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The Water Seeker

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  1,121 Ratings  ·  269 Reviews
"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 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 gi
Audio CD, 0 pages
Published May 11th 2010 by Listening Library (first published May 6th 2010)
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NoDelia i think the old woman in the stew is Amos's mother . For every woman that takes responsibility for Amos ,she shows herself to them from Rebecca,…morei think the old woman in the stew is Amos's mother . For every woman that takes responsibility for Amos ,she shows herself to them from Rebecca, Henrietta and blue owl.(less)
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Destinee Sutton
Gorgeous! Epic! Transporting! I 100% loved it.

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 i
Mar 31, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: teen
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 mom ...more
Apr 14, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
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 get.

I expected there to be more dowsing in this book, but
Feb 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Historical fiction fans, Young Adult
Shelves: young-adult
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 America.

The 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
Apr 29, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya-lit
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.

Gwen the Librarian
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.
Margo Tanenbaum
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 car ...more
Nov 06, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who like wagon train tales
Recommended to Zora by: Random grab off library Overdrive list
A coming of age story set in the American west. This is not really a children's book and is definitely not one I'd recommend for a boy, despite the male protagonist. It has magical realism properties as well.

The writing is pretty, but the story was unbalanced, I thought. The more interesting bits happened in the second half, but some were played out too quickly, while duller bits in the first half should have been edited down.

I nearly subtracted another star for the poor conversion to e-book. Th
Jun 10, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's moving story, with themes about family, belonging, growing up, and learning to see past the surface of things, set during the 1830s and 40s. It pulls you in, makes you care for characters, doesn't spare you any of the pain of loss or change, takes you across the country on the Oregon Trail, makes you feel fear and first love. It manages to feel gritty without much violence, and it makes history close and immediate.

But will any kids pick it up off the shelf? I know, I know - just because it
Jun 26, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The cover of "The Water Seeker" is outstanding. The book begs to be picked up and opened. And what an opening it is!

This fast-paced historical fiction adventure story for teens will have them living in the frontier world of Amos who endures the hardships on the Oregon Trail.

The author does an excellent job making her main characters and secondary characters seem completely authentic. You care about what happens to them. With a deft touch Holt manages to weave mysticism into the story without ove
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Kimberly Willis Holt is the author of the Piper Reed series, including Piper Reed, Navy Brat, Piper Reed, Clubhouse Queen, and Piper Reed, Rodeo Star. She has written many award-winning novels, including The Water Seeker and My Louisiana Sky, as well as the picture books Waiting for Gregory and Skinny Brown Dog. A former Navy brat herself, Holt was born in Pensacola, Florida, and lived all over th ...more
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