Cover Image: I Came From The Water

I Came From The Water

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Member Reviews

I love this children’s picture book about a boy named Moses who lived in Haiti.  As he was found in a basket in the water as a baby, he was named Moses (like Moses in the Bible).  I have no doubt that God had a hand in his delivery to the loving arms of the Priest and Sisters in Haiti.  The story is beautiful, and I learned a lot about the poor nation of Haiti.  I am grateful to learn about all the helping organizations in this country.  I know that Author Mitch Albom also has an orphanage in the same region.  

The photo illustrations with descriptions in the back of the book were difficult to appreciate as the font was tiny, giving to the change from a hardback to a digital version of the book. 

The hand drawn illustrations were very helpful in giving a visual image of what the land of Haiti looked like.  The colors were bright and vibrant, thus appealing to a child’s eye.

This book would be a nice addition to a Sunday-school classroom as it makes the story of Moses come alive in today’s world.  Additionally, children could gain an appreciation of the difficulties children face in other parts of the world.

I want to thank Author Vanita Oelschlager, Illustrator Mike Blanc, Vanita Books, and NetGalley for the opportunity to review this Advanced Reader’s Copy. This is a voluntary review, and all comments and opinions are entirely my own.
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The story told in this book, of an infant rescued from flood waters and named Moses in honor of that backstory, is a sweet one. 

This is a particularly good story for Catholic children - it references Mass and Heaven as just sort of normal things, which I always like in children's books. My one concern on this front is that the book treats death as equivalent to being in Heaven. Praying for the souls in Purgatory is an important (and honestly hopeful - we don't have to be perfect!) piece of the Catholic faith, and I dislike when it's glossed over. 
I don't think it's too Catholic for a broader Christian audience, either, but it may be a little too Christian for more secular audiences. 

Despite the core strengths of this story, though, its actual telling could have been stronger. The pictures weren't terribly appealing to me, and the language was choppy and repetitive. and a bit "precious." It felt like it was aimed at a very young audience, but the actual content of the story (lots of death - this is glossed over, but has the potential to be very scary if children actually think about it at all) and the complexity of the pictures were better suited to an older age range (maybe 6-9).

I'm also not entirely sure how I feel about a book being written about a real child, and especially one so socially vulnerable, due to the lack of a real ability to consent to this kind of publicity. I hope Moses was at least able to approve the final version, although there's no indication if this happened or not - the author only mentions her initial interview with him two years earlier (when he was 6).

Assuming the real Moses approves, this could be an okay addition to a Christian bookshelf for kids who are okay with hard topics and don't already have a lot of diverse or empathetic reads. But I suspect there are better books out there to fill that gap.

I received a free review copy of this book from NetGalley.
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This books has lovely illustrations and a moving story about a child rescued in Haiti. The use of only white people in the positions of leadership (priests, doctors) and black people as those in need of rescue makes this book inappropriate for library collections.
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I think the illustrations and photos are the best part of the book.. The text was interesting, although it deals with difficult topics. The autobiography told a fascinating story of a lucky boy who found his place in the world through a surprising number of events. First, he survived a hurricane by floating in a basket and was rescued while he was an infant. Then, he survived an earthquake, and finally a severe storm. His reporting gives children a sense of his life, and tips for survival.  I was fascinated by his story as well as the photographic materials at the end of the book. As an adult, I think this book. will be helpful to people trying to introduce difficult topics of childhood displacement, loss, and instability and provide some hope to young people.  Even if children have not exposed to any of this type of trauma, this story is a good way to introduce children to how bad things happen and that they can turn out okay.
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**I received an e-ARC from NetGalley for an honest review**

I like the story and I liked hearing about Moses. He seems like a brave little boy who, although he's had a lot happen to him, still has kindness and his faith that things will get better.

Overall, the illustrations were mostly nice, but some of the people such as Father Rick are really creepy to look at. The story felt a little abrupt and jumped from topic to topic- I'm sure it was translated into English, but that, coupled with an adult trying to sound like a child, made it a little less interesting. Things such as tap-taps don't exist everywhere, so that seemed like a point that could have been left out.

Nice, but not something I'd really think twice about.
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I really appreciated the way the author showed children, how devastating the Katrina storm was, while also showing them how the main character, was able to move on and find some happiness.  I loved the illustrations, they were beautiful.  I enjoyed this book, and I am sure children will too.  (Hope and happiness after the storm)
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The strength of this book are it's gorgeous illustrations that lend to a child's imagination while reading or being read this story. The child who narrates the story, Moses, is swept away from his parents during a deluge, and ends up washing up on shore in a basket, just like the biblical Moses. He is taken into an orphanage, with people who he says take good care of him. He suffers through the major Haitian earthquake, survives the cholera outbreak, but lives, and lets the reader know how much he loves his country and how much he appreciates the people who cared for him. The story is followed by photographs of the real children's home where Moses has been raised. This is a lovely story but could be triggering for some children. It is also a story that is supported by the Catholic Church, and that may not sit will with some readers.
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This is a lovely little story. The illustrations are great. The story will be eye opening for children.
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The story needs more work. The language seems choppy. Based on a true story, I found the illustrations the strongest feature of this book.
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I Came From The Water by Vanita Oelschlager is an interesting book though it fell a little short for me. The story of Moses itself is interesting because it teaches us more about Haiti and the difficulties of living there, but the telling of the story felt very choppy and I struggled to stay connected to it. The illustrations are colorful and I can see the appeal to children but some of them just feel like different objects were randomly thrown together without connecting will into one big picture. I did enjoy the photographs in the back of the book that had more in depth information.
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‘I Came From the Water’ is a heartbreaking, but hopeful story told in the perspective of a boy in Haiti who experienced both catastrophic flooding and a devastating earthquake during his young life.  The story is engaging and explains the hardships faced in Haiti using language that is easy to understand.  The illustrations are gorgeous and the content is heavy.   The tone of the book is uplifting and religious (Christian).  Overall, a wonderful book that would be perfect to teach children about natural disasters and the importance of helping.  

Thank you to NetGalley and VanitaBooks for providing an ARC of this book.
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A nonfiction book about a young child's journey after losing his entire family. Moses is an inpiration for all! Natural disasters cause his life to be turned upside down but he maintains a positive attitude regardless of them.
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I came from the Water is an inspiring story of a little boy named Moses who lost his family in a Haitian flood. Moses describes his story in detail that will help children find compassion for others.  Moses says he was given the name Moses by the sisters in his children's home because he was found in the water. He shares with us what it is like to grow up in his orphanage 

The writing doesn't flow well throughout the story, despite the engaging content. I would prefer to leave out the white savior mentality that flows throughout the parts with the priest in the story. I don’t see me reading this story aloud in it’s entirety, but it’s definitely worth a recommendation. My daughter loves every bit of the book, but I find myself skipping over the few parts that feel problematic to me. 

The publisher provided an ARC through netgalley. I have voluntarily decided to read and review, giving my personal opinions and thoughts
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This is an odd book because it comes from a personal account by the author of meeting the young boy who is the subject of this story. Told to her through a translator, it makes a great tale of survival during the Hurricane, named Jeanne, which hit Haiti in September 2004 causing serious flooding and other issues in the city of Gonaïves, which is tucked under the south coast of the northern promontory of Haiti.

The problem is that I have no way of telling if this is true, and neither does the boy. This is the story he told, but there's no way of learning now how well he remembers it, or even whether it may have been augmented by suggestion or by his own imagination over the years. While I have a good opinion of this author and have positively reviewed many of her books, I have to express doubts here. She makes no mention of interviewing anyone who might have recalled finding this boy, which to me calls the reliability of the story into question.

Everyone loves an inspirational story, but all I can say in this case is that it sounds highly improbable, and while it may be true, presenting it as a modern Moses story based on a child's hearsay alone is taking things too far for my taste. Children's minds and memory being as malleable as they are, I have to doubt this and frankly wonder about the motive of a writer who presents a story like this. Because of all these doubts and misgivings, I cannot rate this as a worthy read.
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This is a children's picture book that tells the story of little Moses, an eight-year-old boy from Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Moses earned his name in infancy after being rescued from a river in the flooding that destroyed the city after a hurricane in 2004. Moses then went into an orphanage where he later shared his story with Oelschlager. To start on a positive note, I'll mention that the illustrations done by Mike Blanc were absolutely beautiful. They were colorful and the way he separated the images on his pages with river-like strokes carried the theme of the book from beginning to end. The writing was not as appealing. The story is written in first person and much of it focuses on Moses' early years and the tale of his rescue from the river. I find it difficult to believe that this child remembered these events in great detail. I think it would have been better if the title page said "as imagined by Vanita Oelschlager" rather than marketing this book as a biography. We also jump around a lot between different events in this boy's life, from the disastrous to the mundane and there isn't a good flow from one to the next. Finally, the story is highly religious, given that I assume the orphanage where Moses was as is a Catholic organization and I'm not sure if the themes of religion, natural disasters, death and Heaven (or the alternative) belong in a one children's book. *Advance copy provided by the publisher in exchange for my honest review.
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I Came From the Water. A true story about a young boy from Haiti named Moses who lives in the children’s village. His village was destroyed during a flood in 2004. This story is full of sadness and destruction as well as hope and happiness. It is a great book for children. The illustrations are beautiful and filled with color.  The story is written like a child speaks and I love that.
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Uplifting, hopefully told version of events in Haiti, told from the point of view of Moses, a boy who lost all his family as an infant and lives in a children's village. A good starting point for a conversation.
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I love how this is a story of an actual child in Haiti, I also love that she donates a portion of her sales for the book to the organization featured here to aid the country.  I quite enjoyed the art in this book, the story was also very sweet, kind of sad but not written in a way that would have a child in tears.  It's strange to see how quickly things happened there, and how little we hear about it in the US, or how short lived our experience with it is, how quickly we forget that Haiti still needs help.  I'm glad this was written to help bring more awareness.  I loved it!
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I really enjoyed this book. It is a beautifully illustrated book, with clear and simple text. As a school teacher I would use this book to read to my students. It tells the story about other children in the world and how they each live.
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Pros: This book will bring tears to your eyes. I volunteered to help with the rescue after the hurricane, so I understand the aftermath, and it was heart-wrenching. This story will tell the journey of how a baby was given a different path to a new life, and how he would be helpful for other children like himself. The title is befitting, and it needs to be heard and read by many children. It is simply beautiful, and the story at the end will set your heart free. 

Cons: None! Awareness is critical, and if you ever doubt donating for good causes, then read books like these to help you make the right decisions because every penny counts.
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