Waiting Under Water

A beautiful celebration of small town life, friendship, and opening up to change!

Hope's world is shaken when her parents announce that they are leaving their small New Brunswick town and moving to Toronto for her father's job.

Hope's anxiety -- and her tics -- skyrocket as she fears making new friends, and leaving behind her beloved ocean and the sea glass she has been carefully nurturing for years.  At least there's a tremendous diversion for her final summer -- her community of St. David's is one of five entrants in a nationwide television contest that celebrates "Canada's Tiniest Treasures."

In the countdown to summer's end and the move date, Hope and her best friend Willa dedicate themselves to the St. David's campaign, celebrating what is unique about small-town life and their friendship.


- Canadian Children's Book Centre Best Books for Kids and Teens, Fall 2020 Starred Selection
- Winner of the Mrs. Dunster's Fiction Book Award 2021
- Selected for TD Summer Reading Club 2023

"With deft characterization and poetic description of Hope's outer and inner worlds, Nason tracks her character's journey through a series of difficult emotions -- exploring her verbal tic with sensitivity and humour and giving readers an inside look at what it's like to live with this uncomfortable condition.  Nason writes with a lyrical appreciation of place. Waiting Under Water is a gentle, heartfelt account of a 12-year-old's perspective on navigating change." -Quill and Quire

"A strong sense of place and a down-to-earth narrator characterize Riel Nason's Waiting Under Water" - Toronto Star

"This is a slow-paced, introspective and earnest middle-grade tale, a perfect summer read and a thoughtful look at friendship and small-town life." - Atlantic Books Today

"Like arranging the pieces of a patchwork quilt, Nason has designed a story that balances themes of place and belonging with loss and, eventually, acceptance and hope." - Canadian Children's Book News
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