The Water Seeker

The Water Seeker❰BOOKS❯ ✫ The Water Seeker Author Kimberly Willis Holt – “When I was a boy my pa dowsed to earn extra money when we had a lean year And when he put the branch in my hands for the first time I felt a burning inside me because I had the gift too Just be tha “When I was a boy my pa dowsed to earn extra money when we had a lean year And when he put the branch in my hands for the first time I felt a burning inside me because I had the gift too Just be thankful I didn’t hand that gift down to you”Amos figured The Water PDF \ it was probably best not to tell his father that it was too late What would you do if you knew you had a special gift—a sixth sense—that was passed down from one generation to the next A gift that could help people in times of need but one your father often saw as a trap Would you use that gift This is the story of Amos Kincaid the dowser’s son . Gorgeous Epic Transporting One of my librarian colleagues took this book out of the running for our Mock Newbery early back when the title was The Dowser's Son because of a couple lines right at the book's opening he'd not been with a woman in a long time Without thinking he said 'Well I reckon I could marry you' Out of context I can see how this might make the book seem too mature for the Newbery age range up to and including 14 year olds But I think this is a Higher Power of Lucky scrotum esue fallacy Adolescents are not necessarily going to read been with a woman as had sex with a woman so they won't necessarily go so far as to read that line as he was horny which is how most adults would read it Just like how kids aren't scandalized by reading the world scrotum Which is to say I'm going to argue that this should totally be included in our Mock Newbery In fact it just jumped to the top of my list Now back to the actual book I would put The Water Seeker in a class with Anne of Green Gables and Sarah Plain and Tall ie excellent historical fiction about families and communities They have drama humor and the fascinating details of an earlier time in history They're beautifully written The characters seems real enough to touch This story's hero is Amos Kincaid Amos is born in 1833 His father is a beaver trapper but he also has a special talent passed down to him from generations of Kincaids he can find water in the ground Amos inherits this skill but it's a long time before he can use it Amos loses his mother at birth and is raised by a patchwork of communities a minister and his wife at a mission near an Native American community a family farm run by a widow and her six sons traveling with his father and his new Shoshone wife and on the Oregon Trail in a community of people seeking their fortunes out West Along the way the spirit of his mother follows him almost haunting the women who come into his life There's so much in this story it's hard to believe it's just 300 pages A sampling of the issues addressed inheritance domestic violence racism first love death what it means to be a family or a tribe and what it means to grow up and become a man It's a beautiful story filled with memorable characters moments of joy and sadness and a satisfying conclusion I'm not sure if I liked this book or not I certainly enjoyed the plot I'm a sucker for a storyline that uses the Oregon Trail the characters and the flow Even the little magical bits But it seemed to be missing something bigger I suppose the moral for lack of a better term was about growing up and becoming yourself but this wasn't expressed strongly I wanted a reason to read this an ultimate ah ha which I guess I didn't getI expected there to be dowsing in this book but it was mostly used as a way to kick start and end the book It wasn't so much a disappointment as just something that made me go hmm and later wonder why but also whether she could have used something elseI wasn't sure what the point of the birds were What did they symbolize? Yes I know that mom was hovering nearby So once mom stopped showing herself to Blue Owl and Gwendolyn why did they keep hanging around? What does water have to do with birds? Maybe I'm too dense to get it but if someone on here has an idea let me knowThe foreshadowing was pretty obvious not too much to enjoy the book but I knew every time someone was going to die except one but I can't tell you who without spoiling it Usually it was a pretty direct link happiness sudden death That makes it sound depressing and I think that Holt's greatest triumph was writing a book with so many sad events that was not actually sad at least to meSo to sum up the book had lots of weird little things that nag at me now that I'm looking back but when I was reading it I was really enjoying it and that's worth a LOT to me I am struggling with the summary of this book I could list all of the things that happen but that doesn’t capture the wonder of this book the tiny touches that make it so very special and the overlying theme of water and family that tie it all together I could talk about the special moments but at its heart this book is the story of a boy who becomes a man before our eyes and builds his own sort of family out of the people he loves It is the story of Amos a boy who loses his mother the moment he is born is loved by his father who cannot settle down and stay with him but makes sure he is cared for It is the story of a mother’s love that continues to guide embodied in birds and reflections It is the story of the Oregon Trail of homesteading of hardship and pain It is the story of humanity captured in one boy’s life And I apologize that that is the best I can do for a summary because it only grazes the top of this deep bookI am amazed that Holt was able to put so much love soul and power into a book that reads like an adventure story It is a book that can be enjoyed on different levels but is wonderful to plunge into and be carried away by like a strong river current It is a book that celebrates all sorts of loves doesn’t turn away from pain and loss and shows how life continues after devastation meets us It is a story filled with strong women and men Men who are both physically strong but also emotionally there Women who shoulder the burden of entire families survive horrific abuse and continue to life and love Holt has created great characters here who are a joy to spend time with Amos is a humble protagonist who grows into greatness He is complicated a wonderful amalgam of all who cared for him in his life And yet at the same time he is simple and always himself Holt manages to do both in this boy And through it all runs a current of water Water as life Water as death Get this book I am afraid I can’t capture it any clearly because my words don’t seem to be able to match the depth and power of this novel It is amazing wondrous and special My Newbery pick so far Here is a little diamond in the rough Kimberly Willis Holt writes a coming of age story about young Amos Kincaid born to an artist mother and a wandering father in early 19th century AmericaThe story is mostly about Amos and his family the lives they lead and their experiences as a pioneering family From the beginning TWS sucks you right in Holt spins her web masterfully introducing you to her numerous characters and making them so real that you wish you had lived in their time You come to care very deeply for Amos and his kin you root for them at every turn through adventures and dangers of the Oregon Trail You get to meet the pioneers that settled this country and appreciate the dangers they fare to realize their dreams Holt's characters are human and she presents them to us warts and all But warts and all we come to care for the prejudiced Henrietta and the loving Rebecca the distant Jake and the silent Blue Owl whose uiet strength wins Amos over completelyHolt gives us a glimpse of the hardships of life on the frontier A winner of the National Book Award this novel deserves a place among the works selected for classroom reading The Water Seeker compares well with some of the classic literary tales of simple living novels such as The Yearling by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings and Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls The Water Seeker is a book completely comfortable with bucking the recent trend toward stories with modern settings and gives us a chance to experience the rawness of human emotion in a place and time that certainly was not lacking for such excruciating feelings of personal upheaval In the lives that most of us live today the sudden death of a family member would be a shocking blow; however on the Oregon Trail during the middle of the nineteenth century sudden death of perfectly healthy individuals even very young children was an ugly reality that everybody had to be prepared to endure Today most of us can only imagine what it would have been like to travel two thousand miles by covered wagon with little pre made coffins bumping around among your luggage ready to be used when your children died Honestly the potency of that emotional tide sweeping down through the centuries makes my head swim One wouldn't know it by the title but The Water Seeker actually has very little to do with dowsing Rather it is mostly the account of the first twenty years or so in the life of young Amos Kincaid a normal boy who faces all of the adversity common to residents of the United States in the 1840s Slavery is still legal and doctors of any kind are all too rare making it frighteningly easy for a person to die from a relatively mild injury or disease The vast western section of the United States remains chiefly uncolonized with territories and future territories such as California Washington and Oregon attracting fortune hunters who want to claim their own stake in the free land being offered by the government to those pioneers who are intrepid enough to make the journey Despite being only on the cusp of adolescence himself Amos is drawn into taking this dangerous journey along with his father and dozens of others looking to settle in the open west They will attempt to brave the substantial risks that go along with walking the long and isolated trail in order to begin a new life for themselves However there is much to this book than just an insightful look into a boy embarking on the odyssey of a lifetime When Amos is first born it is from less than fortuitous circumstances; his mother dies during the delivery and his father Jake isn't prepared to take care of a newborn baby on his own Therefore he passes his son on to his childless brother and sister in law who raise Amos almost as their own with infreuent visits made by Jake to keep in touch with his son Yet this arrangement doesn't last forever and eventually Amos by then a young child is out on the move with Jake Jake comes from a family line of dowsers people born with a gift for divining water but he has always run from his strange ability Even now he avoids turning to dowsing as a profession opting to get work anywhere else in any field of expertise that he can learn The Water Seeker has a deep complex and rich plot building well on what comes before to set up significant meaning later on in the story The tone of the writing is generally serious and perhaps a bit on the somber side though author Kimberly Willis Holt doesn't fail to lighten the gloom with some moments of levity here and there In fact I'd say that the light spots of humor are made important by the sadness that marks this story most of the way It's historical fiction that definitely feels like historical fiction sobering in its unflinching look at a grueling time in US pioneering history when the lives of real people were being lost along the Oregon Trail at an alarming rate but there's never any gratuitous death in The Water Seeker I think you'll find that the deaths are all important in what they do to set the realistic tone of the novel and help us best see what the lifestyle that so many people were opting to live at the time actually was like Sudden death isn't something that anyone ever gets used to even if it's happening all around you and the horror in the reactions of Amos and his traveling companions also serves to keep the situation in perspective for us Amos Kincaid himself is a compelling character but there are others within the story who will be no less unforgettable to passionate readers There's Finn Amos's very young cousin for whom I feared most viscerally of all while they were on the Oregon Trail When he uietly mentions one night about having nightmares That I'm dead it's like a portent of something too horrible to believe that's about to come around the bend Then there's Gwendolyn a girl of Amos's age who is accompanying her parents on the long land voyage Her face had been seared in an episode of physical violence at the hands of her abusive father but she loves Amos from a distance and hopes that someday he will return her affection even as she accepts that such a turn in fortune is unlikely Then you have the Reverend McBride a sincere Christian man who stands firmly by his beliefs without the stain of hypocrisy truly wanting only to better the world by his endeavors on the trail Many others join together to comprise the cast of characters and all of them feel authentic and complete clearly the master work of an excellent writer More than anything else I would say it's the depth and realism of the characters that makes the emotion of the story come to life as painfully as it often does Not much is directly taught in this book For the most part potential life lessons from the story are sitting there to either be gleaned or not by observant readers depending on how much of an emotional education one wishes the experience of reading this book to be I've found that any powerful richly constructed story is naturally going to evolve into an object lesson about life but The Water Seeker never seems to strive to boil itself down to those kinds of teaching points instead just letting the weighty emotion of its plot drive home the truths that the action presents There were some minor points to the narrative that I didn't fully understand but those considerations were than made up for by the strength of the story I've got to go back to the phrase I used in the beginning paragraph to describe this book saying that it's a story filled with rawness of emotion That's the The Water Seeker at its best a vehicle for raw emotion that hits the reader hard numerous times during the story ensuring that at least we'll never forget what we felt as we read it I'm certain that I'll never forget All things considered there's a good chance that I would give three and a half stars to this book Although the setting is very different from When Zachary Beaver Came to Town Holt once again explores the process one boy goes through to become a man When his real mother dies in child birth Amos is passed from woman to woman and each brings something important to his development The story really takes off when Amos is 14 and begins traveling with his family on the Oregon trail The crises he faces on the treacherous journey forces him to grow up and see people for what they really are While this book is interesting it is slow moving and therefore hard to continue with Also Amos' mentality as a 5 year old is the same as a 14 year old which is frustrating for me because it feels that his character doesn't actually develop throughout the book However I enjoyed Holt's depiction of the mountain man life life on the prairie and the Oregon Trail It is apparent that she did a great amount of research for this book through the descriptive settings and minor details of different characters lives I really enjoyed this excellent and tender coming of age story about a boy and his relationship with his father his yearning for a mother and his adventure on a wagon train going to Oregon While some mature young readers will enjoy the story the harsh opening chapters tilt this read toward an older audience Oh this story was so pure and engaging It flowed and meandered just like water mesmerizing you and making you yearn for it to go on forever It's a plodding story where nothing really happens and yet it still felt interesting and I always wanted to know There were some supposed to be sad parts that didn't affect me yet I was moved to tears by the simple wholesomeness of some other moments Masterfully crafted and thoroughly enjoyed The narration in the audio book version was fantastic and suited the story perfectly Award winning children's author Kimberly Willis Holt offers a lyrical coming of age story set against the harsh reality of pioneer times and the Oregon trail in her newest novel The central character is Amos born in 1834 the son of a dowser or water seeker His father Jake has the mystical gift of finding water a gift handed down from son to son in his family His mother Delilah died while giving birth to Amos but appears repeatedly in the novel as a ghost visible to those women who care for her son Because his father is away most of the year trapping and dowsing Amos is raised by his childless aunt and uncle at an Indian mission Amos is an unusual child who has inherited both his mother's gift for drawing and his father's gift for dowsingLife on the frontier was not easy with a smallpox epidemic killing off not only a slew of Indians but also Amos' aunt the only mother he has known His care is given over to neighbors until his father comes back to town with a new wife Blue Owl a Shoshone Indian Amos who wants to stay where he is joins his father and Blue Owl in their itinerant lifestyle until a few years later his father decides to join a wagon train to the Oregon territory as a scoutThe second half of the book tells the story of the journey on the Oregon trail; almost fourteen by this time in the story Amos' journey takes him from a boy to a man From the trail's jumping off point in Independence Missouri Amos' father recruits a diverse group of people for their wagon train characters who will populate the rest of the book Among them are a British family with a young girl Gwendolyn whose face has been disfigured by her father's abusive behavior Also joining the group is a beautiful young girl Jubilee her deaf brother and her parents Amos is enchanted by Jubilee but Blue Owl knows that she is not meant for himHolt brings us into the preparations for this almost unimaginable journey the purchase of supplies the outfitting of wagons with oxen or mules the decisions on which route to take even the preparations of coffins of cloth in case the worst happens We see the travelers' distrust of Blue Owl; many had never seen Indians up closeThe action in the book steps up as the wagon train leaves for Oregon; terrible accidents sickness death buffalo hunts and young love are among the experiences that turn young Amos from a boy to a man At the conclusion of the book Holt takes us to 1859 when we see Amos now with his own family carrying on the family tradition of dowsing as his father had done as his father had done before himthe gift never failed AmosThis is a beautifully written poetic tale that I would categorize as literary fiction for young readers The book starts out with a very uiet slow pace and I can easily imagine many children abandoning the book after the first 25 pages or so unless they are reuired to read it for class The story certainly would fit well into curriculum units on Western expansion the Oregon Trail and other pioneer themes but the book does not have the action packed pace that many children are accustomed to in other books I do not see this book as having broad child appeal but I can imagine that it might fare well in the awards season since its leisurely style may appeal to many adult readers of children's books This book annoyed me The story was fine even good But I was annoyed by the fakey mysticism the image of Amps' mother appearing everywhere And the birds such a great chance to have good mysticism but she never did anything with them And the dowsing I thought that would be a major theme and metaphor but it just seems to be something she threw in at the beginning and end And Amos' drawing When Gwendolyn helps him draw pictures of people I thought oh now we are going to have an interesting development but no it just ends It was as if the author had a bunch of good ideas and just threw them all into the book without any development Very annoying And I really don't need to read a book about teenage crushes on the Oregon Trail A much better choice would be the Dear America book West to a Land of Plenty The Diary of Teresa Angelino Viscard I need to add that one reason I was annoyed was that at the front of the book the first thing you open to is a beautiful map I love maps in books This one has allmost of the places on it that are in the book and it has lots of rivers identified It gave me great hopes and probably set the bar too high Actually the author does a good job with places and rivers in the book

The Water Seeker PDF Í The Water  PDF \ Audio CD
  • Audio CD
  • 0 pages
  • The Water Seeker
  • Kimberly Willis Holt
  • English
  • 22 June 2016
  • 9780307738158