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The Waterstone (Reading Together) Paperback – February 3, 2005


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 and up
  • Grade Level: 5 and up
  • Series: Reading Together
  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Candlewick (February 3, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 076362294X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0763622947
  • Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 5.1 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,271,052 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

The small world of the Fisher folk is drying up. The water in their green pond is lower every day, and the stream that feeds it has shrunk to a trickle. Young Tad (short for Tadpole) and his little sister, Birdie, set out with their father, Pondleweed, on a journey upstream to find the cause of this disastrous Drying Time, at the beginning of a quest that will lead them into strange adventures and terrible danger. When Pondleweed is enticed by mysterious music into drowning himself in a sinister black pool, the children take refuge with a wizened dryad, who helps Tad to realize that he has been given a magical gift that will help him save the Fishers and the other two tribes who make up the world, but not without sacrifice and terror.

This delightful miniature heroic fantasy is beautifully realized, from the details of the Fisher's tiny domestic arrangements to the eerie echoes of classical mythology. Rebecca Rupp has created a satisfyingly complete world, with its water-oriented Fishers, gypsy Hunters, and furry Diggers, overseen by the tree spirit Dryads, the earth spirit Kobolds, and the water spirit Nixies, all subject to the majestic Great Rune and the death-owl Obd. Despite his heroic role, Tad is a real boy, and that and the antics of his comical watchfrog, Pippit, keep this charming tale from becoming too solemn. (Ages 10 to 14) --Patty Campbell --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Grade 4-8-Tad, a boy of the Fisher Tribe, is growing worried. First he hears a strange, seductive voice calling him from under his family's pond. Then he starts experiencing "remembers," memories of other places, people, and times, that are not his own. Worst of all, the water from his pond and from other parts of their world is drying up. After his father's disappearance, Tad and his younger sister, Birdie, travel among the different Tribes of their world-the Hunters, the Diggers, and animals-to find the Waterstone that will restore the world's balance. At the same time Tad discovers that his mind holds the memories of past Sagamores-those who were charged with protecting the Waterstone from the Nixies-as well as the powers they held. This book deceptively starts out as an adventure story and ends on a somewhat epic note. Tad, an ordinary enough boy blessed/burdened with power and memories of a past not his own, acts like a typical child. He is uncertain and frightened and convincingly annoyed at Birdie. She and their father, Pondleweed, seem too good to be true at times. Pondleweed's self-sacrifice at the end, though, will bring tears to the eyes of many. The other characters and creatures are also engaging and interesting. Recommend this to readers who like Brian Jacques's "Redwall" series (Philomel), but are looking for a slight change of pace.
Lisa Prolman, Greenfield Public Library, MA
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Rebecca Rupp has written nonfiction articles for many national magazines on topics ranging from the history of blue jeans to the science of ice cream. She is also the author of THE DRAGON OF LONELY ISLAND, THE WATERSTONE, and several nonfiction books, both for children and adults. Of THE RETURN OF THE DRAGON, she says, 'I hope all of you enjoy the return of Fafnyr's cave - and hearing from Aunt Mehitabel again - as much as I have. Much as I love the three-headed dragon, I also love Aunt Mehitabel. I plan to be just like her when I turn eighty-five.' Rebecca Rupp lives in Vermont with her husband, three sons, three cats, and a tarantula named Immanuel Kant.

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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At the very begining it just pulls you in.
Gregory B. Stevens
When I read this book several years ago, I remember it being the first book in a long, long time to keep me up past midnight.
molly
It may be very disturbing for some children.
Diane L. Cass

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Marmashi on December 30, 2005
Format: Paperback
This delightful book was - and yet is - the best piece of children's fantasy I have ever read. And I have read A LOT of children's fantasy (Cooper, McKillip, McKinley, Hunter, Jacques, Lewis, Rowling, White, Banks, O'Brien, Weis and Hickman, Pullamn, Paolini, etc., and many of these authors I would NOT recommend.) But I cannot say enough to recommend this outstanding author and her work.

First, unlike others who could not put this book down, I was so captivated by Rebecca Rupp's colorful, miniature world and its sensitive, hilarious characters that I read the story as sloooooowwwwly as possible, often relishing favorite passages multiple times before moving on.

Inspired by an imaginary nature God (named Pondleweed) that the author's son created as a child, this is the tale of a young Fisher boy (a pixie-ish and frog-like tribe of tiny people) who discovers a wonderful gift, and embraces the responsibility that gift entails to recover the Waterstone from the evil Nixies (water sprites.) The nature of the hopes, dreams, fears, frustrations, and challenges of Tad, Birdie and the others they meet and journey with will prove entirely recognizable to any child, as well as any adult who remembers struggling through childhood. Especially wonderful are Rupp's detailed portraits of the Fisher/Hunter/Digger Tribes and their cultures. Her interpretations of various forest animals, in particular the hawk with his hunting song and the weasels with their "earth-soft minds" provide some of the best moments in the story, effectively counteracting the otherwise heart-wrenching features.

With its rich language and vivid imgery, the text is intelligent enough to capture any adult reader's imagination without threatening a young reader's confidence.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Diane L. Cass on October 30, 2008
Format: Paperback
This is my youngest son's ALL TIME FAVORITE BOOK! He first read it in third grade and is still doing book reports on it now that he is in 8th. Not because he wants easy, redo material, but because he wants EVERYONE to read this book. It is on a par with The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings and Eragon. It is rich and engaging. The story fully captures you and draws you into the miniature world of Tad of the Fisher Folk. You will cheer with him in his victories, puzzle with him at his mysterious visions, and cry your heart out as he agonizes over his most difficult choice...save his father, or save the world. Only one can survive!

The only warning I have is that the scene where Tad has to let his father die in order to save the world is very intense. It may be very disturbing for some children. My son is a pretty sensative guy, and he was very grieved by this part of the story (I cried my eyes out, literally). However, it is so well written and the distress of the world so great that it is not seen as a wasteful event, soley written for the purpose of upsetting you. No, it is truely felt as a tremendous personal sacrifice of the most heroic order, in order to save others. You will laugh, cheer, cry and fall in love with this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By bags on June 29, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I loved this book! Tad (Tadpole), the main character and one of the Fisher tribe, Birdie (Redbird), his little sister, and Pondleweed, their father, notice something is wrong when the water level at their pond (the family lives in a tree by a pond) is dangerously low. The supicious Fisher family, aware of their peril if the water level continued to drop, journeys upstream to get to the root of the problem. There Pondleweed disappears in a big black lake, and Tad and Birdie are left to themselves to help save the world from Drying completely. They then employ the help of a Dryad, which is a tree spirit, a Kobold, an earth spirit, two new friends (one is a Hunter, the other, a Digger), and the unity of all the tribes, Diggers, Hunters, and Fishers, to help fight the water-hogging Nixies and to get back the Waterstone.
If you like fantasy, action, and a teeny-tiny bit of romance (just a little bit!), you'll like this book!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By molly on June 26, 2007
Format: Paperback
When I read this book several years ago, I remember it being the first book in a long, long time to keep me up past midnight. It was the first book in a very long time to perfectly capture in a few words all the emotions that I was feeling and put it into the main character. It was the first book I read in a while that could do what all great books do -- make your heart swell and break and heal -- all in a few pages. Some of the scenes and dialogue ring in your mind long after you put the book away, and finally you just have to read it again, to re-experience it all.

When Tad's spear flies to the bottom of a pond and Tad goes after it, the last thing he expects is to meet a water-spirit there, Azabel. But this meeting is but the first of strange things, because slowly but surely the water supply of the Fisher tribe is drying up. When Tad, his father Pondleweed and his sister Birdie go to investigate the cause, they find something terrible has happened to the lake that was once their water-source: it is black and dammed up. Pondleweed is drawn into the water by a strange song, and doesn't return. Tad and Birdie are left alone.

Fighting back the memories-that-aren't that are growing ever stranger and more disturbing, Tad has to discover what has happened to the water. He must make allies with everyone from weasels (Not slaves!) to the different Tribes of Diggers and Hunters, and unite them all for the dangers to come. Tad must discover his own identity and destiny as the Sagamore of legend. Most importantly, they must retrieve the Waterstone in order to save the tribes -- and the world -- from certain destruction.

But nothing ever comes without a price...and sometimes the price is too painful to imagine.

Rating: Masterpiece
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