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Regarding the Fountain: A Tale, in Letters, of Liars and Leaks
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Regarding the Fountain: A Tale, in Letters, of Liars and Leaks (Regarding the...)

4.19  ·  Rating Details ·  2,905 Ratings  ·  299 Reviews
The Dry Creek Middle School drinking fountain has sprung a leak, so principal Walter Russ dashes off a request to Flowing Waters Fountains, Etc. asking

"...We need a new drinking fountain. Please send catalog. "

Florence Waters responds:

"I'd be delighted. . . But please understand that all of my fountains are custom-made."

And so begins the hilarious chronicle, in letters,

Hardcover, 144 pages
Published April 1st 1998 by HarperCollins (first published 1998)
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Dany Burns
Dec 17, 2016 Dany Burns rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016-reads
Still an incredibly cute and fun story. If you've read some of my other reviews you'll know how much I love stories written in letters and email and newspapers and other cool formats so of course I loved these books as a kid and I continue to really enjoy it! In excited to continue on my re read of this series. The mystery in this book unfolds very well even now that I'm older and the characters are just so charming. I still find the writing incredibly clever and fun. This book is written about ...more
Dec 19, 2008 Kathryn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Such a delight! Smart, clever, without being annoying or show-off-y (I can't stand it when authors are witty just to show that they can be!) A brisk, charming read. Fun, with engaging characters and a nifty format (letters, memos, drawings, etc.) I guess this is the first of a series, so I will be looking for more. I must say that I figured out the "mystery" pretty early on, but perhaps for kids it will require a bit more puzzling.
Feb 18, 2017 Beth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this ages ago - fifth grade, I think - and it's still clever and hilarious and delightful.

The series goes on too long, though: I read them all today, and while the format remains as clever as ever, the plots become more ridiculous and less distinctive - and therefore measurably less delightful.
Drew Graham
(Note: I have decided to go back and add some reviews for the books I have read in the last couple of years but haven't reviewed yet. Keep in mind that these reviews are based on readings several years ago, so my feelings or memories about them may have altered with the passage of time.)

Told through memos, notes, newspaper articles and other documents, this book tells the story of fountain designer Florence Waters and her quest to build an epic fountain for the children of Dry Creek, Missouri.

Aug 08, 2012 Sherry rated it it was amazing
This was an adorable book I spotted on the shelves at the public library. I'd never heard of it! I was drawn in by the title but then sold when I saw the format.

I love how this book is told through a series of letters, post cards, announcements, newspaper articles, and memos. It is visually a lot of fun to read with many fonts, hand writings, and pictures.

The story centers around Dry Creek Middle School needing a new drinking fountain, Mr. N's 5th grade class, Florence Waters of Flowing Fountai
Goldilocks Reads (Jenna Vahue)
I just love epistolary fiction. I stole this from my fifth-grade teacher's library because I enjoyed it so much. Take that, Sopcik. I appreciate the way Kate Klise's writing style and her sister's illustrations are able to coordinate perfectly to create a wonderful story. This book hooked me on epistolary fiction and has made me an addict ever since. BTW, I am flying through my TBR shelf. Whoo!

Mar 19, 2013 Amy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My kids were reading it for school, so I thought I'd read it too - it was cute!
Jul 29, 2015 Julie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved this little book! Quick and funny read!
Jun 16, 2015 Allison rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Picked this up on a whim and ended up really loving it. Great mystery, fast read, and memorable characters. May have to read more of Kate Klise's books...
Amanda McGill
Wasn't my favourite Kate Klise novel, but still was an enjoyable read. The school is looking for a new water fountain and Flo is going to build them the best one that there is! Told through letters, memos and documents, it was a fun, enjoyable read.
Jan 19, 2017 Rebecca rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is written in letters, newspaper articles and memos. I thought it clever, humorous, and engaging. A quick read.
May 09, 2017 Jennifer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fun, clever read-aloud chapter book with my daughter.
Delightful! I have a fondness for epistolary novels, and this was a thoroughly enjoyable one.
Mar 16, 2017 Natalie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor, bob, 2017
Why is the drinking fountain leaking at school? It's a mystery that the class has to solve!

Told through letters, memos and postcards, this is the story of a class who befriends an eccentric artist who has been hired to build a new fountain for them.

I'm not a big fan of this style of writing. I don't like all the different formats. None of the kids in my class really liked this one either. I really have no idea who picks these books for the Battle of the Books.
Mar 11, 2017 Emma rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fantastically written!!
Not only is this little book whimsical and absolutely adorable--it also contains a fair amount of mystery and romance all in one!
I love to read short children's stories like this one because it shows me that even the most simple books can still have magic and beauty in them.
The water fountain at Dry Creek Middle School (formerly Spring Creek Middle School) is leaking and Principal Walter Russ is convinced that it needs to be replaced. So Secretary Goldie Fisch writes to Ms. Flo Waters of Flowing Waters Fountains, Etc. requesting a catalog. Instead of a catalog, Goldie receives a letter from Ms. Waters (Flo hates phones!) requesting permission to visit the school so that she can design a one-of-a-kind fountain just for them. First though she needs to know what the s ...more
Angela Scott
When a leak from the water fountain begins to flood Dry Creek Middle School, the principal queries the artist “Florence Waters” about what it would take to commission a new one. The artist immediately throws herself into the project speaking with a class about their ideas for the fountain and encouraging them to assist her by looking into the town’s water sources and history.
Throughout the book the class forms a relationship with the artist through letters about the fountain until a problem ari
Alexandra Helms
Feb 15, 2017 Alexandra Helms rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Utterly charming. This was one of my favorite books as a child and it has aged remarkably well.
In this humorous, gentle mystery the students of Sam N.'s 5th grade class find out what happened 30 years ago when the creek for which the town was named dried up and Spring Creek, MO became Dry Creek. The story is revealed through a collection of letters, memos, postcards, illustrations and newspaper clippings. When the middle school's water fountain leaks, Principal Walter (Wally) Russ has his secretary, Goldie Fisch write to Florence Waters to request a catalog and price list for a new, plain ...more
Brit Wilson
Dec 15, 2014 Brit Wilson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This tongue in cheek book was something I found on my family's shelf. While a bit on the young side, (the book is geared toward fifth graders, putting it on the lower end of the young adult spectrum) it came highly recommended by my mother and my seventeen year old brother, which surprised me because the cover is a bit girly. But once you start reading its hard to stop.

This book was an absolute treasure trove of information. the fountain designer, Florence Waters, or Flo as she goes by, spends
KidsFiction Teton County Library
TCL call number: J Klise

no rating

An unexpected adventure begins when principal Walter Russ requests a catalog from Flowing Waters Fountain, etc. The current drinking fountain in Dry Creek Middle School has sprung a leak. Florence Waters is uniquely individual, as are all her fountains. She asks Mr. Sam N.'s fifth-grade class for their suggestions on what the fountain should look like. Needless to say, there is a wide range of ideas. Soon the project begins, and Flo is traveling all over the wor
Problem: The drinking fountain at Dry Creek Middle School has sprung a leak.

Principal Walter Russ’ Solution: Replace with another drinking fountain, same model, same price (very cheap), same level of boringness.

This solution is just plain unacceptable to Ms. Florence Waters whose job it will be to replace it. She never builds the same fountain twice, and is delighted when the students in Mr. Sam N’s fifth grade class send her their ideas. “Of course a drinking fountain should have tropical fish
Tam Tam
Sep 09, 2012 Tam Tam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: series
Review from the blog (

This book is so clever. If you have reluctant reader, this one should help entertain. It's a SILLY novel and since it's written in letters, memos, postcards, etc, it's mostly just "conversations". I'm the type of person who sometimes gets bored with overdescriptions but loves the talking parts, so this book was much more that....talking.

The ending had some newspaper clippings and other documents ("documents" for fear of sort of spoiling) that weren't
I read this with my eight-year-old son, and we both enjoyed it. He really wanted me to give it five stars, so that tells you how much he liked it (a serious compliment from a reader who prefers comic books). Piecing together the mystery was a lot of fun, and the new vocabulary and different kinds of correspondence gave us several opportunities for discussion. At the beginning of the book, I commented on how unrealistic it was that there was a fifth grade class with only 7 or 8 students in it. La ...more
Aug 25, 2012 Amy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was such a delight to read! A whole mystery unfolds through correspondence between the school principal, school secretary, an eccentric fountain designer, a fifth grade class, and a few other memos and newspaper articles. I've never read a book of correspondence that flows so well and keeps me turning pages. Even though each bit of correspondence is brief (making it easy to fit in the next "chapter" quickly), I still couldn't put it down save the time I needed to drive from the writing ...more
This is a nifty little book, told entirely in letters and drawings. I'm a sucker for that sort of thing.

Published well before the current trend toward novels with drawings and hybrid graphic novels, it has recently been re-issued in hard-cover.

It has a certain type of middle-grade humor that doesn't quite work for me as a adult reader--almost every character's name is a pun--but kids of a certain bent will love that aspect!

The subtle theme of student empowerment and creativity in the classroom i
Aug 17, 2009 Rebecca rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dry Creek Middle School has a perpetually leaky drinking fountain, so the principal contacts fountain designer Flo Waters to design a new one. He wants something simple and practical, but that's not in the cards when Flo Waters is involved. Soon she's corresponding with Sam N's class about what they'd like to see in a fountain, and sending them instruments and costumes to liven up their class. Meanwhile, the kids are researching the history of Dry Creek, which used to have a wonderful flowing sp ...more
The Dry Creek Middle School drinking fountain is leaking...Florence Waters designs them! With lots and lots of letters going back and forth between the Dry Creek community and Florence (she hates phones!), a mystery of sorts comes to the forefront. Why exactly is the fountain leaking and who is responsible for the problems. The fifth grade students become artists, sleuths, match-makers, and all around good citizens when a new fountain is finally installed and spring water is plentiful ...more
The water fountain at Dry Creek Middle School is leaking, and needs to be replaced, since it has leaked since the school was opened 30 years ago. Florence Waters has been contacted to replace the fountain, but as a fountain designer, her idea of what will be put there is quite a bit different from what the principal wants. And that is if the head of the school board aproves the purchase in the first place. As the fifth grade class researches things for Florence, as well as for the history projec ...more
As an adult reading this middle grade book, I was not really challenged. However, I can imagine it would take a good reader (or a helpful teacher/parent) to help the students extract important information from the different texts used to tell the story. As it unfolds through letters, emails, memos, receipts, telegrams, sketches, and flyers, we understand that Dry Creek Middle School has a broken water fountain that has been leaking for quite some time. What the principal had not planned is for t ...more
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author by this name in the Goodreads data base.

Catherine "Kate" Klise is an American author of children's literature. Many of her books are illustrated by her sister, M. Sarah Klise. Their popular Regarding series is presented in a scrapbook style format, with letters, journal entries, and related ephemera telling the story. She is also known for her picture
More about Kate Klise...

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