by Megan Frazer Blackmore
337 pages of middle grade mystery with a historical anchor that will fill you full of questions and possibilities
The Water Castle was released at the end of the school year. It got great reviews and seemed like something I would like to read and share with kids at our school. I got the book right away. But, as you know I have stack sand baskets and piles of books waiting to be read – poor books – some of them wait an awfully long time.
The Water Castle lay in my “beside the reader chair” pile for the summer, but then I read that Megan Blackmore was coming to Portsmouth on October 16th. She would be talking about her book and so The Water Castle came off the pile and I’m so glad. Wow! The Water Castle is different and intriguing. Each night came home from school hoping to fly through my afternoon and evening chores so I could read.
Ephraim, his younger sister, Brynn and older brother, Price are leaving Cambridge, Massachusetts and moving to Crystal Springs, Maine. Their dad has suffered a stroke and their physician mother believes he will get the healing care he needs there. Crystal Springs is the site of their ancestral home – the Water Castle. In the late 1800’s Orlando Appledore, (their great great uncle) an inventor and avid scientist, spent his young life following the legend of the Fountain of Youth. He settled in Crystal Springs, believing he had uncovered the mystery at last. The record is unclear – fact or fiction? Are their healing, life-giving waters in Crystal Springs? Did Orlando discover the Fountain of Youth?
If he did and if Ephraim can uncover the secret of that muddled past, perhaps he can heal his dad and recover his life. The Water Castle is surrounded by mystery right from the start – it hums and releases lightening-like blasts from time to time. The mystery deepens as past and present entwine reigniting old feuds, while also growing friendships just when loneliness and loss is nearly too much to bear.
Does the heart of the explorer live in all of us? Are exploration and wonder opposite sides of the same coin? How far would you be willing to go to discover and achieve your goals?
I had so many delicious questions when I finished reading The Water Castle. It is a book I would love to read with a group. I want to know what other readers think. I want to know what you think and what you would do if given the choice. I hope you’ll read The Water Castle and leave a comment to let us know what you would do.