The Other Side of Water
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A teen boy’s story of navigating grief and lost magic, for fans of Paola Santiago and the River of Tears by Tehlor Kay Mejia and Race to the Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse.
Zeke Grayson feels so alone. He lost his mom and his home in Arizona’s Sonoran Desert after a hit-and-run. Now he’s stuck living with his estranged father in wintery Illinois, where he has exactly zero ties to his Mexica heritage and the only family he has ever known.
Furious with his dad for thinking he should just “get over” his mom’s death and stop causing trouble at school, Zeke runs away to a local lake. Watching the water has helped him calm down before, but this time his grief for his mom is too much. It unlocks a magic he didn’t know he possessed, and he passes into a world on the other side of the water. This world is under attack by a slithering serpentine race known as the Gyrazú that can track people through the rivers and travel through them too quickly to avoid.
Zeke narrowly avoids capture thanks to Naya, Thain, and Callie—members of the Menewa who can teach him how to use his newfound ability to heal with magic and bring him closer to the truth about his parents’ secret ties to this world. As the friends race both the Gyrazú and hidden traitors to stop a cataclysmic attack, Zeke must navigate both his grief and his magic or else risk drowning in both.