Where the Water Takes Us

Written and Illustrated by Alan Barillaro

This was a lovely book by first-time author Alan Barillaro. Set in a lakeside town in Canada, it tells the story of two kids connected by circumstance and hardship. Ava is spending the summer with her grandparents as her mom has a high risk pregnancy with twins, and Cody is there with his father after his parents divorce. Dealing with uncertainty and fear in their own ways, they navigate a friendship and learn how to live in a new place; from transportation by boat to rescuing abandoned eggs. The author uses nature to mirror life lessons. Ava and Cody each learn to hang on and weather life’s storms, and to break free and fly.

The writing was lyrical and I couldn’t put it down. The soft watercolor illustrations that ran throughout (also done by the author) just added to the feeling the book evokes. Excellent read, especially for someone experiencing challenges outside one’s control and the feelings that come with that. Highly recommend!

Reviewed by Rachel Whicker, Librarian, Arcadia Elementary
Review shared in November 2023
Rating: ★★★★★ (5 stars)
Interest Level: Grades 4-8

Where the Water Takes Us
Written and Illustrated by Alan Barillaro
Candlewick Press
198 pages
Release Date: July 4, 2023
ISBN: 9781536224542
A review copy was provided by the publisher.

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