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The Water Wars    by Cameron Stracher order for
Water Wars
by Cameron Stracher
Order:  USA  Can
Sourcebooks, 2011 (2011)
Hardcover, e-Book

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* * *   Reviewed by Lyn Seippel

Vera and her older brother Will live during the not-too-distant future when water is more precious than gold or oil. As another result of global warming, the world must ration its water. Whoever is in charge of the water is all powerful. Since every human must have water to survive, most everyone works for the Water Authority.

North America is divided into eight separate countries and the Canadian Empire. Vera and Will live in the middle of the continent in the Republic of Illinowa. The water they drink is reconstituted sea water. The salt is removed chemically and it's possible the chemicals used are causing illnesses. Will is sure the chemicals used to remove the salt are causing his mother's illness.

The story begins on the day Vera meets Kai. Although there are fines and prison sentences for wasting water, Kai drinks as much as he wants from a plastic cup and then pours the rest on the street. The son of a wealthy wildcat water driller, Kai's irresponsibility astonishes Vera. Eventually they become friends and Kai often visits her family at their home.

Vera's life is as foreign to Kai as his is to her. Vera and Will's days are spent at school, taking care of their mother, and working to help their dad bring in enough to feed and clothe their family. In spite of how busy they are, they still eat meals as a family and play together. Kai is surrounded by bodyguards, because his own father is frequently away for months at a time. One day Kai doesn't meet them as planned. Evidence shows that he's been abducted. Their search takes them out of Illinowa and through the Republic of Minnesota to Canada. They worry that Kai's hints that he knows something about the water that the government wants kept secret could get him killed.

Vera and Will's world is even more frightening because of the predictions of water rationing in our future.

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