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3.93  ·  Rating details ·  280 ratings  ·  100 reviews
A mesmerizing debut about a girl, a boy, and a dog struggling to survive in a parched and barren land.

Sarel is a girl with secrets. She knows which tree roots reach down deep to pools of precious water. But now she must learn how to keep herself and her dogs alive. Nandi is the leader of those dogs. She knows they can’t last long without water—and she knows, too, that a bo
Hardcover, 144 pages
Published June 4th 2013 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
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3.93  · 
Rating details
 ·  280 ratings  ·  100 reviews

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Feb 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book left me hungry. Hungry for more details about the main characters and the world the story took place in. For me it ended too soon and those are the only things I didn't like.

I love the writing. It's short, sharp and packed with emotion all at once. The book is told from three POVs and I enjoyed each one of them equally but I have to say my favorite is Nandi. I personally tend to shy from books with animal narration but this one? I'm so glad I took the chance.
The characters had to face
Nov 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
Parched is about 2 children and a few dogs finding a safe home and water. The main charachters are Sarel, a girl who lost her parents in a fire and has a hidden talent, Musa, a boy who got kidnapped because he also has a secret talent, Ubali, one of Sarel's dogs, and Nundi and her puppies, another one of Sarel's dogs. Sarelwent a long time living and taking care of herself and her dogs. Nundi was kidnapped and is dying of dehydration. My favorite character is Nundi because I love how protective ...more
Somewhere between 4 and 5 stars. Really loved this story of a realistic dystopia where water is scarce; brave girl, Sarel; her pack of heroic Ridgebacks; and enslaved savant-dowser boy, Musa. Short, tight, moving, poetic and very nicely done.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
PARCHED, just the name has ya thinking hot, dry and thirsty. The cover also captures the tone of the book very well. Melanie Crowder imagines a barren world in which water supplies have dried up. What little left is being hunted down by armed thugs. It is a sad place, one where Sarel losses her parents in a struggle to hold onto the food that they were able to find among the barren soil. One leaving Sarel to tend to the family dogs and the little knowledge her mother left her about which roots c ...more
K.A. Barson
Feb 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 13s, vcfa
Each word in this novel packs a punch. None are wasted, which beautifully illustrates how every drop of water is a matter of life or death for these fabulous characters. Told from three different points of view, including a dog (which I LOVED), this story is a wellspring of emotion. From page one, I was invested in each one and wanted them to not only survive but to thrive. While prose, it reads like poetry. So much so that I found myself dwelling in a phrase and savoring it before continuing, m ...more
Edward Sullivan
Jan 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
A compelling debut novel that titillatingly straddles a line between fantasy and reality and should prompt mmany questions and much discussion.
Mary Bleckwehl
Nov 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
If you love to read about the resiliency of children, this is it.
Sep 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
"You're telling me that you can hear water? Water that's under the ground?"

What a beautiful book! It was very short so I read it under the span of an hour but I loved it so much. The three narrators in this story are Nandi, Sarel, and Musa. All of them have been affected by a serious drought that has caused gangs to form and living life in fear. Sarel's parents die at the beginning of the book and she and her dogs, Nandi and the others, are forced to learn survival. The most prominent gang has
Aug 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Words that aptly describe this book: mesmerizing, thirsty, sparse, engrossing, moving, quiet, and surprisingly full-to-overflowing. It's not necessarily a happy book--rather a cross section of the lives of some seriously tough children, scraping a tough living from a barren land--and so it'd be hard for me to describe it as one I thoroughly enjoyed, but I was drawn in by the author's skillful self-editing and the evocative imagery and emotional energy. The connection to our earth's life blood (f ...more
This story screams to be read quickly. It is difficult to imagine that children can witness their parents' death by people who are desperate for water, and in anger, they shoot to kill and set fire to the small home. This heart-wrenching story is told from three points of view, the girl Sarel, whose parents died, a boy Musa who is enslaved because he has the gift of dowsing, and Nandi, the lead dog of a pack of Rhodesian Ridgebacks that belong to Sarel's father. The descriptions of the drought a ...more
Victoria Villa
Dec 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
The book "Parched" by Melanie Crowder is a good book in my opinion. I'd recommend this book to 6th and 7th graders. I'd also recommend this book to people who like the book "A Long Walk to Water". This book is about how a family suffered a fire and how it effected there lifes. It's also about how the "family" had to learn how to take care of themselves and there dogs.
Connor Lefevre
Apr 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book is a very interesting book, hard to understand though. It skipped around a lot, and it was easy to make you forget what was going on because it jumped around so much. Overall though it was really interesting and put well together.
Nancy McGinley Myers
Sep 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Beautiful. I love Melanie Crowder's writing!
Apr 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
Musa has a special talent: he can hear water and knows how to dowse for it when it's near. In a parched and dried up land where all the fresh water has run out, his abilities mark him as useful. Chained up and mistreated, Musa is forced to dowse for the gangs that run the city.
Sarel watched her parents die for their secret water source, kept safe only by her preternaturally smart dog Nandi. Now she must find more water before her family's hidden well runs out - it could be any day now. Sarel mu
Stacy Nyikos
Feb 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Summer has come and gone so quickly, fortunately packed with a lot of amazing reads. Which made choosing this first Fall review hard! I decided to go with my fellow Vermont College friend and amazing writer, Melanie Crowder's first book, Parched. You might argue that I'll be slightly biased in my review of this work, but this story, from its inklings to final version, won a few prestigious VCFA awards, landed Melanie her agent and first book contract. It doesn't need my bias. It stands... shines ...more
Dec 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing

If you like books that have suvival then this is the book you should read the book is called Parched. The genre of the book is fiction.In my opinion I think that this book seems interesting.It has lot of dogs envolving with this book.

The books setting is in a hot desert. This book is about a girl named sarel she has many dogs but the hardest part of her life is that her parents have died and she is all alone only her and her dogs.Then there is
Oct 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Parched is a book that took me by surprise. Told from the point of view of a girl named Sarel, a boy named Musa, and also Nandi, a dog, it's set in a desert setting where the water has dried up and gangs are willing to kill for any source of water. Parched opens to such a scene, Sarel's parents being killed and Sarel herself escaping with the help of the dogs, especially Nandi. Her source of water is running out and her mother's garden was destroyed in the struggle and resulting fire, giving he ...more
Elissa Schaeffer
May 07, 2013 rated it liked it
This book sat on my bedside table for too long. I knew I wanted to read it, I knew it would be good, but it took some time for me be ready to read it. You know you are getting a brutal story. It even says so in the blurb by Kathi Appelt on the cover. Brutal. But don't let it stop you, it is hard to bear sometimes but it's such a worthwhile read.

As the title describes, it's a dry and barren world. Whether it's the future, the present, or some other time setting, is unknown. But water is scarce an
Ms. Yingling
Oct 16, 2013 rated it it was ok
In a drought stricken, unnamed, possibly African country, Sarel's parents have been killed and her house burned, but she has managed to survive, along with the family's lion hunting dogs. Luckily, there is a grotto there with some water, but supplies are running low and she ventures forth into the wild to find food as well as aloe to heal one of the dogs that has been injured. Musa's mother has died of a fever, and since he is a dowser and has the ability to find water, he's been taken by the Ta ...more
Jenni Frencham
Aug 30, 2013 rated it really liked it

Musa knows how to find water with divining rods. He is being held captive by a gang. Sarel just watched her parents get killed and her family's home burn to the ground, but she is kept alive by a secret cache of water. Nandi is the leader of Sarel's family's dog pack. The three unlikely companions meet and must work together to survive and to find the water everyone needs.

First off, there are not enough books about other cultures, especially places like Africa, so I am glad that this book exists
Jul 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: adventure, children, drama
In a country with no water, Sarel watches her parents get shot as men search for their well—which they don’t find. Sarel is left alone with her father’s pack of Rhodesian ridgeback dogs to fend for herself. Musa is a water dowser, imprisoned by a local gang and only released from his chains to search for water. When his chance comes, he flees, always in search of water. What he finds is Sarel and her dogs. Can they survive together, and find water?

I couldn’t tell if this were a dystopia, or just
Julieann Wielga
Dec 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya-books
This book gives little information about place and time. I originally thought it takes place in one of the dessert countries always at war in Africa. But if the story takes place in a more northern country, the book movesfrom being a present place novel to a dystopian novel in a country which now has water and no longer does. This world is run by powerful people with guns.

The story is told from three points of view: the point of view of the bitch in the kennel, Nondi, who watches after her pups
Pam ☼Because Someone Must Be a Thorn☼ Tee
I loved every part of this book... but the ending. The last part of the story just felt rushed to me, and surprisingly disjointed from the rest of the book.

Not to mention that it was something of a downer. [I've got two middle-schoolers (okay, one is going to be one next term) and I know they would get dragged low by how things worked out. They're still at the stage where they like happy endings.]

That said, I am so impressed with Crowder's wordsmithing. PARCHED deserves much praise for the autho
Isabelle Beasley
Nov 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
In my opinion this book is a fantastic read. With the drama of the death of Sarel's parents, watching her take on the responsibility of keeping her and her dogs alive. This may seem easy, but with the drought it is so much more difficult than it appears. Luckily she has a secret family well, but all things soon run out. The main boy character, Musa, has the ability to find drinking water underground. How he does this with only two sticks and his sense, it is almost magical. These two main charac ...more
Parched is told from three points of view: Sarel, a young, courageous girl who loses her parents to gang members raiding their rural home desperate to find water; Musa, a dowser (one who finds water) sold to gangs to use his powers for their own gain; and Nandi, the leader of the dogs Sarel must keep alive after her parents' deaths. Reeling from her parents' deaths, Sarel has resigned herself to figuring out how to keep her and her dogs alive without any help. She has a little water left and her ...more
Jan 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
Parched is told from three points of view: Sarel, a young, courageous girl who loses her parents to gang members raiding their rural home desperate to find water; Musa, a dowser (one who finds water) sold to gangs to use his powers for their own gain; and Nandi, the leader of the dogs Sarel must keep alive after parents' deaths. Reeling from her parents' deaths, Sarel has resigned herself to figuring out how to keep her and her dogs alive without any help. She has a little water left and her mot ...more
Carrie G
Sep 07, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: multicultural
I was SO disappointed in this book. I was hoping that it would be a good pairing for "A Long Walk to Water: Based on a True Story" or a good alternative for student who has already read "ALWTW" and needs something else to read while the class reads "ALWTW" for a book club. Sadly, this book is not even in the same league as "A Long Walk to Water;" I wouldn't even put it on the same continent. I cared very little for these characters; I got no sense that anything in the story was even remotely tru ...more
What an apt title, Sarel's family life has been decimated with the arrival of men looking for water. They murder Sarel's parents and set their home on fire with Sarel terrorized thereafter with the recurring fire nightmare. If she did not have her father's dogs (Rhodesian Ridgebacks)I know she would have perished from grief. Each night Sarel would lock the herself and the dogs kennel and they would drape themselves across her body. For awhile there was water but it became evident that the water ...more
Medeia Sharif
May 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This story is told in three points of view. There’s Sarel, a girl who loses her parents, Nandi, the leader of Sarel’s dogs, and Musa, a boy who dowses for water and has been kidnapped and then escapes from men who want him for his talent.

The setting is in Africa, where water is scarce. Sarel knows about detecting roots and water. After her parents perish, she’s on her own and she needs to survive by finding fluids. She also has her dogs to take care of. Sarel is skeptical of Musa’s talents. What
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Goodreads Librari...: Please Combine: Parched 2 14 Oct 08, 2013 06:23PM  
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  • The Path of Names
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  • Lara's Gift
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  • Words in the Dust
Melanie Crowder graduated in 2011 with an MFA in Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She is the author of THREE PENNIES, AN UNINTERRUPTED VIEW OF THE SKY, A NEARER MOON, AUDACITY, and PARCHED.

A West Coast girl at heart, Melanie now lives and writes in the beautiful state of Colorado.
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