The Door in the Lake

The Door in the Lake

Nancy Butts

Joseph disappeared from a tent in a national forest and mysteriously reappeared two years later.

A cross between The Twilight Zone and The X-files, The Door in the Lake examines that area of the human psyche where the body and mind meet —or don’t — and where identity resides.
Joseph Finney disappeared from a tent in a national forest and mysteriously reappeared two years later. He doesn’t remember what happened to him but even more disturbing is that he doesn’t look a day older than when he left. Chronologically fourteen, he looks and sounds and feels like a twelve-year-old boy. Joey battles strange physical conditions: a persistent runny nose that the doctor says is leaking brain fluid, a ringing in his ears that turns into a voice telling him to ”come to the door-r-r in the lake,” and periodic seizures during which he seems to remember being sucked into a vortex of light at the campground where he disappeared. Joey turns to two college students who contact him via the Internet to suggest that he was kidnapped by aliens. He doesn’t want to accept that, but as his physical condition deteriorates there seems to be no choice but to return to the lakeside camp where he disappeared and confront what happened to him.


  • Ages: 11 and up
  • Grades: 5 and up
  • Pages: 238

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Recent Reviews

A story that young X-Files fans will snap up.

—Kirkus Reviews

Butts grounds the paranormal action in everyday life, and wraps up the story in a water-tight climax. An agreeable diversion for UFO enthusiasts.

—Publishers Weekly

The suspense builds to a surprise climax that leaves you wondering: If time can stop can it also go backward?

—Booklist

A quick and exciting read.

—School Library Journal

Honors for The Door in the Lake

  • ALA Quick Picks for Reluctant YA Readers
  • Sequoyah Young Adult Master List
  • Sunshine State Young Reader's Award Reading List
  • Maud Hart Lovelace Book Award Nominee
  • Connecticut Nutmeg Children's Award Nominee

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