Holt, Kimberly Willis The Water Seeker
Henry Holt/Macmillan children's pub group 2010 301p 16.99
978-0-8050-8020-9 ms/jr Historical E-BN
Young Amos had to decide if his special talent was a gift or a trap according to his father. This story shows the struggles pioneers had to suffer as they settled further West. This is the story of Amos Kincaid, the dowser’s son. Amos’ father made his way west to Missouri. He made his money dowsing wells for farmers along the way. In the Fall of 1833 he was paid with a small plot of land. So he stayed the Winter. He marries a young girl Delilah who loved the animals (especially birds) of the woods. Each Spring Jake took off trapping to earn some money for trading because he thought his talent for dowsing was a trap. In 1834 he returned to find himself a widow with a healthy son (Amos). Realizing he can’t raise the boy by himself, he heads for Pretty Water and his older brother Gil and his wife, Rebecca. Rebbecca takes Amos like her own son and teaches him in the little mission school she has started. Jake returns to his trapping ways for many years.
In time Rebecca dies of the smallpox epidemic and Jake marries an Indian squaw.
Jake retrieves his son and returns to Bittersweet Creek only to find Daisy, Delilah’s younger sister, living in the cabin Homer. It was the time period where everyone was thinking of moving west to seek better land. It was no different for the two families. They moved west and joined a wagon train. It was the daily life and hardships that turn a boy into a man and unite individuals into a family.
The author has written a very insightful historic novel that portrays the feelings and thoughts of young folk during a time period in our nation’s history. Readers will be able to read and appreciate the lack of conveniences currently available to young people today. The readers will also gain an understanding of wagon train hazards and the joys of surviving the trail.
This is a well written book that is recommended as a Books of Note. It would be an excellent addition to any secondary school library. McNeil, Linda Frontier Life