Cover image for Trespassers
Physical Description:
208 p. ;

On Order

R.H. Stafford Library (Woodbury)1On Order
Hardwood Creek Library (Forest Lake)1On Order
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Gabby Woods loves a mystery, but is breaking into an abandoned lake house going too far to uncover the truth?

Gabby Woods is looking forward to another summer vacation at her family's lake house, even though she would rather bury herself in a mystery novel than make new friends. But soon Gabby meets Paige, a snarky kid from Chicago, and they get caught up in a local mystery: the sudden disappearance of a glamorous couple and the extravagant lake house they left behind. To gather clues about the missing couple, Paige coaxes Gabby into trespassing. Though Gabby knows it's wrong, each sneaky visit to the abandoned lake house uncovers new mysteries. With suspicions mounting about foul play, Gabby must decide what she's willing to risk to uncover the truth, or if solving this mystery -- and keeping her friendship with Paige -- are more trouble than they're worth.

Author Notes

Breena Bard writes and illustrates comics, drawing inspiration from her childhood in Wisconsin, and the stacks of graphic novels on her bedside table. She lives in Portland, Oregon, with her husband, two kids, and cranky but lovable cat.

Reviews 3

School Library Journal Review

Gr 3--6--Gabby and her family head to their lake house for another lovely summer vacation. While Gabby would prefer to spend the time cuddled up with a good book, her parents introduce her to Paige, the daughter of another lake house family. Paige is everything Gabby isn't: Paige loves adventure and the outdoors, and she's a master at keeping secrets. When Gabby learns of an old, empty cottage home nearby that's at the center of a celebrity disappearance, she's inspired to write a story, and Paige becomes Gabby's unlikely coauthor. Together, the girls decide to break into the cottage to discover its secrets. Their friendship is tested by Gabby's desire to do the right thing and Paige's distrust of people around her. This is a slow burn of a middle grade graphic novel. Bard spends the first third of the story introducing Gabby and Paige's families, fleshing out the world in and around their summer homes, as multiple plot lines intertwine. The natural dialogue and sharp characterization carry this book; Bard's artwork uses a minimalistic style reminiscent of Raina Telgemeier's work, but the characters' expressions and gestures remain realistic. VERDICT A solid recommendation for libraries where middle grade graphic novels are popular.--Matisse Mozer, Los Angeles Public Library

Publisher's Weekly Review

Eighth grader Gabby Woods is ready for her family's annual trip to their lake house in Wisconsin's north woods, a multigenerational tradition. With the closing of the paper mill that her father manages, though, this summer could be their last at the lake. A nudge from new neighbor Paige draws her out of herself--and her tendency to spend the vacation reading mysteries--and into investigating and documenting a real-life mystery surrounding the abandoned house on a nearby bluff. Bard, making her solo debut, matches her story with friendly art that feels consistent with its lake house setting; the distinctively drawn cabins evoke a specific place and seasonal moment, lending themselves to sunny days and spooky elements. Gabby's slow process of emerging from her shell and her uneasy friendship with the more rebellious and outgoing Paige illustrates the way in which childhood friendships are often formed by proximity and necessity, and her supportive family and extended community, including an avuncular neighbor, are comforting additions. Though the resolution of the mystery veers toward anticlimax, it ultimately lands on refreshingly realistic simplicity. A cozy tale of mystery and friendship that will appeal to readers looking for a summer read. Ages 8--12. Agent: Alex Slater, Trident Media Group. (May)

Kirkus Review

Two unlikely friends intend to figure out what really happened at a mysterious mansion. Gabby is looking forward to her family's annual vacation at their lakeside cabin and fully intends to spend all her time reading mysteries. However, this year brings change once she meets her new neighbor Paige. Tough-girl Paige seems like trouble from the start, with her nonchalant attitude and a self-proclaimed shoplifting habit. Thrown together by proximity and parental prodding, the girls forge a tenuous friendship when they begin to speculate about what happened at a nearby abandoned mansion and decide together to write the story of its wealthy inhabitants. As the girls' joint fiction becomes more elaborate, they decide to seek out the truth and break into the house to search for clues. Before long, their combined conjecture takes on a life of its own, challenging the girls' perception not only of the world around them, but also of each other. Bard's debut graphic offering accessibly explores interpersonal relations among both families and friends, urging readers to not always believe first impressions; her conclusions are not shocking but are ultimately satisfying in their predictability. Cleanly styled, full-color illustrations bring her character-driven tale to life; expect instant comparisons to fan-favorites Raina Telgemeier and Jennifer L. and Matthew Holm. Gabby and Paige present white, as does the majority of the cast. A comfort read, just right for a warm summer day. (Graphic fiction. 7-11) Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.