Since Audrey's father had to fire one of his dive shop salespeople and can't take them diving, thirteen-year-old Audrey and her best friend, Max, expect the rest of the summer to be a real bore. Are they wrong! Janyre Tromp, an editor with Kregel who works with junior high kids at church, shows that she knows both writing and kids in this page-turner, That Sinking Feeling.
Audrey Barringer had been named after Audrey Hepburn, because "she had such presence," her mother said. Aud can no more live up to Hepburn's "presence" than she can to her mother's expectations. Only her dad and her best friend Max accept her as she is: tall, gangly, and loyal.
When Aud's dad has to break his diving date with them, the kids stumble on a knife with an odd oriental design, a lock pick set, and a water-tight barrel. The design on the knife has been found carved at each site of local robberies--robberies which have grown increasingly violent. They turn the knife over to Max's Cambodian-born mother for her newspaper article on the robberies, but they keep searching. Along the way they run askance of the local racist bully and of Max's older brother, who seems almost as bad as the bully. They grow surer that members of Max's family are involved in the crimes. After Aud's disobedience almost gets Max killed, she is sure that God is done with her.
When I picked up That Sinking Feeling, I planned to read only one chapter before hitting the housework. Four chapters later I forced myself to put the story down. Every time afterward, Tromp drew me deeper into the story. Tromp's realistic characterization and intriguing plot should do the same for upper elementary and junior high readers. She utilizes the insecurities, disappointments, and awkwardness of that age to make Aud and Max, especially Aud, seem real.
She also delivers a lesson on God's forgiveness after we've failed, and the importance of obedience without being preachy. This is great summer reading for the kids while they're out of school. – Debbie W. Wilson, Christian Book Previews.com
Audrey Barringer really does try to be a “good kid.” But with a bratty, overly perfect little sister and a brain-twisting burglary case that points to her best friend's family, there's no way this firecracker is going to stay out of trouble. That Sinking Feeling not only explores the fascinating underwater world as Audrey and her best friend, Max, dive for clues, it also shows tweens what it means to be a good friend and one of God's children.