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Comment: This book has already been loved by someone else. It MIGHT have some wear and tear on the edges, have some markings in it, or be an ex-library book. Over-all itâ?TMs still a good book at a great price! (if it is supposed to contain a CD or access code, that may be missing)
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The Waters & the Wild Hardcover – June 2, 2009

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTeen; 1 edition (June 2, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061452440
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061452444
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 5.4 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,370,562 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 7-9–Bee, 13, wants to eat the dirt in her mother's garden; Haze believes that he is half-alien; and Stephanie thinks that she is a reincarnated slave girl from the 1800s whose name was Sarah. One day Bee sees a girl in her room who could be her twin. After the girl says, You are me, she disappears. Bee usually doesn't talk to anyone, but decides to ask Haze about the vanishing figure. He explains that she is a doppelganger and that seeing one means your imminent death. Bee hears Sarah sing a Billie Holiday song about lynching and talks to her. The three loners become friends. They crash a party by deciding to be invisible and enjoy drinking and dancing before being caught. They grab hands, run out of the party, and fly away. When they land, Bee finds a poisonous plant in her pocket. The teens figure out that she is a changeling, and the real Bee is desperate to have her body back. The author does an excellent job of integrating background slices of paranormal history and poetry. This slim novel is comprised of short chapters, is quickly paced, and has a surprise ending. It will appeal to reluctant readers, fans of the bizarre, and teens who feel that they don't quite fit in.–Samantha Larsen Hastings, West Jordan Public Library, UT
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Block’s latest is short enough to be read in one sitting, but nonetheless has an impact that will be felt much longer. It is the perplexing and ethereal story of Bee, a 13-year-old who has begun seeing her own doppelgänger. “You are me,” her twin says before disappearing into the dark. She befriends two other kids who exist on the fringe: Haze, a stuttering loner who thinks he is the offspring of an alien, and Sarah, who believes she is the reincarnation of a slave from the 1800s. Together they work out that Bee must be a changeling, a “hideous elf” who was switched at birth with the real Bee. Block’s magical realism doesn’t always hold together (this is the kind of book where characters declare “I wish we could fly” out of nowhere), but the spooky mood she conjures is what will stay with readers—that and her gloriously grotesque descriptions of everyday objects. Inevitably some will find this too precious, but many will be inspired to reach for Block’s back catalog of other dangerous angels. Grades 5-8. --Daniel Kraus

More About the Author

Francesca Lia Block, recipient of the prestigious Margaret A. Edwards Lifetime Achievement Award. has been publishing novels, short stories, essays, memoirs and poetry since 1989. Her work has been translated into many languages. Ms. Block lives in Los Angeles where she teaches writing workshops that are also available online.

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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See all 10 customer reviews
Their differences make them unique and bring them together.
The three begin to form a special friendship, find some happiness, and feel like they do belong in their own unique way.
Teen Reads
The ending was a little empty, but sort of happily-ever-after.
Swank Ivy

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Teen Reads on July 22, 2009
Format: Hardcover
For all of her 13 years, or at least for as long as she can remember, Bee (short for Beatrice) has never felt comfortable in her life, as if she doesn't really belong. She keeps to herself, and the isolation has led to loneliness and depression. She doesn't even feel she can confide in her mother, who wouldn't understand. The one place in which she does find a bit of comfort is the gardens, where she can be close to the earth and the growing plants.

One night Bee wakes up to find an exact double of herself standing in her room. The girl whispers one sentence, "You are me," and then disappears. Bee is confused, unsettled and even a bit intrigued. She goes to the one person she believes might have a clue: her strange fellow classmate, Haze, who is rumored to think he's an alien. Haze knows exactly what Bee has seen --- a doppelganger --- and it has been said that to see this is to predict one's death. Bee regrets turning to Haze at all.

But then Haze comes to her to talk, and she starts getting to know him better. She also meets another loner, Sarah, who is a bit of an outsider as well and believes herself to be the reincarnation of a slave from the 1800s. The three begin to form a special friendship, find some happiness, and feel like they do belong in their own unique way. Suddenly, though, Bee gets sick. Haze and Sarah put some clues together and figure out the mystery behind Bee's double and her illness. Their lives will never be the same.

The person responsible for this very unique and unusual book is the renowned Francesca Lia Block, the award-winning bestselling author of numerous titles. Right away I noticed Block's ability to create intensely vivid descriptions using a minimum of words and not wasting space with extraneous material.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Vania Stoyanova on June 9, 2009
Format: Hardcover
The Waters and the Wild by Francesca Lia Block is a telling story of life, growth and the everyday struggles of coming into your skin. Bee, a changelings, has to decide where she truly belongs: with the new found comfort and peace with her friends at school or back to her faerie world allowing the fetch, or the real human child, to take her place. Bee struggles with everyday teenage struggles but Block transforms it into a song of hope for all.

Though the story short, and the writing shorter, Block focuses metaphorically on the issues we all face today. Seamlessly she blends in the important points of our time: Global warming, 9-11, and the daily struggles of war. Though at first glance you might miss it, it is that much more powerful once we peer closer into Block's narrative. But above all it is a marvelous story about a girl, her life well lived, and the choice she makes ,which in turn transforms everyone's outlook and appreciation on life.

The story unravels poetically and slowly through the few pages like short story mixed with poems and folklore. Block focuses on Bee's narrative but like the threads in the fabric she sews in images of the times we live in; they are not easy but there is hope! You might be reading his and thinking....."HUH?" But rest assured that these few 120 some pages will leave you grateful but above all else it is a good read. A small book with a big story!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Catt on June 7, 2009
Format: Hardcover
The Good: The writing style has a certain quality that makes you interested in reading the book and it compels you to turn the page. Also, the characters are very good.

Bee is her own person and though she might not be completely normal, she's sometimes, surprisingly relateable. Also, I adored Haze and Sarah. If I actually met them I'd probably think that they are absolutely crazy. I mean, Haze thinks that he's an alien and Sarah thinks that she's a reincarnation of a 1800's slave girl. But strangely, I really liked them and I absolutely enjoyed reading about them.

The Bad: The beginning attracts your attention, that's for sure. When I first read it, I almost put the book down. Seriously, it creeped me out a little. Maybe creeped is too strong of a word, but if if I was in a book store, I would've put it down.

Also, this book really dissapointed me. The summary looks so interesting and the cover is really pretty... but the book itself just fell flat. Another probably that I had was that it was too short! It's like I blink and the story's over, it's not worth paying 16.99 that's for sure.

Overall: Though the writing is very good, when I finished, I didn't feel satisfied or happy that I finished the book. The first thing that popped into my head after I finished was, "What the heck did I just read?"
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Format: Hardcover
Three very lonely, very strange thirteen year olds live in Venice Beach. At night, Bee encounters ghostly visions of her doppelganger, a girl who could pass as her twin. Bee suspects herself of being a changeling - a faerie who was exchanged with a human baby. The doppelganger wants her life back but Bee doesn't want to leave her new friends and return to the faerie world beneath the city. She has befriended Sarah, who believes she is a reincarnated slave, and Haze, who believes that his real father is an extraterrestrial. Together, the three misfits learn to cast spells to make themselves invisible and to fly like birds. They boldly crash the party of a snobbish classmate. Later, Bee must fight the doppelganger to keep from returning to the faerie world.

"The Waters & the Wild" is a bizarre novella that reads like beautiful poetry. In fact, it is based on "The Stolen Child," a poem written by William Butler Yeats. Lines from this poem are quoted by Bee's nerd friend, Haze. (Could Jimi Hendrix's song "Purple Haze" have influenced this choice of name?) The reader is kept in a type of haze, wondering how much of the children's experiences are reality and how much are pure fantasy. The children are all products of dysfunctional families and may have found solace from their emotional pain by creating fantasy worlds. Many children, especially abused ones, imagine themselves living alternate lives. It is never clear whether Bee's doppelganger is real or the product of her overwrought imagination. This makes the novel exceedingly creepy. The ending will definitely cause chills to course up and down the reader's spine long after they've closed the book.
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