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Review: The Water Castle

Cover © Walker Childrens

Cover © Walker Childrens

Here’s a great new one for you.

Look at the cover of this book, The Water Castle, by Megan Frazer Blakemore. It looks…old fashioned. Doesn’t it? Like it could be a cover of a book from 40 years ago. I’ll come back to this idea later.

In The Water Castle, the Appledore-Smith family moves to their old family home in Maine, after the father has a stroke. They are hoping that a change of pace and the help of a doctor family friend can speed the father’s recovery.

For the three Appledore children, moving to Maine is a big change. A new school. A new/old, mysterious castle-like house with hidden passageways, impossible doors, and a strange hum and occasional blue flash.

Sound weird? Well, that’s not all. Everyone in this town is above average. The children are all geniuses. Which makes the at least one of the Appledore kids uncomfortable. Would it make you uncomfortable? Because…why are they all so smart?

The Water Castle is a fascinating and smart mystery. There is a lot to try to figure out, which makes it really fun to read.

Let’s go back to that old-fashioned looking cover. Why would the publisher choose to have a cover in an older-looking style? Well, for me, that was a perfect cover, because the whole book felt like an old classic. How? Even though it is set in the present, things had an older feel. There was this old, old house. There were three families who have lived in this small town for over a hundred years. There was an endless search, for something treasured and sought since the beginning of time. Even the Appledore kids had old-fashioned sounding names: Ephraim, Price, and Brynn. I think Ms. Blakemore really tried to write in a classic tone, and many of her author decisions helped create that feeling. So that’s why the publisher chose a cover style that fits the tone of the story. Do any of the books you read have a certain feel to the words and writing? How did the author do that?

The book reminded me of two of my favorite older books: Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt (published in 1985–28 years ago), and A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle (published in 1973–40 years ago).

I loved The Water Castle. I loved the classic feel. I loved trying to figure out the mystery of the house, the town, and the families that all seemed a part of everything. I think you’ll love it, too. Give it a try!

Keep reading!

The Water Castle

By Megan Frazer Blakemore

304 pages

Genre: Mystery; other genres, too, but they are a…mystery!

Source: ARC from ALA Midwinter

On shelves now!


2 Responses

  1. Wow! This review makes me want to read this book RIGHT NOW! I’m eager to hear what your students have to say about it.

    Guys . . . that means I want to hear from you!!

  2. […] fun story with old fashioned charm that both boys and girls can adore. Dad of Divas Reviews and Guys Read […]

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