ALAN BARILLARO at Books Inc. Alameda

Author image of Alan Barillaro and cover photo of his book Where the Water Takes Us

Books Inc. Alameda proudly welcomes local author and illustrator Alan Barillaro to the shop for a reading and signing of his book Where the Water Takes Us!

Debut author Alan Barillaro delivers a stirring story about a sensitive, shaken young girl who must face that growing up means coming to terms with the things you cannot change-- and taking responsibility for the things you can.

Ava's mom is about to have twins, and the pregnancy isn't going well. All Ava wants to do is stay by her mother's side, but instead, she is sent away to stay with her grandparents. Normally, spending time at the lake with Nonna and Nonno is wonderful. But everything is different now. While her mom's hospital visits are getting serious back home, Ava grapples with anxiety. As summer storms rock the island, electricity goes out at the cabin, and an annoyingly cheerful boy named Cody seems determined to pop up everywhere she goes. Ava can't be distracted from the feeling that something terrible, something irrevocable, is going to happen to her mom while she is gone.

When a bird dies in front of her, Ava is sure it is a sign that she is cursed--the last thing she, or her family, needs. But if a curse has been placed on her, there must a way to break it. So Ava makes a deal: If she can take care of two orphaned bird eggs, she will have paid off her debt, and her family will be alright.

With everyone she loves on the line, Ava will do everything in her power to make sure that her mom, her twin baby brothers, her birds, and even Cody all come through the summer safely.
Fast-flip the pages of this captivating novel by an Oscar-winning animator and the island birds on its bottom shore take flight, as its young heroine awaits news from the mainland of her mother's high-risk delivery of twins.
--The New York Times Book Review
Warm intergenerational relationships, strongly drawn characters, lyrical descriptions of nature, and nuanced depictions of Ava's worries create an engrossing read that explores the boundary between childhood and adolescence. . . . Occasional, delicate watercolors and vignettes in the margins accompany this quietly powerful story. A lyrical and sensitively rendered coming-of-age tale.
--Kirkus Reviews
Filmmaker and debut author Barillaro's third-person prose economically portrays Ava's repeated anxious thoughts, rendering her an at once empathetic and resilient protagonist. The novel's nail-biting climax is tempered by a comforting resolution, making for a well-rounded story about overcoming fear and embracing change.
--Publishers Weekly
In this gorgeous debut, our heroine Ava Amato is struggling with a deep anxiety about her mother, whose health is threatened as she nears the end of a complicated pregnancy with twins. . . Simple, realistic watercolor and colored-pencil drawings line the bottom of each page, leading the reader though the story as they link together and add calming, natural atmosphere to the story. From start to finish, pastel colors, soft details, and naturalistic dialogue immerse the reader into Ava's thoughts and fears. It's a captivating journey of growth that feels genuine.
A thoroughly engrossing story about learning to face change, being courageous, and ultimately of family and friendship.
--The Reading Eagle
Alan Barillaro is the Academy Award-winning writer and director of the animated short film Piper and has been supervising animator on many other popular theatrical releases, including The Incredibles, Incredibles 2WALL-E, and Brave. He began his career in animation at the age of sixteen and spent more than twenty-five years at Pixar Animation Studios. Alan Barillaro lives in the Bay Area, CA.
Event date: 
Monday, September 11, 2023 - 7:00pm
Event address: 
Books Inc Alameda
1344 Park St
Alameda, CA 94501
Where the Water Takes Us By Alan Barillaro, Alan Barillaro (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Alan Barillaro, Alan Barillaro (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781536224542
Availability: In Stock Now - Click Title to See Store Inventory. Please allow up to 48-hours for Curbside Pickup orders to be processed.
Published: Candlewick - July 11th, 2023