A taut and gripping fantasy for middle-grade readers "A Saskatchewan Young Readers' Choice Diamond Willow Award Nominee Snow Willow Award nominee ... Show synopsis A taut and gripping fantasy for middle-grade readers "A Saskatchewan Young Readers' Choice Diamond Willow Award Nominee Snow Willow Award nominee 2006 " In the distant future on a parched landscape, sits an enormous wall made of towering wooden columns. The wall surrounds the desolate settlement of Regnboga. But inside, nobody can remember a time when the wall was built or when such majestic trees grew. No enemies ever come to challenge them, but the Watchers still zealously guard the settlement and the well that means life to their people. They also guard the people themselves, reinforcing with their whips the laws that regulate every aspect of daily life. Mara knows no other existence, but one fateful day her aunt reveals that it is time for them to escape. Mara learns that the woman she had always believed to be her only kin is in fact a Daughter of the Sea and her guardian. Mara is really Oriana, a _Child of Hope, _ whose destiny is to one day lead the people of Regnboga out of their barren existence to a land where the water flows once more. It will not be easy. First Oriana must travel to the sea and experience the changing landscape before she can ever hope to convince the people of Regnboga to leave. But close to their journey_s end, Oriana_s guardian dies. Alone now, Oriana must find the strength to press on. What is she to do when she reaches the sea, and how will she find her way back? If she does reach Regnboga alive, how will she ever persuade the repressive leaders that their way of life no longer has meaning? Author Catherine Taylor_s debut novel has all the makings of a classic. Her portrait of a post-apocalyptic future is chilling, and her storytelling is filled with the kind of suspense that will grab and hold middle-grade readers from the first page to the last. "Thirst" is speculative fiction at its very best.