Grand adventures often begin where you least expect…
Iris knows all about grand adventure stories – 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?
Since he was very little, Jason Pamment has loved to dream up stories of adventure about vibrant worlds filled with strange and wonderful characters. He’s a little taller now, and outside of creating comics, Jason designs award-winning animated films, children’s television shows, music videos, commercials, and video games.
Treasure in the Lake is Pamment’s debut graphic novel and it may be my favourite of the year! It’s a middle-grade fantasy adventure, perfect for fans of Kazu Kibuishi’s Amulet or Raina Telgemeier’s Ghost. It’s gripping and compelling, and tells and important coming-of-age story about friendship and growth for readers aged 8+.
Pamment’s illustrations are impactful and complement the page-turning storyline. I was hooked from the get-go and read it in one sitting!
This graphic novel highlights the realities of growing up and growing apart, shown through the dynamic of Iris and Sam’s friendship. Best friends since childhood, they’ve now reached the ripe age of thirteen where interests diverge and concepts of maturity vary. Iris longs for exploration and discovery outside the confines of their hometown, Bugden, while Sam is content with where life in Bugden has led him. By the end of the novel, they learn to accept their differences and become more open-minded.
There’s much to unpack in this novel, and Pamment doesn’t miss a beat as the story unfolds. I felt a deep connection to Sam, seeing a lot of myself in his character. But I also could relate to Iris’ thirst for knowledge and exploration. As an avid traveller myself, I think Benjamin, one of Sam’s new friends, sums up the experience: “The best thing about travelling the world is that it really makes you realise … there’s nowhere like home.” This stands true for whatever home means to you, whether that’s the place you reside in or the company you keep.
Ultimately, there are many stories within this story, and each character has something to offer to every kind of reader. It’s the kind of book you can come back to at various points in your life and take away something new each time – I know I will.