Bass Lake Bunch Book Series

Award-winning books tell how a group of friends searching for things that are lost set in motion events that draw a lake community together and teach people of all ages about friendship and forgiveness.

In the acclaimed Bass Lake Bunch book series set in Indiana, where children spend lazy summers having fun, getting into and out of humorous situations, and solving mysteries, five loyal friends take center stage. That’s a good thing since two of them are orphans in need of family and friends alike.
The ancient Greek poet Euripides once said, “One loyal friend is worth ten thousand relatives.”

Bass Lake Bunch 1: The Hideout at the Abandoned Fish Hatchery begins at a gas station in a small town in Indiana. There, orphaned siblings Brianne and Kevin escape the custody of a social worker taking them to live at a group home in Indianapolis.

The two determined kids are trying to find a long-lost aunt at a place called Bass Lake. There, they meet three boys, best friends, who help them. At an abandoned fish hatchery near the lake, Jackson, Patrick, and Sam help hide the orphans. Little do they know what events they are setting into motion!

In Bass Lake Bunch 2: The Secret of the Lost Lake Cottage, Sam sees a hobo camping on the lot next to Grandpa Sommers’ garage and tells his friends—the Bass Lake Bunch—about him. When Grandpa Sommers overhears the kids, he decides to check things out for himself. What he finds takes him back 35 years to Bass Lake’s heyday.

The old man turns out to be an old friend of Grandpa Sommers who is searching for his long-lost lake cottage, but Grandpa Sommers refuses to help him because of something that happened a long time ago. The Bass Lake Bunch takes it upon themselves to help the old man. They also try to convince Grandpa Sommers to help. In the process, the whole group learns about forgiveness and finds something that has been missing for more than three decades.

The two-book series is the recipient of the Silver Medal from the
Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards in the category of Best Book Series, Chapter Book.

Ratliff comments, “May and I wanted to tell family stories loosely based on our own about children who remind us of our own family members. We remember a time when children played outside and went on adventures, most of which did not involve electronics. We also wanted to tell stories about kids who love to help others. At the same time, as teachers, we wanted to write stories that students could read in class. Both books come with vocabulary word banks, literature circle questions, and accompanying activities.”


Leslie J. May is a former award-winning teacher and administrator in Nevada, Arizona, Missouri, and Indiana. She is a 2010 and 2012 Clark County (Nevada) Teacher of the Year and received honors in both 2005 and 2006 as a finalist for Arizona School Administrators Distinguished Elementary Administrator Award. Leslie has worked as a school improvement consultant and professional development presenter and served as a state delegate representing school administrators from both Arizona and Indiana.

A recovering cancer patient, Leslie works diligently to support others who are fighting this battle. She loves music, blooming flowers, an exciting football game, and a great cup of coffee. She spends her leisure time playing in Bass Lake, visiting her son, and trying out new recipes. Leslie J. May currently resides at Bass Lake in Northern Indiana.

Charles R. Ratliff is a former award-winning journalist and teacher from Arizona and Indiana. He currently teaches middle school Language Arts at Knox Community Middle School and has taught in Indiana for 12 years. As a teacher in Arizona, Mr. Ratliff was a 2004 Mohave County Teacher of the Year and a 2005 Educator of the Year finalist for the Laughlin, Nevada, Chamber of Commerce Community Achievement Awards. Prior to becoming a teacher, Mr. Ratliff worked as a reporter and editor for several Arizona publications including The Tombstone Epitaph, San Manuel Miner, and The Mohave Valley Daily News. Mr. Ratliff has earned awards in nearly every category of writing. He currently resides at Bass Lake with his wife and daughter.

Bass Lake Bunch 1: The Hideout at the Abandoned Fish Hatchery and Bass Lake Bunch 2: The Secret of the Lost Lake Cottage by Leslie J. May and Charles R. Ratliff; Lost Lake Cottage Publishing; Juvenile Fiction; Paperback 978-1607991762 $13.99 and 978-0999800904 $13.99; eBook 978-0999800911 $5.99; Available: and

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