By A. LaFaye
(Milkweed Editions, Hardcover, 9781571316875, 208pp.)
Publication Date: April 2009
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Kyna likes her friends, her purple hair, and taking photographs. But there's something she definitely doesn't like: the water. Every time she comes near it, she feels the sinister pull of the depths trying to draw her down to a watery grave. Even the calm water in the bathtub reminds her of the torrential storm that took the lives of her sailing family when she was just a baby. But Kyna's adopted parents love nothing more than to swim and splash about in lakes and streams, or even the local pool. When they decide to spend the summer at a beach house on Lake Champlain, Kyna is convinced that they're trying to teach her something about water that she's not ready to learn. Little does she know that the water will reveal far more than she ever could have imagined. Inspired by Champ, the legendary monster living in Lake Champlain, Water Steps finds novelist A. LaFaye at her best, expertly interweaving themes of adolescent fears and fantasies, the frustrations and rewards of family, and a world of mystery and magic under the placid surface of nature.
"LaFaye shapes a wonderful novel that I couldn’t put down. With descriptive language, LaFaye pulled me into the book to the point that Kyna became my newest best friend. On an inspirational journey, she faces her fears and makes new friends along the way. LaFaye uses her literary genius to bring us, the readers, along for the ride."
"Kyna’s struggles to take water” (baby) steps and move through her fear will resonate with many kids who are wrestling overwhelming fears of their own. Kyna’s story is a satisfying journey to hope and understanding. Pair this with the film The Secret of Roan Inish for a supernatural book-and-a-movie” night."
"A. LaFaye's WATER STEPS is wonderful, in the most literal sense of the word:
which is to say it is a book full of wonder, and wonders. It pulses with a love of nature and the natural world, a world too often lost to modern children. Rich with love and loss, longing and renewal, a bit of mystery and a touch of fantasy, it is a joy to read."