23 October 2013
Crowder, Melanie. Parched. Houghton Mifflin, 2013.
Musa knows how to find water with divining rods. He is being held captive by a gang. Sarel just watched her parents get killed and her family's home burn to the ground, but she is kept alive by a secret cache of water. Nandi is the leader of Sarel's family's dog pack. The three unlikely companions meet and must work together to survive and to find the water everyone needs.
First off, there are not enough books about other cultures, especially places like Africa, so I am glad that this book exists. I think it would be a great companion novel to A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park. This book is written in a very poetic style and it's beautiful to read, even as it is painful to think of living that close to daily dehydration. However, the first chapter is told from the perspective of the dog, and each successive chapter is told from either Musa's or Nandi's point of view, so it takes a while to get into the story. I did enjoy this one, but I think it will be a harder sell for all but my strongest readers.
Recommended for: teens, tweens
Red flags: Sarel watches her family die, the bandits/gang members threaten violence when they find Musa
Overall Rating: 4/5 stars