The Seven Secrets of Somewhere Lake
post written by Emma Filbrun
Title: The Seven Secrets of Somewhere Lake
Author: Sam Campbell
Series: Living Forest Series
Major Themes: Grand Canyon, Wisconsin, Family Read-alouds, Animal Stories, North America
Synopsis: When Sam and Giny make plans to go west to Grand Canyon for the summer, they have a problem knowing what to do with the baby animals they have taken in.
As we have been reading through the Living Forest series by Sam Campbell, my boys have become more and more interested in the stories. I think the stories have become more interesting, as well, with less philosophizing than at the beginning. When we finished Moose Country and I mentioned that we didn’t have The Seven Secrets of Somewhere Lake, the next book in the series, anymore, I was met with some groans of disappointment. They begged me to please find it somewhere, so I spent some time searching for a downloadable version. When I finally thought to check Internet Archive, which I hadn’t used for a number of years, I struck gold. (Incidentally, if you like older children’s books, especially from the 1950s through the 1990s, and have the ability to read books online or on a phone, look for that site. I signed up for a library card with them and am using that site for a lot of our homeschooling now.)
Sam and Giny had decided to go to Grand Canyon this summer. They were going to spend the summer making motion pictures of the wildlife there, hoping especially for footage of cougars. That meant, of course, that they could not take in any baby animals, since they wouldn’t be home to care for them. Then one day, the most notorious trappers and poachers in the area gave them a fawn. Giny informed the little animal that she wasn’t a baby, since they couldn’t have baby animals, and cared for her. Next was a tiny fox, and then…. Soon, Sam and Giny found themselves with the usual menagerie. What could they do with them when they went West?
Meanwhile, Hi-Bub was causing them some worry. The young man was not himself. He seemed withdrawn and not interested in animals or nature anymore. What could they do to help him? The answer was the perfect solution for both problems!
When they arrived at Grand Canyon, Sam and Giny were awed by the beauty and grandeur of the place. They also immediately fell in love with a tiny Indian boy and his father—but Sam was determined he was not going to the bottom of the canyon, no matter how many people told him he should! You can guess what happened next.
We loved the story of filming the cougars. The trip to the bottom of the canyon was quite funny, too. The best part of the story, though, was Hi-Bub’s transformation back into the boy he had been the year before. The only part of that that I didn’t appreciate was that credit was given to nature for his healing. In some of the other books, Sam seems to be giving credit to God, but in this book it felt more like Nature was the force with the power to do good.
Read Aloud—Ages 8 – 12, 10 – 13, Family Read Alouds
Reading Independently—Ages 10 – 12, 12 – 15
Links to buy The Seven Secrets of Somewhere Lake:
AbeBooks: View Choices on AbeBooks.com
Book Depository: Paperback
Keywords: Grand Canyon, Wisconsin, Family Read-alouds, Animal Stories, North America