Cover of Gone-Away Lake
|Illustrator||Joe and Beth Krush|
|Publisher||Harcourt Brace & Co.|
|Media type||Print (Hardback & Paperback), Audiobook|
|LC Classification||PZ7.E724 Go 2000|
|Followed by||Return to Gone-Away|
Gone-Away Lake is a 1958 Newbery Honor winning children's book by Elizabeth Enright. It received the Lewis Carroll Shelf Award in 1970. Gone-Away Lake tells the story of cousins who spend a summer exploring and discover a lost lake and the two people who still live there.
Gone-Away Lake opens on a train traveling through the countryside of western New York state. Ten-year-old Portia Blake and her six-year-old brother Foster are going to see their favorite cousin, enthusiastic amateur naturalist Julian Jarman. The Jarmans have recently purchased a house in the country. Once there, Portia and Julian spend their days exploring, and one day they discover an abandoned Victorian resort community next to a bog. Elderly siblings Mr. Payton and Mrs. Cheever, the town's only remaining inhabitants, soon become friends with the children, who set up a club in one of the empty houses.
Stories of the days when the bog was a lake called Tarrigo are interspersed with the modern-day adventures of Portia and Julian, who at first keep the lake and their new friends a secret. Foster soon discovers the secret and eventually the rest of the Jarman and Blake families also become acquainted with the charms of Gone-Away and its inhabitants. In Return to Gone-Away, a sequel published in 1961, the Blake family buys and restores a house at Gone-Away.
Gone-Away Lake was a Newbery Honor book in 1958. It received the New York Herald Tribune's Children's Spring Book Festival Award in 1957. In 1963 the American Library Association named Gone-Away Lake as the U.S. nominee for the international Hans Christian Andersen Award, and in 1970 it received the Lewis Carroll Shelf Award.
Reviewers then and now praise Enright's excellent characterization, her use of description, and strong presentation of setting and nature in Gone-Away Lake. Irene Haas' review mentioned that "Animals abound, and secrets and clubs, danger and daring…" According to Saturday Review, Enright "knows how to create real children". Writer and reviewer Anita Silvey calls Gone-Away Lake "Enright's finest achievement." Silvey goes on to praise "Her descriptive powers and unique ability to observe the world through the eyes of a child..." Children's book expert May Hill Arbuthnot also praised Enright's fine use of description, reminding the reader that "Good prose style for any age level surprises and delights."
- "Newbery Awards". Retrieved 5/15/2012.
- "Books for Young People". Saturday Review. Retrieved 5/15/2012.
- "Gone-Away Lake". Lewis Carroll Shelf Award. Retrieved 5/2/2012.
- Chevalier, Tracy (editor), Twentieth-Century Children's Writers, St. James Press, 1989, pp. 318;
- Silvey, Anita, The Essential Guide to Children's Books and Their Creators, Houghton Mifflin, 2002, pg. 143;
- Arbuthnot, May Hill, Children and Books, Scott, Foresman, 1964, pg. 19;
"Top 100 Children’s Novels # 63". School Library Journal. Retrieved 5/20/2012.