Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Regarding the Fountain

Regarding the Fountain

Kate Klise
Illustrator:  M. Sarah Klise 
Fiction  Series
For ages 9 to 12
HarperCollins, 1999   ISBN: 978-0380793471

The drinking fountain at Dry Creek Middle School is on the fritz, and the principal, Mr. Wallace Russ, wants to replace it. The school secretary decides to write to Florence Waters, a fountain specialist, to ask her to make a fountain for the school. What no one realizes at first, especially Mr. Russ, is that Florence is not your run-of-the-mill water fountain person. She is an artist with a vision.

Not everyone who is associated with Dry Creek Middle School wants the water fountain to be replaced. The School Board President, one Sally Mander, is not at all keen that such a step should be taken. She and a friend of hers, Dee Eel, have their own secret reasons for wanting the old water fountain to stay put.

And so a battle ensues. On one side there are the faculty members, the students, and many of the townsfolk. And on the other side there is the very rich and powerful Sally Mander and her friend.

Meanwhile, while all this is going on, the students in Mr. Sam N's fifth grade class are preparing a history project on the history of their town. What they don't realize is that there is something decidedly odd about the story of the town, and it is something that should be investigated.

Written in the form of letters, notes, memos, and newspaper articles, this splendid book will keep young readers guessing and speculating right up to the moment when the big secret about Dry Creek is revealed. Wonderful illustrations can be found throughout the book and the author takes advantage of this unique format to the fullest. The result is a deliciously funny and highly entertaining book that has more than a little to say about friendship, the creative process, and the astuteness of school children.