The New Book Review

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Friday, February 12, 2016


Defending The Dreamcatcher
By Cristina Salat 
Publisher: Green Flame Omnimedia
Pub date: Feb. 14, 2016
Trade Paperback: ISBN-13: 978-1518829000  ISBN-10: 1518829007Mass Market: ISBN-13: 978-1523793624  ISBN-10: 1523793627E-edition: ISBN 978-1311502605
Library of Congress Control Number: 2015957072 
Purchase Links:
Available through your local library and wherever fine books are sold
Also: Amazon's Match Book program  (the purchase of print edition comes with accompanying Kindle version at discount). 
Signed copies available through:

Reviewed by Nikki Nigari,
There are books you read and workshops you enjoy. And then there are books and activities that ROCK your world.
In these uncertain times my children are aware that their school, the mall, even our church is no longer necessarily a guaranteed safe zone. The complex dangers and economic hardships going on everywhere seem to be making anything truly inspiring in great demand, yet short supply. 
In wanting a break from violence while not wanting to stick my head in the sand, I found an unusual new book: The Skin of Water: Defending The Dreamcatchers by Cristina Salat. It heralds a modern-day pueblo teen who winds up changing her life in ways you will not see coming that are likely to also change your own! 
From the jacket copy: 
"Lisel Martinez is not a rough-&-tumble kind of girl, so what is someone more interested in books and plants than in having a hot social life doing out on the most dangerous streets in San Francisco? Is there actually anything one 16-year-old without a home can do to keep herself safe in a world that seems anything but?! 
From the award-winning author of books for the young and young at heart comes a contemporary quest from the mesas of New Mexico to the streets of San Francisco, as one modern-day First Nation girl searches for a life different than the one that seems destined to be her fate." 
This is the kind of book that becomes a friend, no matter what age you are. The second I finished it, I started again from the beginning. Cleaning out the garage would just have to wait!
It aroused discussions between children and adults, including a teenager and her friends who don't often like to participate in family discussions about anything! One character's comment: "It's not enough to just Take Back the Night, we need to take back the world!" particularly made my daughter cheer. 
Dedicated by the author to "all who are loved, and all who deserve to be," the novel champions the idea that "Empowerment is just a word...until you live it." It is an evocative, empowering gift in an age when beloved children's book authors like Judy Blume in the collection Letters To Judy: What Your Kids Wish They Could Tell You  says she receives volumes of requests from children of all ages, educators, and those who work in social services imploring her to write about kids whose lives include things like: dangerous family members, unconventional living situations, and real life circumstances such as surviving on the streets long enough to escape them. 
 Ms. Blume's understandable response is: "no one author can write about every situation, and most of us write out of our own experiences..." but she hopes one day someone else might write just such a book...and that book is now here.
There may be no easy answers to today's pressures around giving children wings while keeping them safe, but there are fresh ideas. New possibilities. 
In an age of vampire love stories, wizards, and child wars in mythical lands, there can also be Real Magic in this world, right here, right now.
The Skin of Water: Defending The Dreamcatchers made me cry and had me shouting "YES!" during the rousing self-defense scenes. 
In my opinion, there is no better gift to give to someone you love and want to see safe. 
The book is available in trade paperback, mass market,  and E-editions.  
In the spirit of community, why not give it also to someone who isn't as loved as they deserve to be, along with your local libraries and schools?
Empowerment is just a word...until we live it 
The Skin of Water: Defending The Dreamcatchers by Cristina Salat.
Get it.
Experience it.
Spread the word!

The New Book Review is blogged by Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of the multi award-winning HowToDoItFrugally series of books for writers. It is a free service offered to those who want to encourage the reading of books they love. That includes authors who want to share their favorite reviews, reviewers who'd like to see their reviews get more exposure, and readers who want to shout out praise of books they've read. Please see submission guidelines on the left of this page. Reviews and essays are indexed by genre, reviewer names, and review sites. Writers will find the search engine handy for gleaning the names of small publishers. Find other writer-related blogs at Sharing with Writers and The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor.

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