The Line Tender
In debut author Kate Allen's The Line Tender (a Spring 2019 Kids' Indie Next Great Reads title), 12-year-old Lucy Everhart is driven by two tragedies to complete two projects. The first is creating a natural field guide for school credit, and the second is reinitiating a scientific proposal created by her marine biologist mother shortly before her death.
In The Line Tender, Allen has created a landscape that, in spite of being filled with heartbreaking themes of loss, is understated and exquisitely real. Lucy, whose father is a detective and rescue diver, relates to the role of line tender: the person who holds the line on the surface while the primary diver goes underwater in scuba diving. This person, her father tells her, "uses all the resources to stay connected to the other end of the line." Just so, Lucy tends to the important connections of her life, ensuring that the lines tethering her family, friends and even the scientific community stay firmly attached at both ends. --Emilie Coulter, freelance writer and editor