The Line Tender

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Product Details
$17.99  $16.73
Dutton Books for Young Readers
Publish Date
5.7 X 8.4 X 1.3 inches | 1.05 pounds

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About the Author
Kate Allen grew up in Massachusetts and lives in Minneapolis, MN, with her family. The Line Tender is her first novel. Visit her online at
A National Bestseller
A Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2019
A School Library Journal Best Book of 2019
A Kirkus Best Book of 2019

A Shelf Awareness Best Book of 2019
A Book Page Best Book of 2019
A BCCB Blue Ribbon Book

"Kate Allen writes with lyric grace, and her beautifully textured narrative, of a girl struggling to understand and move beyond tragedy, is a triumph."--The Buffalo News

"Allen's understated but richly detailed story will help young readers dig into their resilience to see how they, too, can draw connections in their lives."--The Minneapolis Star Tribune

"A masterful blend of exuberant life and its accompanying tragedy."--The Florida Times Union

"Allen's debut novel is, indeed, tender. Also funny, poignant, sad and filled with hope."--The St. Paul Pioneer Press

"In following the adaptation of sharks to a shifting ecology, The Line Tender speaks to our own human capacity to adapt to loss--and Lucy's losses are profound. This is a novel that stirs our deepest hope that we can survive profound change, that we can even move into new channels that will support us and nourish us and point us toward what we had never anticipated. This is a celebration of our ability to survive."--Gary Schmidt, Newbery and Printz Honoree and National Book Award Finalist

"This richly textured story calls us to our most pressing business on earth: to understand and respect the stunningly complex creatures around us before they disappear forever." --Margi Preus, author of Heart of a Samurai, a Newbery Honor book

"Holy fish, this is a graceful, honest, special book. The Line Tender is a story of resilience. It's about how unbelievably strong and resourceful kids can be. About the real magic in the world--the magic of science, the magic of survival, and the magic of love." --Laurel Snyder, author of the National Book Award longlisted Orphan Island

"The Line Tender captivated me. From page one through the end of the book, I couldn't stop turning pages. I was completely lost in the book when I was reading it, and obsessed with trying to get back to the book when I was not. You MUST add this book to your reading list."--Colby Sharp, Nerdy Book Club co-founder and editor of The Creativity Project

"I have gasped and cried multiple times while reading Kate Allen's deeply moving debut."--Mr. Schu, school and library childen's literature advocate

★"Rich, complex, and confidently voiced."--Kirkus Reviews, starred
★"Allen tackles the complexities of grief with subtly wry humor and insight in this richly layered middle grade debut about the power of science and love."--Publishers Weekly, starred
★"There's no art or science to navigating loss, but Allen blends both into a hopeful path forward."--Booklist, starred
★"This book will appeal to just about everyone." - School Library Connection, starred
★"Allen writes with tenderness and confidence....a classic life-affirming weeper, and readers will pick up some respect for sharks along the sniffling way."--The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, starred
★"Numerous middle grade books deal with grief, but few do it so beautifully―and hopefully―as The Line Tender." --Bookpage, starred
★"Kate Allen has created a landscape that, in spite of being filled with big, heartbreaking themes of loss, is understated and exquisitely, beautifully real."--Shelf Awareness, starred