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I had read "Olive's Ocean" by Henkes in the past and was blown away (and I am a male in my 30s!). So it was an easy decision to read "Bird Lake Moon" when it came out. And I was not disappointed at all. Henkes' attention to detail (without long descriptions that get you off track), along with very real and natural responses from the characters, brings the story to life. And I am not saying that just to say that he does it well. Rather, reading this book is more like an experience than simply witnessing a story, and thus that realism and corresponding empathy engages the reader.