Graphic Novel Review: Treasure in the Lake by Jason Pamment

Treasure in the Lake by Jason Pamment. Harper Alley, 2021. 9780063065185. 208pp.

Iris and Sam love exploring the woods around the lake near Bugden, the town where they live. Sam loves being there more than Iris does, though — she wants to leave Bugden and see the world, maybe as an archeologist, while he seems content to stay there for life. In fact Iris just got into a school in the city, and she’s desperate to go there instead of Bugden High. So when her mom seems cold on the idea, Iris gets upset and heads to the river to be alone for a bit. The river suddenly dries up and Iris makes a big big discovery — long-buried train tracks and a city that is normally hidden in the river. Iris drags Sam into the lost town to look around. They have a falling out when Sam wants to leave (he wants to see Bugden’s new statue revealed). Iris stays there and, after the bell in the old clocktower rings, she has an adventure that is supernatural or in a different time or both. It’s all rather sweet, and it involves Ben, the old guy who passes Sam and Iris on the street early in the story.

Pamment is an Australian animator, director, and designer in addition to being an author-illustrator. His art looks as if it glows! If you don’t believe me, there are amazing cover blurbs endorsing this graphic novel from Kazu Kibuishi (Amulet), Ben Hatke (Zita the Spacegirl) and Shaun Tan (The Arrival). You can see an animated trailer for the book (which shows how great the cover is) at Pamment’s website,


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