The Waters of Iwingee by Griffin Keener: An Awesome Fantasy Novel With Some Great Lessons

Never truly able to fit in, Kail Davis has the intestinal fortitude of a 400-pound gorilla inside the body of a 96 pound 6th grader. Luckily, he can always count on his precocious sister, Mani, to bail him out of his daily regimen of bullies and beatings.

When Kail runs across a stone in his granny’s parlor, he is soon afflicted with a mysterious marking threatening his own mortality. To worsen matters, Shorty, their spunky grandmother is also stricken with a baffling illness.

The two race to find a cure for both Kail and Shorty, only to uncover a shocking discovery that will shatter everything they know about their grandmother, who they are, and where they come from.

Descriptions taken from Goodreads.

While I was a little uncomfortable with the beginning of this book, trying to settle into the writing style and what was going on at the moment–I found this to be a very entertaining read. Right off the bat, if I didn’t know the blurb, I would’ve pegged this as realistic fiction and not fantasy. However, this book has great themes of both as well as some awesome lessons to be taught.

I also felt this book showed the deep bond between Mani and Kail really well. It was great seeing how their relationship grew over the course of the journey and the time they spent together, much like the relationship between Alex and Connor in Chris Colfer’s THE LAND OF STORIES. It was remarkable and fun to read about their exciting journey and how they both grew as characters. The excitement only grows throughout the book and steadies to a good ending.

Overall, I think THE WATERS OF IWINGEE is a great upper middle-grade book that address a lot of issues that today’s kids face, like bullying and violence accompanied by an exciting and fun fantasy journey. I liked the world-building to this book and seeing how both Mani and Kail saw the world before and after. An excellent read. 4 stars.

pg count for the paperback: 285

Series: THE WATERS OF IWINGEE

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