The Leak has been on my radar for a while now. But the timing to read it was never right. I finally got an email on a Friday that the book was available for me at the library. I would retrieve the book Saturday. Read it on Sunday. And would write about it on Monday.
But what was this book? Yes, you can boil it down to the line of Kate Reed Petty created a fun story about the politics of journalism, the politics of politics, a story of family, friendships, and learning about your passion and if it is worth losing your reputation and the truth for making yourself “seen” and heard.
But there is more. We see how an almost thirteen-year-old, Ruth, uncovers the truth by using science, digging deeper and realizing it is not all Nobel Prizes. When Ruth and her friend Jonathan find an “alien goop” in the lake they are fishing at, the wheels in Ruth’s head turn. What is it? Why is it there? And how can she use it for her online newspaper? While uncovering truths, Ruth learns things are not always what they seem at first glance; and it is not easy balancing school, friendships and being a journalist.
Overall, the book is clever and would be entertaining for the 10 and up crowd. Younger can read, but some concepts might be a bit much since these middle schoolers are dealing with “have you kissed him yet?” and other boy/girl relationship things, while dealing with pesky things like laws and trespassing. There is also the phrase The Leak that will take on a few different meanings throughout the book.
Andrea Bell has an easy looking and feeling to the illustrations. Things are simple, but not simplistic. You know what is happening, what you think is happening, and we follow the characters while they dig into a dark story with lightly done, but good colors and details. Cartoon realistic elements are the main piece of the artwork.