Blakemore, Megan Frazier. The Water Castle
January 8th 2013
by Walker Childrens
Ephraim and his family move to a small town in Maine to take over a long neglected family home. His father, an artist, has had a debilitating stroke and his mother, a doctor, thinks that the house (once the site of a sanitorium utilizing the water, which seems to have healing properties) will make him better, and there is also a doctor nearby who specializes in this sort of problem. Ephraim manages to get settled in and makes friends with Mallory, whose mother's family were caretakers of the house for years. Since her mother has left, her father has stepped in to take care of it. He also befriends Will, whose family wants nothing to do with Ephraim's. The three learn some secrets of the house while preparing their explorers research project from school, and Ephraim hopes that he can uncover the secret to the fountain of youth and use it to cure his father.
Strengths: There is a lot going on in this book. There's science, there are racial issues, there are family issues, there's some more science. It has a nice ensemble cast and and features boys and girls AND a character of color.
Weaknesses: This just didn't grab me. The cover was blah, and the whole book had an older vibe, like I Capture the Castle meets Miracles on Maple Hill. I should have liked it, but I felt really bad that Ephraim thought the water would cure his father. I was also a bit confused about whether or not this was fantasy.
At any rate, most people liked it FAR more than I did, so check their reviews before deciding.
The Book Smugglers
TMC Guys Read