thank you so much for letting me know how much you enjoyed The Secret Lake. It makes an author’s day when a reader gives such positive feedback!

      I fully agree about how satisfying it was that Tom and Stella managed to escape from Crawley (and save Jack from him in the end, of course). It was very exciting writing those parts of the books – I can still remember it vividly, with all the scenes playing in my head as if I was watching a film!

      Also, thank you so much for awarding story 4.99 stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟 (🌟)! I am honoured!(<<UK spelling)

      I hope you are having an enjoyable summer and managing to see some of your friends during this challenging time — also that you will find many more adventures to escape to in the coming weeks!

      With very best wishes,

      Karen 📚 😊

      *PS If your first name isn't Ted please do write back to correct me – sometimes when a grown up is helping post a review they use their own name by mistake and I wasn't sure from the profile image if that is your name or a grown-up's! Happy reading!

  22. Amy Allen says:

    The secret lake is a great book and you’ll feel like your on the adventure with them!
    Loved it😍😍

    • kareninglis says:

      Dear Amy — I’m so glad that you enjoyed The Secret Lake, and I hope you find many more adventures to escape to this summer!

      I’ve had many children tell me how they felt they were there during the story or that they could see the pictures running in their head, like a film. This make me very happy after the many months I spent writingThe Secret Lake — especially as I wasn’t sure if children would enjoy it!

      I hope the rest of your summer goes well and that you have found more books to escape into!

      With very best wishes — and thank you so much again for taking the time to write your review here.

      Karen 📚 ❤️ 😊

  23. Owen (age 7) says:

    It is a great book! You should make a second :) thank you for writing this book I love reading! 👏 I’ve always wished that I could time travel.

    • kareninglis says:

      Dear Owen — thank you so much for letting me know that you enjoyed The Secret Lake! We authors love hearing from our readers. ❤️

      I too wish that I could time travel — what fun that would be! The great thing about being a children’s author is that anything is possible — which means that I can make up imaginary worlds where time travel can happen, even if I can’t!

      I hope you are keeping well during this challenging time, and that you are managing to escape into lots of adventures in books!

      Perhaps you could write you own time travel adventure?

      Thank you again for writing, Karen 😊 📚

  24. Ella says:

    Hi I am Ella I loved your book so much I read it twice I loved how it was so mysterious at some points and not at others.My favourite character is definitely Stella because she is so adventurous but I also quite like Emma because she’s really kind.

    • kareninglis says:

      Hello, Ella

      Thank you so much for letting me know how much you enjoyed The Secret Lake. And what a great feat to have read it twice! 👍 👍 📚 Actually, I think it’s fun reading books for a second time, because very often you notice things you hadn’t noticed the first time around…

      I agree that Stella is very adventurous — if it hadn’t been for her she and Tom would never have gone to investigate where Harry had come from that day he ran out of the bush soaking wet. (I think that Tom would just have got side-tracked trying to dig up the whole boat!) And, yes, Emma is very kind — and adventurous too, especially with her plans for going on a mole hunt with Lucy in the middle of the night!

      Thank you again for letting me know that you enjoyed The Secret Lake. I hope you find many more stories to get lost in in the coming months!

      Happy reading! Karen 📚 😊 ❤️

  25. Blair Herman (age 8) says:

    hi its me blair again i am not sure if i posted my last comment corectly and i want to know if it the right way, have a nice day love blair. ps i write books too!! and i thought that would be a fun fact for you.

    • Blair Herman (age 8) says:

      dear, Karen Inglis, i love this book so much this book got me really attached and it lured me in, this book was really well done and i love it, but i am only on the 7th chapter and it is AMAZING!!! and i am going to review this book again after i finish reading it. worm regards, your friend, Blair Herman (age 8)

      one more thing. are you writeing another book right now ??? from blair herman

      • kareninglis says:

        Hello, Blair, Thank you very much for letting me know how much you are enjoying The Secret Lake and this is to confirm that, yes, you have entered the details correctly! I will reply to you fully a little later on as I am currently in the middle of some writing! Look out for a longer reply later on today or tomorrow. And I hope you continue to enjoy the story! With very best wishes, Karen

      • kareninglis says:

        Hello again, Blair

        I promised I would finish my reply to you yesterday, then ran out of time. My apologies! I hope you are still enjoying The Secret Lake and that you’ve had fun following Tom and Stella’s adventure in past time once they have met Jack properly.

        You had asked whether I’m writing another book right now and the answer is that, yes, I am working on another book, but it’s not a sequel to The Secret Lake. (That might come in the future – I’m still working on different ideas for it…) I’m currently working on a picture book for younger children which I hope will be out in July. I have a fabulous illustrator so I’m very much looking forward to sharing news about that that once it’s out!

        Apologies again for my slight delay in replying to you from the other day.

        With very best wishes, Karen 😊 📚

    • kareninglis says:

      Hi again Blair — just to say I now realise you posted your first comment as a reply to me on one of my replies to someone else. But you did your next two posts correctly. I have now moved your first post to the correct place above! 😊

  26. Olivia (Age 10) says:

    This book was amazing! I love the way you describe things. This book definitely made my top 5! My favorite character is probably Emma, she is just so kind and caring, I don’t know who else I would pick. All I can say is that you are an amazing author, and there is no denying that! Thank you for making this book Karen! 👍

    • kareninglis says:

      Dear Olivia — firstly sorry for my delayed reply. It’s been a busy couple of days!

      Thank you very much for writing and telling me how much you enjoyed The Secret lake. ❤️😊 I agree that Emma is so kind — and I love how adventurous and mischievous she is too! She was a very strong character in my mind when I was writing about her and I’m not really sure where she came from. And, of course, she is very different from her older sister Sophie, as I’m sure you will agree!

      If you’d like to hear me talk about The Secret Lake and see videos of the places that inspired it, ask a grown-up if you can visit my YouTube channel. Here is the link https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCa5sas5HYyj_dtftmu3XhnA

      And you may be interested to know that the images of woodland that are the background to this website are from Isabella Plantation which is the magical setting that inspired the lake in The Secret Lake. It has a beautiful pond with crimson pink azaleas that are all out at this time of year — it’s call ‘Still Pond’ and is smaller than the lake in my story. But was the inspiration for it. (Sadly the public can’t see it this year due to the pandemic as it’s hard to social distance along the pathways there.)

      I hope you are managing okay during these challenging times and will be able to get back to school soon and see your friends if you’re not doing so already.

      Thank you again for writing. I hope the rest of your summer goes well and that you find many more stories to escape into!

      Karen 📚 😊 🌺

      Oh, and don’t forget there’s a crossword above that you can download and complete for fun!

  27. Myra says:

    Hi!!! My name is Myra. I really loved this book, it was so adventurous, and I couldn’t stop reading after the first few pages! You are a amazing author, and you should make a 2nd book of this, or make another book like this

    • kareninglis says:

      Dear Myra

      Thank you very much for letting me know how much you enjoyed The Secret Lake. I’m delighted to hear that the story hooked you in early on 😊 ! (For we writers, this is always our aim when planning a story — but it’s easer said than done!)

      You are definitely not the first person to ask if I will do a follow-up story. I am always thinking about this, though will only be ready for it if and when I am sure it will be as magical and page-turning as The Secret Lake! So, ‘watch this space’ as they say!

      I do hope you are doing okay during this lockdown time for most of us, and that you are managing to fit in lots of reading in your spare time! It’s amazing where stories can take us in our imagination, as I am sure you know!

      Stay safe and keep on reading! And thank you again so much for writing.❤️ 📚 ☀️

      Karen

  28. Olivia Rose says:

    Dear Karen, I loved the book the best book I have read and I have read loads of books, millions!
    I really like the mystery, excitement and friendship. my favourite character is Tom because he likes going on adventures like me. My favourite part is when they find the tunnel and the ending. I like when they go to the tunnel and go into the past and come back into the present and meet friends, you must get this book.

    • kareninglis says:

      Hello Olivia!

      Thank you for writing and I’m delighted to hear how much you enjoyed The Secret Lake — you certainly sound as though you have read lots of books, so I feel very honoured! 😊📚❤️

      I’m also glad to hear how you enjoyed the mystery and friendships that take place across different times – and, yes, Tom certainly enjoys going on adventures and trying to solve mysteries. When writing the story, there were many occasions when I wasn’t sure what would happen next, so the mystery and adventure were just as exciting for me as the author! It also took me back to my childhood when we used to go out into the woods and play for hours at a time without our parents having any idea where we were – every day was a new adventure! (There were no mobile phones when I was growing up, and parents were less strict about what you could do.)

      I hope you find many more wonderful adventures to get lost in and that you’ll carry on reading — I am sure you will! And perhaps you’ll be inspired to write your own adventure one day?

      Thank you again so much for writing! I hope you’re enjoying this wonderful weather if you’re in the UK. And if you’re not, I hope the sun is shining for you – or will be soon.

      Oh – don’t forget – there’s crossword you can download from this site. And, if you ask a grown-up’s permission, you can hear me talk about The Secret Lake on my YouTube channel here https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCa5sas5HYyj_dtftmu3XhnA

      With very best wishes.😊📚

      Karen

  29. Julia (age 9) says:

    Your book was very intriguing. At the end I got very curious and then I understood. I would never think of a story like that. That story was AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!

    • kareninglis says:

      Dear Julia — thank you so much for taking the time to leave a note for me here. I’m so pleased to hear that you enjoyed The Secret Lake! 😊❤️ I hope it will inspire you to think up your own stories — the best thing about writing for children is that you can make absolutely anything happen! I hope you are managing okay during this challenging time, and managing to find lots of great stories to keep you occupied and escape into! Thank you again for writing to me. With very best wishes, and keep on reading! 📚 ❤️ 👍 Karen

  30. Anonymous says:

    Hi Karen my name is Zahra and I am 9 years old. I really enjoyed the secret lake as you don’t have to wait till the middle of the book for the interesting part. I think I have an idea for your next book. It is about 3 siblings called Bella, Lilly and Mark. They get send to live in an orphanage after their parents die. When Lilly goes to the basement to get some cleaning supplies she finds a secret door. She also notices that she needs a key to open it. She tells Bella and Mark and they all try to find the key without getting caught. They finally find the key and when they open the door they found a picture of their parents and they found out that they lived there before them. Hope you like my idea Karen!!!!
    From Zahra

    • kareninglis says:

      Hello Zahra!

      Many thanks for taking the time to write to me and I’m so glad that you enjoyed The Secret Lake. And, yes, when I was writing it I was very keen to try to hook my readers into the story as early as possible, so they’d wanting to keep turning the pages! I’m glad that worked for you 😊.

      Also, thank you so much for sharing your story idea. It really does go to show how reading different books fires up the imagination and helps you think of your own stories! Trap doors in basements sounds very exciting to me! Perhaps you should try to plan it out a bit more and see if you can make your own mini book based on it? What great writing practice that would be! (Tip: I didn’t make a detailed plan when I wrote The Secret Lake and it made it a lot harder to finish as I kept on going around in circles! If you decide to write up your story – or any other story idea – I would recommending making a bit more of a plan before you start!)

      I hope you are managing okay during this very challenging time and that you are managing to escape into lots more stories.

      Thank you again for taking the time to write, and keep on reading! 📚😊❤️

      Karen

      • Blair Herman (age 8) says:

        dear, Karen Inglis, i love this book so much this book got me really attached and it lured me in, this book was really well done and i love it, but i am only on the 7th chapter and it is AMAZING!!! and i am going to review this book again after i finish reading it. worm regards, your friend, Blair Herman (age 8)

  31. Noah (age 8 in 3 weeks!) says:

    I really enjoyed this book and read it with my Mum. I liked how the characters were described at the beginning and you got to know Tom and Stella really well. Sometimes I felt sad for Stella because they had just moved back to London and she was missing her friend but the adventure they went on soon meant she forgot all about that! I thought Tom was very brave how he was always trying to help people that were in trouble. Once he set his mind to something he would do it. I also liked Harry the dog and I wanted to read more because he was very mysterious, the way he kept disappearing! I liked how everything linked together at the end and want to know if you will be writing a second book about the garden and the lake. An adventure where they go into the future this time would be so awesome!

    • kareninglis says:

      Hello, Noah

      What good timing as I have just come to my desk to do some work! Thank you so much for letting me know how much you enjoyed The Secret Lake. I know what you mean about Stella missing her friends, but at least she had an extra special adventure to make up for it, and she felt far more settled by the end 😊.

      I completely agree about how stubborn Tom is, but thankfully his loyalty and kindheartedness more than make up for it! He very much reminds me of the real Tom, who is the son of our friends who moved to an apartment that backed onto communal gardens in Notting Hill many years ago. It was their move that gave me the idea for the story. Tom was only about 7 then and his sister Jessica was around 9. Actually Tom hasn’t changed that much since then!

      Lots of people ask if I’ll be writing a second book and what I can say is that I haven’t ruled it out. A few ideas are going around in my head but I will only start to write when I get the ‘magical tingle’ that lets me know I have a great story! So at this stage I can only say ‘watch this space’ as the ideas are still swirling around!

      By the way, May is the time of year when the magical woodland called Isabella Plantation in London’s Richmond Park is in full bloom. It was a pond called Still Pond there that provided the inspiration for the lake in the story. Also, the photos that provide the background for this website are from Isabella Plantation. If you want to see more, ask a grown-up to show you this video I took, which is on my YouTube channel. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6xEEjvASIbw&list=PL1PNHEeXsZ6REPWtNdumV4edGoPB1AlJr&index=6&t=0s

      Oh, and don’t forget to download the crossword from this site!

      I hope you’re managing okay during these challenging times and that you find many more adventure to escape to!

      Thank you again so much for writing!

      Karen 😊📚❤️

  32. YesheAmma says:

    I absolutely loved reading this book! Once I started, I couldn’t stop!

    • kareninglis says:

      Hello again, Yeshe. I think you must have posted your review twice by mistake. Hopefully you will have received my reply just now. All the best and thank you again! 😊

  33. YesheAmma says:

    I really enjoyed The Secret Lake, once I started reading, I couldn’t stop.

    • kareninglis says:

      Hi Yeshe,

      Thank you so much for letting me know that you enjoyed The Secret Lake! I hope that Tom and Stella’s adventure into past time provided a fun escape into another world during this challenging time for all of us. Thank goodness for books to get lost in! In fact, I’m just on my way to bed, and very much looking forward to carrying on with the story I’m reading.

      I hope you find another great adventure to get lost in!

      Thank you again for taking the time to write a review. 😊📚❤️

      Karen

  34. Emma K says:

    My daughter loved this book, this is what she had to say “This was one of the best books ever! I really liked it because it has a dog in it and because it is very secretive and fun.”

    • kareninglis says:

      Hi Emma, Thank you so much for letting me know how much your daughter enjoyed The Secret Lake 😊. And, yes, dogs and secrets are very popular in stories, I agree! When I’m at school visits we often talk about pupils’ own dogs and times they went missing. (I doubt they had such an interesting story as Harry in The Secret Lake though — but who knows?!) Please pass on my best wishes to your daughter and I hope you are all managing to escape through books during this challenging time. Karen ❤️📚

  35. Katy R says:

    Hello,
    My name is Katy and I am 8. I am a real bookworm and absolutely gobble books!! I am a bit fussy about books so lately, me and my mummy went on the internet as we didn’t have any more books for me. This was one of the first books that we found!! It also arrived first and I was very keen. I have finished it from 1 chapter on Sunday 3rd May to Monday 4th May morning. I thought it was really good. How did you come up with the idea for that book? Did you do something that inspired you to write this book? What other books do you recommend to me that are by you??? I don’t really like scary books and I have only just finished book number three of Harry Potter and everyone is saying don’t read it as it will be too scary for me. I have got an idea for your next book. It is about 4 children who like going to the park. Then they are discovered by their horrid aunt. They have to go and live there. Then they find a trapdoor in their room and escape!! I would say that book would be for 6-12 year olds. In the book, I like how the moles make the tunnel so that Stella and Tom could escape. Would you be able to do a series like that book but maybe have more children or they go up to the future??? Also in the book, is Sophie still alive or did she die??
    Katy 🐦🐝

    • kareninglis says:

      Hello Katy!

      Thank you for writing to me and how wonderful to hear that you gobble books! What a great expression! 📚❤️ Your mind must be filled with *so many* adventures, not to mention ideas for new stories! And I am so glad that you came across The Secret Lake when hunting for your next read! 😊

      You asked how I came up with the idea for the book. Well, I have written about this on my author website and I will give a link to that page below. If you ask a grown-up you can also watch me talk about the inspiration for the story on YouTube (be sure to get a grown-up’s permission to view). But, in short, the idea came to me when some friends moved into a large Victorian house in London’s Notting Hill area with their children. The house was divided into apartments and their ground floor flat backed onto a huge communal garden where all the children could play together. (I was very jealous as we only had a very small garden for our children to play in!) As I walked out and looked all around it felt very magical (especially as it was right in the middle of London), and I couldn’t help thinking how wonderful it would be if the children playing there that day could meet the children who had lived in the original grand houses and played in those same gardens 100 years earlier.

      We writers often get ideas for stories when we see or hear something and, to this day, I still remember the tingle running down my spine as the story came to me! The lake was inspired by a beautiful pond in London’s Richmond Park and you will see more about that on my YouTube talk.

      You’ve asked about other books of mine that you might enjoy. Well, if you like humour I would recommend Eeek! The Runaway Alien. It’s a short and very funny read and was voted favourite book club read three years in a row by boys and girls in a primary school in London. (There is football involved, but you don’t need to be a football fan to enjoy the story!) You can read more about it on my website here https://kareninglisauthor.com/eeek-the-runaway-alien-7-10yrs/ Otherwise you might want to try Walter Brown and the Magician’s Hat, if you like magic and mayhem! Neither of these stories is scary!

      Thank you for telling me about your story idea — what fun! Trap doors for escaping are very convenient indeed!

      With regard to a sequel for The Secret Lake, I have a few ideas going around in my head and it’s possible I will write one. But it’s not ready at the moment and I will only start to write it when and if I know that it will be as magical as The Secret Lake. But it would most definitely involve some of the children from the past coming forwards in time :)

      Here is the link to me reading from The Secret Lake and talking about the inspiration for the story https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL1PNHEeXsZ6REPWtNdumV4edGoPB1AlJr (remember to check with a grown up before you link to YouTube).

      Thank you again for taking the time to write and I hope you are managing okay during this lockdown time.

      Thank goodness we all have our imaginations and books to escape to! 📚😍

      Keep on reading and writing!

      Karen

  36. Julia says:

    It’s one of the best books ever! You must get this book.
    Julia, age 9

    • kareninglis says:

      Hello, Julia

      I’m so glad you enjoyed The Secret Lake! Thank you for taking the time to let me know and for recommending it to others 😊! We authors love hearing from our readers and every bit of feedback is hugely appreciated!

      I hope you are doing okay during this challenging lockdown time. Hopefully you are managing to escape into lots more adventure stories — or are even finding time to write some of your own. Thank goodness for books and imagination! Keep on reading!

      Karen 📚❤️

  37. Nathaniel age 10 says:

    I thought this book was amazing. My favorite character was Tom, because he is funny. I would recommend this book to anyone.

    • kareninglis says:

      Dear Nathaniel
      Thank you for writing! I hope you are doing well and managing to read lots of books during this challenging time. And thank you so much for letting me know how much you enjoyed The Secret Lake. I agree that Tom is very funny – he is very strong-willed and stubborn sometimes, which can cause a few problems, as you will now know! But he is very loyal to his friends, and that is the most important thing. In fact, I based his character very much on the son of our friends who moved to the communal gardens of Notting Hill here in London. Those gardens helped provide the idea for the story and you can read about that on my author website.

      By the way, the real Tom has an older sister called Jessica who is very much like Stella, and I still see them today :)

      I hope you find many more adventures to read in the coming months. Thank you again for letting me know how much you enjoyed The Secret Lake! Karen 😊📚

  38. Annabelle Smillie says:

    I LOVED this book it was a cliffhanger at the end of every chapter and was written so well I also loved having to decode Jacks words.And my favorite character is Emma because she seems so sweet and adventurous and that is so me.I would recommend this book to someone looking for a cliffhanger and an adventure book

    • kareninglis says:

      Hello, Annabelle

      Thank you for writing — I’m so glad you enjoyed The Secret Lake! 😊 When I was crafting the story I worked hard to end each chapter so that the reader would not want to stop as that’s the sort of book I love too! Both Jack and Emma are great characters, I agree. And I love how Emma is so keen to help both Jack and Stella and Tom once she realises what has happened. I hope you are keeping safe during this challenging time and that you find many more adventure stories to get lost in! Thank you again so much for taking the time to leave your review. Keep on reading! Karen ❤️📚

  39. Olivia Jennings, 9 says:

    This book is one of my favorite books. I wish this was a series! The end of the book is the most shocking. My favorite character is Emma because she is thoughtful and when she hears something most people wouldn’t believe, she still goes along with it. I highly recommend this book because it is mystery, but it’s also adventure and suspense.

    • kareninglis says:

      Dear Olivia,

      Thank you so much for taking the time to write a review of The Secret Lake and I am thrilled to learn that it’s one of your favourite books! 😊 I do agree with you that Emma is a very observant and thoughtful character – and she is very determined too! I must apologise that it’s not a series; so many people ask me about this. There may be a sequel at some stage – and/or a film. But if there were to be another story I’d need to be sure that it was as magical as the first, so it requires a lot of thought and planning! In the meantime I hope you are managing to escape into lots of other books during the lockdown. You might even find the time to write a few adventures of your own? In case you’ve not seen it, if you ask a grown-up you will find a few videos of me reading from The Secret Lake and talking about the inspiration for the story on my YouTube channel here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r-UUpGkTtQ8&list=PL1PNHEeXsZ6REPWtNdumV4edGoPB1AlJr This includes videos of the place close to where I lived called Isabella Plantation which was the inspiration for the lake in The Secret Lake.

      Thank you again for taking the time to write to me. Happy reading!

      With very best wishes, Karen 📚😊

    • kareninglis says:

      Dear Olivia

      Thank you so much for taking the time to write a review of The Secret Lake. I am thrilled that it is one of your favourite books! 😊 I do agree with you that Emma is very thoughtful — she is also very kind, single-minded and determined! Thank goodness for that as it really was helpful for Jack!

      My apologies that it’s not a series (I know just what you mean about wanting to read more!), but, who knows, one day there might be a sequel and/or a film even. If I were to write a sequel I’d need to know that it would be as magical and special as the main story so that requires a lot of thought and planning – ideas are constantly going around in my head so I’ll never say never!

      I hope you are managing to escape into more adventures through books and your imagination during this challenging lockdown period. Perhaps you will even find time to write your own adventures?

      Just in case you’ve not seen it, I have readings from the first three chapter of The Secret Lake on my YouTube channel — as well as a couple of videos of the settings that inspired the story, including the magical Isabella Plantation in Richmond Park where I found the inspiration for the lake in the story. Be sure to ask a grown-up if you can watch it – the link is here: https://bit.ly/TSLReadings

      Thank you again for taking the time to write to me. And carry on reading! With very best wishes, Karen 😊📚❤️

  40. Elena says:

    This book was one of the best books I have ever read! From all the cliffhangers to the intriguing surprises that lured me into the book it was all in all SPECTACULAR! How did you get the idea of the storyline Karen? Anyways, I hope that one day I would get to go into a time tunnel and find out that later I would become one of the best authors, just like you are.
    xx love from Elena 💫 age 10

    • kareninglis says:

      Hello Elena! — I hope you are doing well during the lockdown and managing to read all sorts of wonderful adventures :) I’m so glad you enjoyed The Secret Lake. I know for sure that I would have enjoyed it at your age, as I love stories that take children into other worlds!

      In answer to your question, I got the story idea when some friends moved into an apartment that backed onto the communal gardens of Notting Hill. (Their new apartment was made up of the lower ground and ground floors of what had previously been a huge and majestical 6-story Victorian terraced house.) When I saw all the children playing out in the huge but safely enclosed communal gardens the first time I visited, I couldn’t help but wonder how magical it might be if they could meet the children who had lived there 100 years earlier. (A bit like walking into history!)

      That was the spark for the story and then, as I started to write, it slowly came together, almost as if the characters were leading me there! (This often happens when making up a story!)

      In case of interest, you can see me talk about the inspiration for The Secret Lake on YouTube here (the talk this includes some pictures of the communal gardens of Notting Hill. And you’ll find other posts on the channel that give you a tour of the pond that provided the inspiration for the lake in the story. Here is the link… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kW8f2nymq4Y&list=PL1PNHEeXsZ6REPWtNdumV4edGoPB1AlJr&index=4 I recorded it a few years ago when my hair was much longer and I’d sold far fewer books! (Important: please ask a grown-up before using YouTube if you don’t already have their permission.)

      That apart, thank you so much for taking the time to tell me how much you enjoyed the story. And remember, look all around — it’s easy to find magic to spark your imagination if you look carefully. You can then write your own story :)

      Happy reading and with very best wishes, Karen ❤️ 📚😊

  41. you are one of my favorite authors and everyone should read this book!

    • kareninglis says:

      Hello, Jessica

      I am so glad to hear that you enjoyed The Secret Lake and thank you for encouraging other children to read this magical story. I really appreciate your feedback 😊!

      Did you know that Stella in the book is based on my friend’s daughter, Jessica, who was around age 12 when I wrote The Secret Lake? So there is a connection with your own name here!

      I do hope you are managing the lockdown restrictions in place at the moment. It is very challenging, but also all for everyone’s long-term good, of course. If you need some extra activities to help while away the hours, I have recently recorded the first three chapter of The Secret Lake and posted it to my YouTube Channel. (Please check with a grown-up before following the link.) You will find it here https://bit.ly/TSLReadings I plan to add extra recordings in the coming weeks.

      If you enjoy writing, I hope you will find time to think up some of your own summer adventures over the coming months! That apart, carry on reading — it’s such fun to escape into an imaginary world!

      With very best wishes — and thank you again for taking the time to let me know what you though about The Secret Lake. 📚❤️😊

      Karen

  42. Jessica says:

    This is one of the best books ever! I loved it!

  43. Evie Age 8 says:

    Oh my Gosh! This book is so good and it has got so many lovely details. It’s always left on a cliff hanger and it made me feel excited when I finished each chapter – I couldn’t wait to read the next and find out what happens. When I finished the book I felt like I wanted more. Stella was my favorite character because she was funny and I could imagine what she was like in real life. I pictured her a bit like my big sister. :-)

    • kareninglis says:

      Hello Evie

      Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a review of The Secret Lake 😊. I’m so glad that you felt excited and wanting to know what happened next at the end of each chapter. As writers, this is the experience we aim to create for our readers, so it’s wonderful to hear when it works well! Stella is such a great big sister for Tom, isn’t she? She really looks out for him. I actually based her and Tom’s characters on the children of friends of ours who, many years ago, moved into an apartment backing onto the communal gardens of Notting Hill in London. Their names are Jessica and Tom – and though they are all grown up now they still have a similar relationship where Jessica looks out for him! I hope you are finding lots of creative things to do during your time at home during this challenging period, and that you enjoy reading many more adventures — or even making up your own!

      Just in case you’ve not seen it, I’ve posted a video of me reading the first three chapters of The Secret Lake on YouTube in recent days. And the videos which follow on from the readings (which I recorded a few years ago, so have longer hair!) tell you a little bit about the background to the story and show videos from Isabella Plantation in Richmond Park, which partly inspired the setting. (It’s best to ask a grown-up for permission to watch on YouTube — the link is here >> https://bit.ly/TSLReadings ).

      With very best wishes and thank you again for your lovely review of The Secret Lake, Karen 📚❤️

  44. Anonymous says:

    This is such an awesome book! It is definitely one of my top 3 books. I would love to hear the story of Stella and Tom meeting Mrs.Moon in the future. If you have already published a book telling this story let me know. I would LOVE to read it. If not, please consider my request. But if you decide not to do it, that is fine, I know that I’m just one out of millions of fans. Thank You!

    • kareninglis says:

      Hello there! Thank you so much for your lovely words about The Secret Lake! I am honoured and delighted that you rank it as one of your top three books – that certainly puts a smile on my face 😊. I am afraid there isn’t a book with the story you describe but I am always mulling over ideas for a possible sequel which might involve more time travel for the children! In the meantime I hope you find lots more fun adventure stories to read during this challenging time when we all need to stay at home. Thank goodness for books! And thank goodness for our imaginations! Thank you so much again for writing, and happy reading! And if a sequel to The Secret Lake comes about I will be sure to post a message on this website and on my author website at kareninglisauthor.com 📚👍🏻 With very best wishes from London, UK! Karen

  45. thetntteam says:

    Awesome book every chapter was left on a cliff hanger

    • kareninglis says:

      Hello — thank you so much for letting me know you enjoyed The Secret Lake 😊. One of the things I try do as a writer is make each chapter end in a way that the reader will want to keep turning the pages. I’m so glad that it worked for you! I love books like this — it’s great wanting to get back to them! (Also, I hate getting to the end as I no longer have the story to look forward to!)

      I hope you find some more great reads over the coming weeks.

      Just so you know, I will be doing some online readings from The Secret Lake in coming weeks. If you’d like to know when they go online you can ask a grown-up to sign up for my newsletter on my author website at http://www.kareninglisauthor.com

      With very best wishes and happy reading, and thank you again! 👍 📚 Karen

  46. Eliza says:

    I LOVE the book ! I want to hear more from the story my favorite part about the book is
    that it has soooo much details! I want to read so much more ! It’s so good

    • kareninglis says:

      Hi Eliza — thank you so much for letting me know that you enjoyed The Secret Lake 😊. I know what you mean about the detail in the book. At school visits lots of children tell me that they can see the pictures in their mind when reading it. I’ve loved reading books with detail when younger (such as Jane Austen and Charles Dickens) and I am sure that influenced my writing style.

      With schools now all out, I am planning to do some online readings from The Secret Lake in coming weeks. If you ask your parents or another grown-up to visit my author website at http://www.kareninglisauthor.com they can sign up to my newsletter to be told when those will happen.

      Thank you again for you comments and happy reading! 📚 👍🏻😊 Karen

  47. Gabby says:

    Dear Karen
    I thought your book was so amazing and interesting! when it was time to go to bed I just simply couldn’t put your awesome book down. However my favourite part was when [* Note from Karen – I have hidden this top secret comment so as not to give away the story to those have not yet read the book! :) ) But when mrs.moon said that harry died I thought she was going to say he turned into a ghost dog but she did not say that Im just crazy! Alright back to the beginning your book rocked don’t let anyone tell you any different obviously they won’t because your book is the best of the best!
    From Gabby (age 10)

    • kareninglis says:

      Dear Gabby

      Thank you so much for writing to tell me how much you enjoyed The Secret Lake. I really love it when a book is so good you actually look forward to going to bed to carry on reading it! I do hope you’ve found another good adventure story to read — stories are a great way to fire your imagination and even get ideas for your own stories. And what is so wonderful about writing children’s books is that we can make *anything* happen! Happy reading and thank you once again for taking the time to leave your reviews.

      With very best wishes, Karen

      (PS: I hope you don’t mind that I had to hide one part of your review — I’ve done this with some of the other reviews too, just so we don’t give the surprises away to new readers!)

  48. Elaine Phillipson says:

    Dear Karen,
    I just finished reading The Secret Lake. I had selected it to use with my class out here in Kuwait. While there are some challenging words in the story, the children will love learning their meanings and expanding their own vocabularies.
    The story is wonderful. I didn’t know what to expect when I began reading it, but I couldn’t put it down. As a teacher, I know that this story will get my class hooked from the beginning and we are going to be able to do some great activities based around it, culminating in writing their own stories in a similar style.
    I would recommend your book to everyone, regardless of age or gender. It gets a full 5-star rating from me and I am looking forward to reading more of your work. ‘Walter Brown and the Magician’s Hat’ sounds fun and will be my next purchase.
    Thank you, Karen, for writing a great story. Pl3ease keep writing!

    • kareninglis says:

      Hi Elaine — thank you so much for your wonderful feedback! And I am so sorry for my delayed reply! WordPress normally notifies me of comments but this one seems to have passed me by. That said, I was at a conference last week (speaking about The Secret Lake!) so it’s probably my fault! I do hope the pupils at your school enjoy it and do let me know if they’d like a Skype visit at any stage to ask questions :)

  49. Katerina Anderson says:

    Your book Was amazing! I really loved it.It is a ten out ten. It is was my favorite book in the world . I totally give you a good review. I especially loved when Tom and Stella were in the past. And when they met Emma and Jack. Love it so much my sister wants to read it.

    • kareninglis says:

      Dear Katerina

      I’m so glad you enjoyed The Secret Lake! It is always so special to hear from my readers, and especially when they say they have given it 10 out of 10!!

      I know exactly what you mean about how exciting it is when Tom and Stella are in the past. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could all go back 100 years (or longer even!) and meet the children who lived and played in our house – or who lived in older houses nearby. So many things would be different — not just how they speak, but their clothes, the furniture, no electricity (depending on the date) or phones or computers! What a different world! It was such fun making up this story and I am thrilled that it has captured so many children’s imaginations, including yours.

      Thank you very much for recommending it to your sister — I do hope she enjoys it too!

      I hope you enjoyed World Book Day last week and are now having a relaxing weekend! 😊

      With very best wishes, Karen

  50. Kitty Jay says:

    Dear Karen
    My Book Review of The Secret Lake by Karen Ingles

    This story is about a brother and sister who find a hole which has a ladder which leads on to a tree and into the past. They meet a boy called Jack who is suspected to be a kidnapper. They meet Emma and her sister Sophie, they are quite posh. They have lots of adventures. At the end they find out that {*****Note from Karen: I’ve hidden some top secret information here, just in case children who have not read the book are reading this review :) With my apologies, Kitty Jay – I love your comments here and in the other places about the story!}. It is sad because on the night they find {*** More top secret information hidden here by Karen again!*}.

    My favourite part was when they find out that {***} I wasn’t surprised because they gave clues during the story. I thought it was a bit like Tom’s Midnight Garden.
    {More top secret info hidden here – Kitty Jay is great at guessing things and nearly being right!*****}

    I really liked guessing what happens next and I really love doing that.

    I would recommend it to people that like reading adventures and guessing what happens next.`

    I would give it 5 stars but I think Charlie Green should have been more included.

    Kitty Jay age 8

    • kareninglis says:

      Dear Kitty Jay

      Thank you *so much* for your wonderful and energetic review of The Secret Lake. I am so glad that you enjoyed it and I love how diligent you are at reading and working out from the various clues some of the plot twists and turns. You will see that I have had to hide a few of your comments — I’ve done this just so children or parents who haven’t yet read the story get to enjoy trying to work out the mystery for themselves, just like you did. I hope you understand — I have done this for other children’s reviews here in the past, so don’t worry, you are not the only one!! 😊 It’s a bit like when publishers write the blurb on the back of a book — they don’t give away the secrets as they want the readers to try to work them out for themselves.

      You sound to me as if you might be good at writing mystery adventures one day — or perhaps you would make a good detective?!

      Thank you again for such a lovely review! I hope you had a wonderful World Book Day on Thursday and that you’re having a relaxing weekend right now. Keep on reading! 📚

      With very best wishes, Karen

  51. Lesley Watt says:

    Dear Karen
    We are P123 from Newmill Primary School and we have just finished reading The Secret Lake and we loved it. After a conversation about mysteries and suspense stories our teacher chose your book as an example. We have been hooked into the story trying to predict what would happen next. The story held our attention throughout as it unravelled with lots of twists and turns. We really enjoyed getting to know the characters and have our own personal pictures in our mind of the different settings. We were glad that Harry was safe too!
    We highly recommend this book. Our next step is to create our very own stories of going down a time tunnel.
    Kind regards,
    Mrs Watt and Primary 123

    • kareninglis says:

      Dear Mrs Watt

      Thank you so much for taking the time to write and let me know how much your Primary 123 pupils have enjoyed The Secret Lake — and its many twists and turns :) I can assure you that it was just as exciting for me writing it, as much of the time I really wasn’t sure what would happen next! Luckily the characters took over.

      And, yes, it’s good that Harry was safe!

      It really does warm my heart to know how many children have enjoyed the story that was going around in my head for such a long time. For all authors, getting feedback really means a lot!

      I don’t know if it would be possible, but I’d love to see a few of the stories your pupils come up with if that were feasible and not too complicated? For example a photo jpeg or similar? (No worries at all if it wouldn’t be possible, but if it were, then just when you have time, and if you needed to keep them anonymous that would of course be fine. I would love to share one or two on my blog if it were allowed. (My email is kpinglis@wellsaidpress.com ) As I say, if it’s not possible, or if it’s an ask too far in terms of your busy schedule, please don’t worry!

      Please do say hello to the pupils from me 😊 I think you are in Scotland? We have very good friends up there in Glenfarg not far from Perth, and stayed up near Inverness a couple of years ago in a wonderful old castle. What a beautiful part of the world!

      Huge thanks again to you and your pupils for letting me know what you thought of The Secret Lake!

      Karen

      PS If you’d like me to send some guided teaching plans around painting a picture with words, associated with The Secret Lake, please do drop me a line at the above address.

  52. Adam aged 6 1/2 says:

    Dear Karen, I thought The Secret Lake book was really exciting. My favourite character was Harry the dog. I think this one of the best books I’ve ever read. I would like to read some of your other books now.
    Adam

    • kareninglis says:

      Hello Adam

      I was just at my desk when your message arrived. Thank you so much for letting me know how much you enjoyed The Secret Lake! And how lovely that your favourite character was Harry! He certainly had a very important part to play in the story, didn’t he?

      We only have a cat in our family but I know a few people with long-haired terriers and I thought one would make a perfect fit for the story.

      I do hope you will enjoy some of my other stories after this one — if you like soccer and aliens I would recommend trying Eeek! The Runaway Alien. ⚽👽 And if you like magic there’s Walter Brown and the Magician’s Hat or Henry Haynes and the Great Escape. (These three books also have fun illustrations!)

      With very best wishes and thank you again for taking the time to write, and keep on reading!

      Karen 😊

  53. Reem aged 6 1/2 says:

    To Karen, I think the book The Secret Lake is really exciting. I read it before I went to bed every night. My favourite part is when they go down the time tunnel and see The Gladstone’s! I highly recommend this book to other children so they can discover the Secret Lake’s secrets,
    Reem

    • kareninglis says:

      Hello Reem

      Thank you so much for your lovely review of The Secret Lake! I’m so glad to hear that you enjoyed reading it each night before going to bed. I love reading at the end of the day – it’s so relaxing! 📚

      I do agree with you that when Stella and Tom go down the time tunnel it is extremely exciting – especially when they meet Jack, then Emma and Sophie!! It’s just the sort of adventure I would have liked to have been part of when I was little…

      When I do my school visits I often ask pupils who live in an old house whether they would like to meet the children who lived there 100 years ago, then we talk about how different they might be – their clothes, how they talk, the furniture and technology and so on. History is so interesting when it’s wrapped up in a story!

      I hope you will go on to read lots more adventures. And thank you for recommending The Secret Lake to your friends. (Of course, remember to keep the ending a secret! It can be a surprise for them!)

      Thank you again for your lovely review. 😊

      With very best wishes,

      Karen

  54. I love your book, The Secret Lake. My dad read it to me and made some of the words a bit easier to understand. I think you should write lots more books. I think it might be good if you add some pictures too. I hope that I can become an author like you when I grow up.

    Hannah, Age 6

    • kareninglis says:

      Dear Hannah

      Thank you so much for letting me know that you enjoyed The Secret Lake :) And how fantastic that your dad helped things along by making some of the words easier to understand. Most children who read the book by themselves are age 8 and above so it’s no wonder a few of the words may have been a bit complicated!

      Although there are no pictures in this book, I hope you managed to imagine some of the characters and setting for yourself while listening to the story. There is a plan to bring out a hardback version of the book (which your dad will explain) with a few illustrations, so look out for that. In the meantime I hope the story managed to paint a picture with words for you!

      Many thanks again for leaving me your review and please pass on my thanks to your dad for sharing The Secret Lake with you and allowing you to leave this review. With very best wishes and I hope you’re having a great weekend!

      Karen

  55. clara joy stuber says:

    i loved your book!!!! must read this book!!!!- clara age 9

    • kareninglis says:

      Hi Clara — thank you so much for letting me know you enjoyed The Secret Lake! We authors love getting feedback from our readers! I hope you had a wonderful Christmas! Keep on reading — you never know what other magical adventures you might find 😊. And Happy New Year 🎉🎉 Enjoy the rest of the school holidays and I hope you have a fun-filled 2020!

      With very best wishes, Karen

  56. Harmony age 7 says:

    To Karen
    I really enjoyed The Secret Lake.I read it as my school reading book. My favourite bit was when they went down the time tunnel,it was very exciting .My favourite character was Stella because she was helpful and funny I would like to be like her.I made a model of her for my school reading challenge ,it is now displayed in my school on our love to read board.I had a lot of challenging words in it for me that I had to ask people the meaning,but this made it interesting.I would recommend this book to other children as the story was exciting.
    Thanks for writing this book
    Harmony

    • kareninglis says:

      Dear Harmony — thank you so much for sharing this with me and I’m so glad that you enjoyed The Secret Lake! 😊 And, yes, I too think that Stella is a great character – she is adventurous and likes to have fun but is also cautious when she needs to be, and (most importantly) she looks out for Tom. If your family or school would allow you to share a photo of the model you made of her for your school reading challenge I would love to see it! I could share it on my social media in turn! Obviously you will need to get permission from a grown-up. If they agree they can email it to me at kpingls@wellsaidpress.com — but absolutely no problem at all if that’s not possible! Finally, on the vocabulary, the great thing about challenging words is that you then get to learn and understand them and can collect them for use in your own writing. I’m sure you know that already and maybe you can make use of some of those words in your next story.

      I hope that the rest of your term goes well. (What a lovely name Harmony is, by the way. I might have to squirrel it away and use it as a character in one of my future books!)

      Thank you again, and keep on reading and writing! Karen

  57. Volodymyr V says:

    I got the book to read for my daughter when she tries to fall alseep.
    Well, with this book I killed 2 birds with one stone: my daughter was going alseep very
    quickly and I read a wonderful story. I really enjoyed it.

    Thank you

    • kareninglis says:

      Hello Volodymyr — thank you so much for taking time to leave this note. I am so glad you enjoyed the story after your daughter fell asleep while reading it to her! A lot of grown-ups write to me telling me how much they enjoy it and how it takes them back to their childhood (my oldest fan was 92 when she wrote to me!). I do hope your daughter enjoys the rest of the book once you get to finish reading it to her. I used to read the manuscript to my sons when they were little at bedtime, before it became a book. I still remember the look on their faces as they were picturing the story in their minds! Many thanks again for your note and if you are able to leave as short review on Amazon or your favourite online store that would be wonderful! (But if it’s not possible, don’t worry!) With very best wishes, Karen

  58. Tassia says:

    I am ten years old and my name is Tassia. I really enjoyed reading The Secret Lake and finding out that […….]* was in on the secret too! I loved how close Stella and Tom were and all of there adventures. Please write a second one!
    *Note from Karen — I’ve hidden something here so as to keep the storyline top secret 😊

    • kareninglis says:

      Hi Tassia — thank you so much for taking the time to write a review of The Secret Lake, and I’m glad to hear that it kept you turning the pages. I agree that it’s lovely just how close Stella and Tom are, and how she looks out for him — even if he can be a bit annoying sometimes! I’ve hidden one tiny part of your review so as not to give away the plot to others who read here — I hope you don’t mind! 😊

      I’m often thinking about a second story and will post on my website kareninglisauthor.com if that happens :)

      Many thanks again for taking the time to write and happy reading for the rest of 2019!

      Karen

  59. Julia 10yrs old houstk says:

    my mom just got mr this book afew hours ago and already finished iallways surprise my parents when it comes to reading super duper fast lol^^

    • kareninglis says:

      Hi Julia — thank you for letting me know! I’m glad to hear that the story kept you turning the pages – I love getting lost in a story and not wanting to put it down! Keep on reading and I hope you find lots more adventures to enjoy! With very best wishes, Karen

  60. Anonymous says:

    I bought this book on kindle to read with my grandaughter. I am already done as I dont have her everyday but I thought it was absolutely wonderful. So full of adventures and twists and turns. I good book transports you to that time and this is one of them. Two thumbs way up!

    • kareninglis says:

      Hello — Thank you so much for taking the time to let me know how much you enjoyed The Secret Lake :) Please pass on my best wishes to your granddaughter and I do hope that hearing the story has inspired her to make up some of her own adventures one day – tell her that there’s magic everywhere to be used in stories if you look for it! Enjoy the rest of the summer :) With very best wishes, Karen

  61. Elsie says:

    The Secret Lake is one of my favourite books because the characters are like me and the story has lots of action in it. It is one of those books that I will probably read for a second time. I really enjoyed reading this book and I look forward to reading more books you write.
    Elsie (7 almost 8!)

    • kareninglis says:

      Hello Elsie! I hope you’re having a lovely summer :)

      Thank you so much for leaving your review. I’m really glad that you enjoyed The Secret Lake. Out of all of my books, it’s the story that is closest to my heart as it was partly inspired by memories of my childhood growing up in the Hertfordshire countryside and going off on adventures with my friends in the woods at your age. (Children had a lot more freedom in those days — even though there were no mobile phones to keep in touch – we used to disappear for hours at an end!) It was seeing some children of friends playing in a large communal garden in London’s Notting Hill that brought back those memories and gave me the spark of the idea for the story. It’s so wonderful to be able to share it with so many children. Of course there were no time tunnels in my childhood, but that’s the joy of writing children’s stories — you can let your imagination run wild! By the way, I’m thrilled to hear that the characters remind you of you!

      Have a lovely rest of the summer, and don’t forget to download the free crossword on this site. You should find it quite easy to complete but if you get stuck there are answers available too.

      With very best wishes, and keep on reading! Karen

  62. June Barker says:

    I bought this book to take on my kindle to read to three granddaughters, aged 7 and 10 on holiday. Each day we read three chapters and it became quite an integral part of the week. The girls loved it and it was very special time for me to read it to them. They loved the adventure and the descriptions of the characters, especially Tom and thought it would make an excellent film with CGI for the trip down to the Lake, Thankyou Karen for a wonderful story.

    • kareninglis says:

      Dear June, Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a review here. I am thrilled to hear that your three granddaughters enjoyed The Secret Lake — and that it gave you the opportunity to share valuable reading time with them. There’s nothing like sharing a good adventure with little ones :) I remember the joy of reading to our two boys when were young, including reading the first draft of The Secret Lake to them when it was still ion A4 paper! I hope the story will inspire your granddaughters perhaps to dream up adventures of their own to write about one day, and that in the meantime they continue to enjoy reading for pleasure. With very best wishes, and huge thanks again for this lovely feedback. Karen

  63. 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

  64. 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

  65. 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

  66. 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 :-)

  67. 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 😊

  68. 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

  69. 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

  70. 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

  71. 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

  72. 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!

  73. 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

  74. 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

  75. 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

  76. 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.

  77. 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 :-)

  78. 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

  79. 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!

  80. Eira 6 years old says:

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

  81. 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

  82. 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

  83. Dominika says:

    Dominika:Thankyou for Replying to me Karen!

  84. 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

  85. 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

  86. 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!

  87. 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

  88. 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

  89. 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?

  90. 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

  91. 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)

  92. 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!)

  93. 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 :)

  94. 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

  95. 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

  96. 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

  97. 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

  98. 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

  99. 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

  100. 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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