Under Water

Jl Powers (Author)

Product Details

$17.95  $16.51
Cinco Puntos Press
Publish Date
March 19, 2019
6.2 X 9.1 X 0.8 inches | 0.95 pounds

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About the Author

J.L. Powers is the award-winning author of three young adult novels, The Confessional, This Thing Called the Future, and Amina. She is also the editor of two collections of essays and author of a picture book, Colors of the Wind. She works as an editor/publicist for Cinco Puntos Press, and is founder and editor of the online blog, The Pirate Tree: Social Justice and Children's Literature. She teaches creative writing, literature, and composition at Skyline College in California's Bay Area and served as a jurist for the 2014 NSK Neustadt Prize for Children's Literature. She launched Catalyst Press in 2017 to publish African writers. She can be found at www.jlpowers.net, www.powerssquared.com, and www.catalystpress.org.


"The South African setting is especially strong, with Zulu words mixed in among the English (a glossary is appended), while the blend of Catholicism, traditional beliefs, and Western scientific thought found in township life allows readers to sample the particular flavor of Khosi's culture. The way communities deteriorate without enough resources is compellingly sketched, but the treasures at the heart of this story are Khosi's relationships--with her sister, whom she would do anything to protect; and with the ancestors, whose interference in her life is at times helpful, at times exasperating."--Anita L Burkam, The Horn Book Magazine

"...Powers' story is engaging. The depiction of life in Imbali is raw and honest, the struggles of the characters elicit sympathy, and Khosi's questions about what she's meant to do in life will ring familiar with young adult readers."--Booklist

"[Under Water] is not a Disneyfied version of life for a young girl in a South African community, but a true-to-life examination of adolescence, cultural complexities, and global issues. For young adult readers, this is a book that will not sugar coat and will provoke thoughtful conversation about many difficult topics."--Denise Hill, New Pages

"This intriguing story is set against a backdrop of social upheaval due to economic discontent in contemporary, multicultural South Africa...offering a captivating narrative with nuanced perceptions of death, love, and cathartic self-discovery."--Kirkus Reviews

"All readers will easily root for Khosi, who makes a way out of loss with love and faith; a strong choice for teen libraries." --Donald Peebles, Brooklyn Public Library, School Library Journal