In ‘The Water Castle,’ magical powers of a house in Maine may save a boy’s father


"The Water Castle” by Megan Frazer Blakemore
January 4, 2013

The Water Castle” by Megan Frazer Blakemore.

Age 9 and older. $16.99.

(Available Tuesday, Jan. 8)

Have you ever heard of the Fountain of Youth? According to legend, anyone who drinks from the waters of the magical spring will be made young again.

The story has been around for thousands of years. One version has explorer Ponce de Leon looking for it — and perhaps finding it — in Florida. But no one has ever thought that the fountain might be located beneath a house in Maine.

No one, that is, until Ephraim Appledore-Smith’s dad gets sick and the family moves to that house, called the Water Castle, in the hope that a nearby doctor can make his dad better.

When the family arrives at the “looming stone house that sat atop the hill like a king on the throne,” Ephraim meets Mallory Green, whose family has taken care of the Appledore family’s old home for generations. Mallory knows that there is magic surrounding the house, but her sadness about her own family situation makes her not want to believe in magic anymore. Also living near the castle is Will Wylie, whose family has been feuding with the Appledores for years because of the castle’s secret. But young Will refuses to believe in magic. For him, everything in the world must have a scientific explanation.

When Ephraim learns of the castle’s supposed magic powers, he knows he needs the help of his new friends if he is to find a way to help his father.

The Water Castle” is full of ad­ven­ture and mystery, but mostly it’s about the importance of family, friendship and home.

— Tracy Grant

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