Title: The Water Wars
Author: Cameron Stracher
Buy The Book: Amazon
Would you risk everything for someone you just met?
What if he had a secret worth killing for?
Welcome to a future where water is more precious than oil or gold…
Hundreds of millions of people have already died, and millions more will soon fall—victims of disease, hunger, and dehydration. It is a time of drought and war. The rivers have dried up, the polar caps have melted, and drinkable water is now in the hands of the powerful few. There are fines for wasting it and prison sentences for exceeding the quotas.
But Kai didn’t seem to care about any of this. He stood in the open road drinking water from a plastic cup, then spilled the remaining drops into the dirt. He didn’t go to school, and he traveled with armed guards. Kai claimed he knew a secret—something the government is keeping from us…
And then he was gone. Vanished in the middle of the night. Was he kidnapped? Did he flee? Is he alive or dead? There are no clues, only questions. And no one can guess the lengths to which they will go to keep him silent. We have to find him—and the truth—before it is too late for all of us. (Summary provided by Sourcebooks.)
The Water Wars by Cameron Stracher , the latest YA dystopian novel to hit book stores is at its core the story of a young girl named Vera and her quest to find her friend Kai. However, it is so much more than just a typical dystopian quest story. It takes place in a not so distant future where drinking water is scarce, and people are desperate to find it. It brings to light an important issue (i.e. the squandering of natural resources) that young people as well as adults should be thinking about now before it’s too late.
It is a welcome bonus that in addition to bringing up such an important issue Stracher has managed to present an exciting tale that is not too preachy for young readers to enjoy. Vera and her brother Will’s cross country journey leads them to all sorts of exciting places and introduces them to many interesting characters including a band of water pirates, crazed activists, and one very scary corporate executive. All of these elements piqued my interest and left me wanting more when the book was over. I only have a couple of critiques. I would have liked to have seen more of a back story included as far as the character Ulysses, “the pirate king” is concerned, and I would have liked to see things from Kai’s point of view in addition to Vera’s. Although, I’m hoping Cameron Stracher is just saving the rest of Ulysses’s back story and a Kai point of view for a sequel!
The Water Wars is A morality tale/political allegory of a society that has super sized itself into into a corner. Stracher presents a scary portrait of what might happen once we have wasted our last sip of fresh water. This book is a truly frightening wake up call for young readers everywhere to protect mother Earth. I highly recommend this book to science teachers looking for something to use as a tool to generate class discussion during a unit on water conservation, and of course, it would be great for an Earth Day related theme for English classes as well.
Do any of you know of any other young adult books that have environmental themes? Please list them in the comments section for me. If you have read The Water Wars, let me know what you thought about it in the comments section. Did you like it too? I love to read your comments. While your at it, feel free to put the social media icons at the top of the right sidebar to good use. I love getting new Twitter followers and lots of Facebook “likes”!
For More Information About Water Conservation & Clean Drinking Water:
Water Aid www.wateraid.org
Water. Use It Wisely. wateruseitwisely.com