Enchanted Everglades: Friend for Life, by G.A. Kowatch | Dedicated Review
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The Children’s Book Review
Written by G.A. Kowatch
Age Range: 8-12
Hardcover: 295 pages
Publisher: Great Rays, LLC (2020)
What to expect: Fantasy, Animals, Grief, Friendship
Florida’s captivating wetlands are the setting for Enchanted Everglades: Friend for Life, a book that takes readers on an action-filled adventure in which two twelve-year-old friends must overcome grief as they try to find their way out of the wilderness.
Ocean River and Ellen Hansen have been friends since they were six years old, but when Ellen’s dad dies in a car crash, the pair’s relationship becomes strained. When Ocean decides to show Ellen he is more than the goofy kid that caused a scene at her father’s funeral, a strong theme of growth mindset becomes the focal point of the story. As Ocean navigates his tense friendship with Ellen, Gumbo—a talking, vegan alligator—struggles with some of his own family turmoil. When the children’s lives collide with the gator’s, you can expect the danger and action to ramp up drastically, but in the most unexpected ways.
Told through the alternating voices of Ocean and Gumbo, author G.A. Kowatch’s story demonstrates to readers that the skills needed to navigate the murky waters of life can be developed through determination and hard work. There is a strong message that everything will be alright in the end, so long as you stay the path and remain present. The heaviness of grief is lifted by a regular infusion of humor, and the enchantment of talking animals will be a point of interest for fans of the fantasy genre.
Readers who enjoy a blend of realism and fantasy are sure to be drawn to this adventurous story of loss, forgiveness, and mindfulness.
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About the Author
G. A. KOWATCH lived in South Korea, Vietnam, and the Philippines before going home to the US at the age of thirteen. She has degrees in both design and business. Her first short film, The Right Friend, garnered several niche festival awards and was distributed by Spiritual Cinema Circle. Gail is an avid fan of movies, especially animation, comedy, fantasy, sci-fi, thrillers, and romance. This is her first novel.
To learn more or read the first five chapters of Enchanted Everglades: Friend for Life, visit https://enchantedeverglades.com/.
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