________________ CM . . . . Volume VII Number 13 . . . . March 2, 2001

cover Waiting to Dive.

Karen Rivers.
Victoria, BC: Orca, 2000.
106 pp., pbk., $8.95.
ISBN 1-55143-159-9.

Subject Headings:
Diving accidents-Juvenile fiction.
Friendship-Juvenile fiction.
Guilt-Juvenile fiction.
Stepfamilies-Juvenile fiction.

Grades 3 - 6 /Ages 8 - 11.

Reviewed by Kristin Butcher.

*** /4


"Just jump in!" Mom calls.

"No!" I answer. I don't tell her that I can't jump. That I don't want to jump, because I want to dive. I'm just waiting for the dive to come into me, so that suddenly I'll know how to fly off the rock with pointed toes and slip into the water without splashing. Like a ballerina. I know it can happen, because that's how I learned to cartwheel. I just waited, and then, all of a sudden, my arms and legs knew exactly what to do...

I really have to hurry. The sun is sinking like a stone. I look at the water, which is shiny and smooth like a mirror, or, at least, like a mirror with a bunch of junk floating in it.

And I close my eyes.

And swing my arms.

And spring forward.

And ...

Ten year-old Carly is passionate about diving. She doesn't quite know how to go about it, but she is determined to learn, confident that all she needs to do is open herself up to the possibility --- and wait. When the time is right, she'll know.

      To help things along, Carly's mother enrolls her in diving lessons, and Carly happily spends the summer at the pool and at the family's oceanside cottage with her friends, Montana and Sam.

      All goes well until Montana dives onto an underwater log and breaks her back. Then life changes for everyone.

      Waiting to Dive is the touching story of a young girl's ongoing effort to make sense of life. Although basically a happy child, Carly must come to terms with her father's death, with her new stepfather and his children, with Montana's accident, and with her own mixed-up feelings.

      Reminiscent of stream-of-consciousness literature, Rivers' latest juvenile novel follows the ramblings of Carly's mind, and though the story is recounted chronologically, Carly's thoughts jump back and forth through time. She is refreshingly honest, admitting her less-than-honorable feelings, her vanity, and the things that make her angry. It is with whimsical fascination that the reader watches her mature.


Kristin Butcher is a former teacher who now lives in Victoria, B.C. and writes for children.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.

Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364