Reviews

The Secret Lake - Karen Inglis

Read reviews for The Secret Lake on Amazon.co.uk
*5 stars from The Writers’ Advice Centre for Children’s books*

Read reviews for The Secret Lake on Amazon.com
*5 Stars from an Amazon Top 10 Reviewer*

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

Children’s reviews :-)

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 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. (Or, if you’d prefer, you can email your review to kareninglis@thesecretlake.com and I will add it for you.)

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46 Responses to Reviews

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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 :)

  9. 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!)

  10. 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)

  11. 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

  12. 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?

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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!

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Dominika says:

    Dominika:Thankyou for Replying to me Karen!

  19. 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

  20. 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

  21. Eira 6 years old says:

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

  22. 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!

  23. 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

  24. 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 :-)

  25. 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.

  26. 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

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