Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Book Review: Water Steps

Water Steps
by A. LaFaye
for ages 8-12

Eleven-year-old Kyna is terrified of water and with good reason. When she was only three, she and her family were caught in a torrential downpour that capsized their boat. The only survivor of the storm, Kyna was rescued by Mem and Pep, an Irish couple, who later adopted her and raised her as their own. Overwhelmed by fear of water and everything associated with it, Kyna couldn’t even go for a swim. Even water touching her skin provoked an anxiety attack.

Mem and Pep loved everything about the water and tried very hard to help her take small steps—water steps--over the years to overcome her fear. This summer Mem and Pep decide she is ready to take the final step and rent a cabin on Lake Champlain for the summer. Kyna desperately protests but she has no choice but to go with them. She has no memory of her birth family, but during the summer she realizes that her fear is keeping her from these memories and from her adoptive family’s love of water. She also learns that among the tales told her by her Irish parents are clues to her original parents’ secret.

Filled with delightful Irish tales about silkies (seals by day, men and women at night), leprechauns and fairies, Water Steps has much to offer youngsters struggling to overcome their own fears and to anyone fascinated by myths and fantasies.

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