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...)

4.21 of 5 stars 4.21  ·  rating details  ·  1,916 ratings  ·  216 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, c...more
Hardcover, 144 pages
Published April 1st 1998 by HarperCollins (first published 1998)
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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.
Cheryl in CC NV
I'd give it five stars except for the fact that it's got two things that are truly unbelievable, and didn't need to be. I think the story would be stronger if it was just a little stretch from reality. But I can't accept 1. a fifth-grade class with only 6 students (this is not in outback Nevada or Australia, so, no) or 2. the ending (which I don't know how to hide so I won't tell & spoil).

Very quick read. Exciting, heartwarming, intriguing, terrifically clever. If you like this enhanced epis...more
Stacy Natal
Read this book aloud to the kids this summer. We all gave it a four star rating. It is a humor/mystery told completely in letters, memos, post its, faxes etc... The kids got a kick out of all of the puns with the characters' names. The entire story is about a school fountain and water related so all the names of the characters are water related too. It took us until halfway through the book to realize that Sam N. was salmon. Good story line, great characters, but better as a read alone since it'...more
My kids were reading it for school, so I thought I'd read it too - it was cute!
I read this back when I was a preteen and enjoyed it, although it wasn't a favorite of mine.

I recently re-read it with my autistic eleven year old brother, and it's a really good book for reading together. Lots of transcripts of dialogues we can read together; puns he can figure out (i.e. Judge Anne Chovie); foreshadowing. And it's got a lot of values built in that are at the right level.

I hadn't realized as a kid when I read it just how ridiculous it is, and I don't think he does either... but...more
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...more
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...more
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...more
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.

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...more
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
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
Amy Holtz
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
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
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...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
Theo kids
This book combines engaging storytelling with amazing illustrations and is presented in a unique format. The plot was interesting, and the characters engaging, but the inventive details are what really made it special. I savored each page, smiling at the tongue-in-cheek humor and admiring the shrewdly placed components. A delight to read!
We read this in novel class the year when dying to meet you was a sunshine state book and I over it just as much as the other books she wrote! She has written these in such a clever way that kids will live it after the first page!
This entire book is told with letters, memos, search warrants, etc. It is a cute story and has potential as a teaching tool for many different kinds of writing and discussion points. I would rate it 2.5 stars.
A. Somers
This was a cute epistolary novel. The story, told through letters, will appeal to students in grades 3 to 5 and to fans of the Klises's 43 Old Cemetery Road series.
This is fun book with a lot of punny names. It is told as a collection of letters and memos which is also fun. It is fully of wacky exagerated characters. Kids between 7 and 10 should love this book.
The water fountain next to the fifth grade class room of Dry Creek Middle School leaks and needs to be fixed/replaced, depending on who you talk to. The 5th grade class offers many suggestions for its replacement to the fountain designer, but the school board president and the owner of the local water company think it can be fixed. While investigating their town's history for an upcoming celebration, the class stumbles on a few interesting coincidences.

Delightful little book - easy read! The st...more
Sara Truog
Clever story, told all in letters and newspaper articles, about a middle school in small-town Missouri whose water fountain is leaking. They "hire" a fountain designer to install a new one, which sets into motion an interesting and humorous chain of events. I'm a fan of Kate Klise and this one is well worth the time. This will be my kids' book club read for September.

P.S. Daniel originally read this one and said he didn't care for it because he was "not interested in reading other people's mail...more
Whimsical tale of the efforts of an annoying school principal to obtain a new drinking fountain for the fifth grade of his school, and the mystery to be solved about said fountain.

The form suits the telling well, and I enjoyed all the pictures and digressions, and particularly, the watery names of all the cast (Sam N. is my fave).

Perhaps a bit self-consciously cute, but cute, nonetheless.And I always enjoy a story about how a group of folks with very straightforward and concrete aims can do real...more
Delightful. Truly delightful.

And being mired in an organization where I am charged with being creative while balancing that creativity on a general ledger and booking a profit, I found particular joy in the exchanges between Florence Waters and Walter Russ, the principal of the school.

Principal Russ requests, "Product: drinking fountain. Style: plain. Price: modest."

Florence Waters answers, "You sound just like the author of that little book of directions that came with my blender."

I left this b...more
Madison Goeser
TBH i love allll Kate's books. She is my inspiration. When I grow up I want to be Kate Klise.
I first read this in third grade. It is absolutely fabulous!!! It's extremely fun and intriguing, and even though it's over-the-top, you don't feel like you are reading a little kid's fantasy chapter book. I read it every year, and I love lending it to the kids I tutor/babysit.

This and the sequels (Regarding the Trees; Regarding the Sink), as well as other books by the authors (Trial by Journal; Letters from Camp) will get any book hater (gasp!) started on reading. Absolutely hilarious!
Caris Morgenegg
Read it when I was younger. Delightfully clever, and fun to read. I enjoyed it very much!
A fun read. Probably not one to read aloud, though, as the story is told in the form of faces, letters, news clippings, and memos. The fifth grade students solve a mystery.
Spring to dry to geyser creek
All written in letters.
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