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*Gaia Girls: Way of Water* by Lee Welles- young readers fantasy book review
 
Also by Lee Welles:

Gaia Girls: Enter the Earth
Gaia Girls: Way of Water
by Lee Welles
Ages 9-12 336 pages Chelsea Green June 2007 Paperback    

Miho has spent her life by the sea. Her parents annually follow the humpback whales to Hawaii in the winter and Alaska in the summer - or they did, at least until that dreadful day when Miho received a sealed package with five horrid little words: Lost at sea; presumed dead.

Now, at only ten years old, she is flying across the world to live with an uncle she has never met. With nothing but time and painful memories, she reflects on the last time she saw her parents. As they were packing up their boat for the day, Miho had seen an otter wave at her and begged her parents to let her stay and find it. Now she wishes she had ignored the otter and gone out to sea with her parents. She would much rather be “Lost at sea; presumed dead” than flying across the world surrounded by so much pain.

When she arrives at the airport, a driver is waiting to pick her up instead of her uncle coming himself. Things go downhill from there as she soon finds out her uncle lives in a tiny, cigarette-stinking apartment in the downtown of large, busy city of Nagoya. She also learns she is an outsider here. Part Japanese, part American, she towers over the Japanese inhabitants, and her green eyes clearly flag her as a Gaijin (stranger).

Miho’s life takes a dramatic turn, however, when her uncle takes her to Goza, a small town by the sea where he and her mother grew up. She feels at home with the sea, and her uncle appears to be more happy and relaxed. Miho soon bumps into the otter and it begins to speak to her. He explains that she has been chosen and begins to give her many powers as he teaches her about the creatures of the sea. She learns that the sea is in danger and is determined to find a way to convince her uncle that they must stay and live in Goza. But how can she accomplish this? And how can she save the creatures of the sea?

Gaia Girls: Way of Water is a heartwarming story of loss, love, and adventure. Miho introduces the reader to many of life’s lessons in a gentle and guiding way. In addition to the environmental message that forms a subtle yet stable foundation, the reader is reminded among many other things that life’s teachers come in many forms, that one must be careful not to be blinded by one’s immediate desires, and that, above all, we must work together as creatures of the planet, in both work and play.

Way of Water is the second in the “Gaia Girls” series. While each book forms a single independent story, they are interconnected, as are the elements of the earth. This fabulous collection is ageless in its readership and timeless in its wisdom. It is a recommended addition for every bookshelf and library collection, remembering of course to save space for the upcoming volumes. If these books are any indication, there are more great adventures just over the horizon.



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  Regan Windsor/2007 for curled up with a good kid's book  






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