Title: Treasure in the Lake
Author: Jason Pamment
Genre: Adventure, fantasy
Publisher: Allen and Unwin
Published: 14th September 2021
Format: Paperback, Graphic novel
Synopsis: A fantasy-adventure graphic novel about two best friends and their discovery of a mysterious village, perfect for fans of Kazu Kibuishi’s Amulet or Raina Telgemeier’s Ghost.
Grand adventures often begin where you least expect. Iris knows this because she’s read them all. But when she and her best friend, Sam, stumble upon an unusually dry riverbed on the outskirts of town, they make a discovery beyond anything Iris has read about: a hidden city, lost in time and shrouded in mystery. Storm clouds gather as secrets begin to surface. Can Iris and Sam uncover the truth in time to keep their friendship afloat, or will history repeat itself and pull them apart forever?
‘A beautifully drawn coming-of-age adventure story.’ Kazu Kibuishi, creator of Amulet
‘A charming tale of mystery and friendship, and an inspiring introduction for young comics creators.’ Shaun Tan, creator of Tales from Outer Suburbia and The Arrival
‘Treasure in the Lake is a visual treat, and a heartfelt, rollicking adventure.’ Remy Lai, creator of Pie in the Sky and Pawcasso
‘An enchanting tale full of mystery and wonder and secrets. Once I stepped into Jason Pamment’s beautifully drawn world, I didn’t want to leave.’ Craig Phillips, creator of Giants, Trolls, Witches, Beasts
Iris and Sam are on the brink of starting high school and live in a small town. Sam is content with his life and what he has, whereas Iris longs for adventure beyond their town – and wants to go to boarding school in the city. But whilst exploring the outskirts of town, they stumble across an old city, once hidden, and mysteriously stuck in a strange time warp. As Iris pushes to explore it like an archaeologist, Sam resists and their friendship begins to fracture – but will a near-disaster bring them together and strengthen their friendship?
This is another rare graphic novel that I’ve read. I’ve been starting to get some to write quizzes on for work, so I’ve been trying to get used to the style and format through reviewing as well, though I still do prefer a good text-based story, even though I am getting better at the visual story and literacy. Graphic novels weren’t a big thing when I was growing up, so it’s a new skill I’m trying to work on when reading them This one is a delightful fantasy adventure about a lost city that reminded me a little bit of The Bridge to Terabithia (without the traumatic ending). Two friends seeking adventure and exploring a lost city like Atlantis and uncovering secrets and treasure that were left behind – and a mysterious figure who takes one of them on a very different adventure to the other.
Sam and Iris’ friendship is one that is complementary and beautiful. The novel’s strength shines through in their quest to find each other and understand each other as history threatens to repeat itself when disaster strikes the lost town. As a reader, I adore stories that centre friendship, especially at pivotal stages in our lives where we are on the brink of changes like Sam and Iris are and reassures readers that having different interests from your friends and change is all a part of life and growing up.
This book is great for all readers aged twelve and over, and is one that is thrilling and comforting and will engage readers who may not enjoy or struggle with longer text, whilst still including readers who read broadly and confidently.