Under Water
208p. Cinco Puntos. Jan. 2019. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9781947627031; pap. $12.95. ISBN 9781947627048.
Gr 8 Up—Seventeen-year-old Khosi Zulu and little sister Zi have to start over after the death of their grandmother Gogo in their South African township of Imbali. Gogo becomes one of Khosi's ancestral guides during her newfound life as a sangoma, a traditional Zulu healer. Khosi breaks her promise to Gogo by dropping out of school and putting her nursing future on hold. Khosi's three-year relationship with boyfriend Little Man is tested when he finds himself in the middle of a violent taxi war. Khosi's healing practice is in jeopardy after a murdered body is dumped on her doorstep and accusations of witchcraft arise. She is wooed by a police officer named Sifiso, who is investigating the murder. Khosi must pass the ultimate test of getting an important lesson from a witch with whom she has an unexpected connection. Powers has crafted an inspirational YA story filled with mystery, suspense, and drama. Khosi's transformation from sheltered township girl to sangoma is an extraordinary testament to strength, courage, and faith. Readers will find her self-respect refreshing and courtship with Sifiso supportive and nurturing at a natural pace.
VERDICT All readers will easily root for Khosi, who makes a way out of loss with love and faith; a strong choice for teen libraries.

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