Somewhere near the Water Castle, the Fountain of Youth awaits . . . who will discover it once and for all?
Ephraim Appledore-Smith is an ordinary boy, and up until his father’s stroke, he lived an ordinary life. But all that changes when his family moves to the Water Castle — their ancestral home in the small town of Crystal Springs, Maine.
Mallory Green’s family has always been the caretakers of the Water Castle — and the guardians of its mysteries. She’s been raised to protect the legend of the Fountain. But ever since her mom left, she’s stopped believing in magic.
Will Wylie’s family has been at war with the Appledores for generations, all because of the Water Castle’s powerful secrets. But Will has rejected legend and magic, putting all of his faith in science.
When Ephraim learns of the Fountain, he’s sure finding it can cure his dad. With Mallory and Will’s help, the trio embarks on a mission that brings them deep into their families’ shared history, through every secret room in the Water Castle, and on a quest that will blur the lines of magic and science, creativity and discovery, leaving readers to wonder: Do you believe in the unbelievable?
January 8, 2013 from Walker & Company. ISBN: 9780802728395
Locate a copy at:
Teachers & Librarians: There is an Educator’s Guide available on the For Teachers page.
- A Kirkus Best Children’s Book of 2013
- New York Public Library, Titles for Reading and Sharing 2013
- A Junior Library Guild Selection
- Cybils Finalist, 2013, Speculative Fiction
- 2013 Nerdy Award Finalist
- Fuse8: 100 Magnificent Children’s Books
“Weaving legacy and myth into science and magic, old into new and enemies into friends, Blakemore creates an exquisite mystery. … With keen intelligence and bits of humor, the prose slips calmly between narrative perspectives, trusting readers to pick up a revelation that Ephraim and Mallory don’t see—and it’s a doozy. This one is special.”
- Kirkus, Starred Review
“[W]hat we have here is a smart little bit of middle grade chapter book science fiction, complete with arson, obsession, genetic mutation, and a house any kid would kill to live in. Smarter than your average bear, this is one book that rewards its curious readers. It’s a pleasure through and through.”
“What shines through, however, is Blakemore’s tender understanding of how these children — and all children — feel about their lives and the adults who control them. Just as Ephraim wishes the Fountain of Youth would turn back time and heal his father, Mallory wishes she could return to a time before her family fractured, and Will, most heartbreakingly of all, wishes his father could be . . . someone else: ‘He’d been wishing his whole life for the same thing, he realized, for his dad to be someone he was not. In that moment he realized that wish was never going to come true, no matter how many times he made it.’”
- S.S. Taylor in The New York Times
“Blakemore (Secrets of Truth and Beauty) skillfully explores the intersection of science and magic in this multifaceted story.”
“The Water Castle is full of adventure and mystery, but mostly it’s about the importance of family, friendship and home.”
- Tracy Grant, The Washington Post: Kids Post
“What [Mallory, Will, and Ephraim] discover has the power to upend their understanding of their own family histories, to reveal the point at which science meets magic.”
- Meghan Cox Gurdon, The Wall Street Journal
“An entertaining and thought-provoking fantasy.”
—Mara Alpert, Los Angeles Public Library, School Library Journal
“ With their individual points of view, different family problems, and often prickly personalities, Ephraim, Mallory, and Will are at the heart of this somewhat convoluted but ultimately rewarding novel.”
“[A]s compelling as it is mysterious . . . Whether you love history or mystery, you’ll easily get sucked into this story about friendship, loss, and life that spans centuries.”
“Book Q & A: Quest for Life” Portland Press Herald Interview with Ray Routhier (Feburary 24, 2013)