Crater Lake

(1 customer review)


Lance does not want the truth about what he did to Trent to become known. He was only protecting Chet. That’s what he does. Lance does not worry about the constant threats from the click-clacking heeled Miss Hoche. However, as he and his Montmorency Year 6 classmates begin their school journey at ‘Crater Lake’, there are fresh worries. Furthermore, these worries grow to become a fight for survival.

Why is Digger the only apparent centre staff member? The group knows it is the first school to attend this activity centre, but it’s more than underprepared. Soup? One channel on television? No air conditioning or open windows, and instructions that the children must not go outside? On the first night at the centre things take a strange turn. Lance’s suspicions are already on red alert, so he’s quick to take the lead to work out what’s going on. What he discovers goes against all sense, any known entity, into the worlds of horror and fantasy…

Can Lance’s initiative, years of playing strategy games, and general sense of survival, win against an attack drill? Will his friends and classmates realise the true competence of somebody marginalised as the class clown, destined to fail?

Jennifer Killick has created something truly special in ‘Crater Lake’. This writer draws us into the drama immediately so that we realise the dynamics of Lance’s class, alongside his instincts and fears. We trust him implicitly. It’s rare for a writer to create such realistic characters and interaction; there is no space-filling but direct action and connection. This is despite such an inescapable, predatory, situation!

From the superb, ‘Mo, Lottie and the Junkers‘ and the ‘Alex Sparrow’ series, Jennifer Killick has spun a yellow-jacketed nest of thrills in ‘Crater Lake‘. Bookwagon is honoured to recommend and sell this brilliant title!



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Crater Lake

Jennifer Killick


Montmorency School’s Year 6 is heading to ‘Crater Lake’ on their school journey. It’s an unknown location that Miss Hoche suggests will provide ‘an unforgettable learning experience.‘ She tells the group that they are ‘the first school to be trying out this centre‘ so are ‘extremely fortunate.’ Lance Sparshott doesn’t feel extremely fortunate. There’s his need for a room alone, for a start. Thereafter, he’s concerned about his best friend Chet, whom Trent is determined to ‘overlord.’ Lance has secrets that he wants nobody to know, including one he must keep from Chet.
However, his secrets and fears evaporate at the entrance of ‘Crater Lake‘ when Dale appears. What has happened to him? What do his warnings mean? Furthermore, why does the centre seem so unprepared for the group, with Digger the only attending staff, a soup-serving shivering ‘minotaur‘ man? This centre is definitely suspicious. Strategy games, undervalued skills and little-known experiences, mean that Lance is prepared. We watch his leadership abilities emerge, while his friends demonstrate other talents within a growing bond that determines they must survive.
Not My Fault suggested some of the potential horrors of school journey, however Jennifer Killick ramps the drama up by several thousand notches! ‘Crater Lake‘ is an outstanding chapter book. We are compelled to realise what is afoot, and committed to Year 6’s survival and escape. Will you ever take on a school journey again? Certainly not if it’s led by anyone with click-clackety heels!

1 review for Crater Lake

  1. Les Hall

    Don’t fall asleep we are told, don’t fall asleep they are told – you just can’t fall asleep! You want to keep reading until the end.
    Crater Lake is a brand new activity centre where the Year 6 children from Montmorency School go for their residential trip. Once they were greeted upon arrival by a bloodied figure banging on the side of the coach, this story does not slow down. The tension is built brilliantly throughout with clues and pieces of the story laced ‘Hansel and Gretel-like’ from start to finish. The characters are very relatable and so well written that you feel as though you are running with them, hiding with them and plotting with them. Thrills, chills ( not too gory) and lots of humour helps keep the pace of this book going so that at times you forget to breathe! I was picturing this like a film throughout – brilliant!

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