DOWN TO EARTH by Betty Culley
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I received an Advance Reader Copy of this book from the publisher in order to write this review.
Henry comes from a long line of dowsers, people who can sense water underground to dig wells. Sixty-six-point-sixty-six percent of his grandfather’s kids are dowsers. Thirty-three-point-three-three percent did not. Henry isn’t sure what his odds are, being his father’s only son. He desperately wants to be a dowser. But the first time he tries it, the forked stick he’s carrying doesn’t point to the ground at all. In fact, it points straight up into the sky!
But that night a wonderful thing happens. A gigantic meteor falls to Earth, leaving a crater in Henry’s family’s field. The meteorite is similar to the ones Henry has learned about for rock collecting, but it smells funny. And soon, water starts gushing from the ground where the meteorite landed, flooding Henry’s house and the area around it. It seems like Henry does have the power to sense water. But does that mean Henry is responsible for the destruction of his home?
DOWN TO EARTH is a sweet middle grade coming-of-age story of a boy longing to be a valuable part of his family and community and ultimately learning that being himself is enough. I loved the rich sense of support and acceptance through this book as Henry leans on his family and his family lean on their neighbors in a difficult time. I also loved the science included throughout and the sometimes quirky but always welcomed characters. I’d recommend this one to upper-elementary readers who enjoy contemporary fiction.