About Me




SURFACE TENSION [*US release title: BELOW]

Even secrets have a way of floating to the surface.

It's the seven bandaid swim that clinches it. It's what convinces Cassie that there is no way she's going to swim at the local pool any longer. From now on she is going to swim in the lake. The lake covers Old Lower Grange, which was purposely drowned on the day Cassie was born. That day was important for everyone, especially Liam, a boy who joins Cassie at the lake. As summer heats up, the water level of the lake gets lower and lower. Slowly the dark secrets of Old Lower Grange are uncovered and soon, both their lives will change - forever.

  • An atmospheric mystery title
  • Both boys and girls will enjoy this compelling and humorous read


Surface Tension Trivia Deleted Scenes Teaching Notes

What readers are saying:

'Surface Tension is a wonderfully layered story - reading it is like being gradually immersed in a pool of water as each layer of the narrative slowly washes over you. The idea of the sunken town of Old Lower Grange is enthralling ... There isnít a dull moment in this book. The story is full of human connections that will delight
readers and there is a whimsy to the text that makes it a great read for all ages, although it is ideally suited to upper primary readers..'
- Bec Kavanagh, Bookseller+Publisher

'This is most definitely on my list of favourite kids' books so far this year ...  Original, gripping, poetic, authentic - a book that kept me reading far longer than I should have at each sitting ... a stunning novel.'
- Megan Blandford, Kids Book Review

'Meg McKinlay made me nostalgic for the days when I loved reading Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden ... [the author] has done a wonderful job of inventing a fresh, original, suspenseful and intriguing story in Surface Tension, that will have you hooked to the very last page.'
- The Book Griffin

'Original, taken, poetic, authenticates - it is the words during which spout out to occupy itself and after the surface tension off reading, has book which maintained reading to me much to skirt than I should cuts with each meeting. It off the words inspires the thought, the question and the emotions which will remain with the long readers then who final page. I almost boat await my infant to grow thus I edge divide this one with it.'
- Explanation here

The writing of this book was enabled by a grant from the Department of Culture and the Arts, Western Australia, for which I am immensely grateful.



Ages 9-13-ish
ISBN 9781921720284
March, 2011
Walker Books Australia

May 2013
Candlewick Press, US


Winner, 2012 Davitt Crimewriting Award, YA/Chldren's Category

Highly Commended, 2012 Prime Minister's Literary Awards

Notable Book, Younger Readers Category, 2012 CBCA Book Awards