Ever since she nearly drowned in a storm that took the lives of the rest of her family, Kyna has had a crippling fear of the water. Only three when she was rescued by the couple who became her adoptive parents, Kyna has spent the seven years since then learning to take water steps—small victories that help her get over her anxiety from even simple things like washing her hands.
Mem and Pep, Kyna’s adoptive parents, are patient with her, supporting her efforts and always there to encourage every new water step she takes. But Kyna is dismayed when they book a house by a lake for the summer. Don’t they know she’s not ready to take that big of a step yet?
Despite Kyna’s determination to stay as far away from the lake as possible while she explores the forest instead, she finds herself longing to overcome her fears once and for all so she can stop the limitations she puts on herself.
Don’t be put off by what may be a gloomy-sounding premise: Water Steps by A. LaFaye is delightful to read. Kyna has experienced so much pain and loss, but she’s surrounded by love and hopefulness too. Just as Kyna’s adoptive parents fill her with stories of magical creatures from their native Ireland—silkies, fairies and leprechauns—her story has a hint of magic as well. You’ll find yourself cheering for Kyna with every water step she takes. And you’ll love the Irish myths woven into the story along with a little bit of mystery too.
Good discussion points for mother-daughter book clubs reading Water Steps include overcoming fears, friendship, acceptance, patience and courage. Recommended for book clubs with girls aged 9 to 12.
Read on to find out more about A. LaFaye in a mother-daughter book club author interview.