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ACFW Book Club Review: Waterfall

ACFW Book Club ImageTitle: Waterfall River of Time Series
Author: Lisa T. Bergren
Publisher: David C. Cook
Genre: Young Adult Historical
Release date: February 2011
ISBN: 978-1-4347-6433-1
Reviewed by: Martha Artyomenko

In October, the ACFW Bookclub will read two books. One of them is Waterfall by Lisa T. Bergren. Join now to read this book with other ACFW bookclub members.

This novel could be used for a teen bookclub-discussion group, or with a history lesson without the feel of reading a history book.

Gabi and Lia Betarrini, daughters of Dr. Adri Betarrini, wonder if their mother (who’s searching for ancient ruins of the Etruscan people) would even notice if they were gone. They’d rather be anywhere than stuck on an ancient artifact ruin again. While most teens would love to spend the summer in Italy, this isn’t the usual trip to Italy. If Dr. Betarrini would let them help, that would be one thing. Mostly, they sit, wait, and hope the local authorities don’t block their exploration. Talk about boring!

Waterfall coverOne afternoon Gabi and Lia sneak off to explore an ancient cave and everything changes. They discover a mysterious handprint that transports them back in time and Gabi finds herself amidst ancient Italian knights in the middle of battle. Where is she? What will she learn? Why is she alone and where is her sister? Most importantly, how does she get back home?

Waterfall will hold the attention of all ages. My children, ages 6–14, were enthralled with this story, and I was as well.

Lisa Bergren portrays well the heart of Gabi, a young teen who longs for the love and attention of her mother, and who comes across a little rebellious at times. The unexpected twist of time travel caught our attention, and Italy’s unique history is fascinating—we saw the ancient walls of the castle ruins like they were still in one piece.

Bergren describes rural Tuscany in beautiful detail; her novel could be used for a teen book club-discussion group, or with a history lesson without the feel of reading a history book. Waterfall proves this talented author can write stories for young adults that appeal to a much wider demographic.

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