Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Water Seeker-- Kimberly Willis Holt

Taking place from 1833 through 1859, The Water Seeker is a fictional tale of what life was like on the prairie and along the Oregon Trail. Mostly historical fiction, but with a light touch of magical realism, this novel is a meandering but compelling story of a boy and the adults who find their way into his life.

Amos is the son of Jake, who is a trapper by chosen trade but a dowser by god given gift. While Jake is away trapping, he leaves Amos to be raised by his brother and his wife, then later the neighbor and her five sons. It isn't until Amos is almost 14 that his father comes back to claim him... and take him on the journey of a lifetime, out west on the Oregon trail. Amos learns about himself through those who care for him. After watching Jake work as a dowser, Amos realizes that skill is living within him, too. And after years of sketching eerily accurate portraits, he learns his mother (who died giving birth to him) was a talented artist. But it isn't until he meets Gwendolyn that Amos learns what it means to be a man and see beyond the surface and first impressions.

This novel is appropriate for all ages of teens, and would be especially appealing to those who loved the Little House on the Prairie books but have outgrown them.

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