"Outside a dog a book is man's best friend, inside a dog it is too dark to read!" -Groucho Marx========="The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." -Jane Austen========="I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book."-JK Rowling========"I spend a lot of time reading." -Bill Gates=========“Ahhh. Bed, book, kitten, sandwich. All one needed in life, really.” -Jacqueline Kelly=========

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Water Seeker by Kimberly Willis Holt

The Water Seeker is the tale of a young man who is born with the gift of dowsing, or water-witching.  It is also, and I think more prominently, a tale of what it was like to grow up during the early 1800s particularly those living the pioneering life.

Young Amos Kincaid doesn't know his father well since he is gone trapping for many months each year.  He learns how to work hard from his aunt and uncle and his closest neighbors, after his aunt dies.  When is father finally returns with a squaw, Blue Owl, for a wife, Amos is forced to learn new skills when he moves with them.  One of those skills is a skill that his father also has, dowsing. When an opportunity to help  guide a Wagon Train to Oregon Territory arrives, the family picks up again. Along the treacherous 2000 mile journey Amos has many adventures and makes several friends.

Amos' mother, who died during childbirth, and birds played symbolic roles in the book, but the symbolism was lost on me.  I hate it when I don't see the meaning in literary devices used by authors. Though this book came to my attention as a possible Printz award candidate I think this book is really a middle level book, not one that would interest too many high school students. The drama hinted at on the book jacket about the conflict between father and son about  being a dowser seemed quite mild.  Though the journey across the prairie and mountains on a Wagon Train was well done, it didn't have the level of suspense or fast-pacing that most YA readers crave.  Perhaps this book would be a better Newbery candidate.

Though this review isn't very strong, I really did like the story.  I think younger teens who like reading historical fiction will find a lot to like in this story.

1 comment:

  1. I've always liked Kimberly Willis Holt. I will have to see if my library has this one. Thanks for the review :)

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