Monday, March 25, 2013

The Water Castle by Megan Frazer Blakemore

The Water Castle by Megan Frazer Blakemore is a charming mishmash of science fiction and magical realism reminiscent of Natalie Babbit's Tuck Everlasting.

After Ephraim Appledore-Smith's father has a stroke, his mother relocates the family to Crystal Springs, Maine -- not only can Ephraim's father get better medical care there, but Crystal Springs is also the ancestral home of the Appledore family, and there is plenty of room for them in the formerly vacant Water Castle. Ephraim has mixed emotions about the move, and about his father's illness. He would do almost anything to see his father return to health. When he learns that some of his ancestors were obsessed with the idea that the Fountain of Youth was located there in Crystal Springs, he begins to hope that something in the town might be able to help his father. With the help of two unlikely new-found friends, Ephraim begins exploring the grounds of the Water Castle. Magic and science, the past and the present -- many unexpected discoveries await Ephraim and his friends. Will it be enough, though, to cure Ephraim's father?

I really enjoyed this book, though I suspect young readers may find it slow going at the beginning. The writing is solid, and the plot is tightly woven, with a few intriguing details for careful readers to discover -- and a few small mysteries left unsolved at the end, perhaps with an eye to writing a sequel? Readers who liked the aforementioned Tuck Everlasting and Rebecca Stead's When You Reach Me will find that this book hits the spot. I would not be surprised to hear it mentioned in discussions of 2014 Newbery titles, though it's early days yet for predictions like that!

(Reviewed from an advance copy, courtesy of the publisher.)

1 comment:

  1. I really liked this one! I also feel like it's at least going to be a book we discuss for the rest of the year.