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With all the spontaneity of his thirteen years, Mauri retraces the thirty-three days that have made him grow up, starting on that 14th of June when his best friend, Brando, dives into the lake and never resurfaces. But incredulous grief soon gives way to doubt: mysterious notes written in Brando’s writing cast a shadow of suspicion over Lake Road, threatening solid friendships and blossoming love. There are whispers about a road on the bottom of the lake, children with weed for hair, and other, even darker things. But Mauri doesn’t believe it, and he decides to investigate, along with other members of the Pikes gang: Fabi, Nando, Trapola and above all, her, Aura, his secret love.


• A unique and engaging adventure, a crazy summer before high school, and the passage from childhood to adolescence.


• “I wrote this book during the first lockdown. In the stillness of that present, I revisited a page from my past: a summer in the shadow of the Half Tower, at my grandparents’ house, the custodians of an old manor on the shores of Lake Iseo. Adventures, first loves, life, death. Mystery. Everything came back to life as it was then, whispering to me the story of the Pikes of Lake Road.” – Giuseppe Festa• Finalist for Gigante delle Langhe 2022• Winner of Gianni Rodari Children’s Prize 2021 and the Bancarellino Children Prize 2022

Giuseppe Festa has a degree in Natural Sciences and works in the environmental education field. Founder and singer of the Lingalad folk music group, he has also written a number of nature reports for Italian broadcaster RAI and starred in the award-winning documentary Oltre la Frontiera. His novels have been widely translated. He was shortlisted for the Strega Children’s Prize 2019 with Cento passi per volare (A Hundred Steps to Freedom), Salani, 2018.