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on 10 July 2012
This book is an amazing read. It makes you think about the things we all do and how they have consequence's to not just humans but every living creature.
It shows the reader a different view of the things that are going on around us every day like bulling, substance abuse and then the great friendships he makes along his way back to being a better happier version of him self.
I personally will never look at lake, fish or tress in the same way again, also I have noticed the sound of birds singing and it is a beautiful sound and a beautiful book.
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on 30 March 2012
Few books written for children today provide what this one does. The valuable lessons are easy to grasp because the unique characters face obstacles which mirror humans' journey through the rights of passage.

I love the humor with regards to chickens. I think everybody will really love this part also.

The most touching outcome of Ben's journey for me is how his entire outlook changed in regards to his sister.

The main thing I hope children and adults remember after reading this novel is how air, land and water are all connected. This just might be the biggest and most important lesson Ben learns.

I now think of the "Bobs" every time I hear humming or go to a lake.

I agree with many, this wonderful novel should be mandatory reading in the schools.

As I have said many times, I plan to read everything Des Birch has written.
Rebecca Scarberry
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on 19 June 2014
I was hooked from the start by the poetically descriptive preface of this book. This quality of writing continues to the end, with "I often hear the blackbird's morning song" and "... sometimes we have to look beyond dark waters." Ben's boyish naughtiness towards his sister was human and often funny, ending with his realization of the importance of kindness and recognition towards her. The dialogue between the creatures was natural, funny and believable; I could see a short film for children emerging from this gift for dialogue. The moral and ecological messages were clear without being too intense (freedom of belief and living together within the system.) This endearing story would be excellent for reading and extended visual work in schools.
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on 29 June 2014
Looking for books for my new Kindle, I came upon this book by chance, and what a delight.....

The gift of 'grandparenthood' brings with it the opportunity to be a child again, to see through their eyes as it were. I have become a hunter of wisdom again, always on the alert for gems to impart to the new little person I have been given the gift of sharing.

Beyond Dark Waters is such a gem - it delivers valuable life lessons beautifully woven into a tale of courage and compassion, taking our hero into the watery world of creatures that are not at all surprised to find him there, having met Quinlings before. They understand that humans sometimes have to be reminded of the interconnectedness of life, and help Ben through each of the five stages so he can garner the valuable lessons in each. He encounters bullying, racism, substance abuse, true friendship, humility and responsibility along the way, helped along with the wisdom of GT, the golden tench and the fearlessness of Vashti the otter.

I would recommend this book be included into the school curriculum - lessons learned in Beyond Dark Waters parallel those that occur in life, and learnings through metaphor have far reaching effects.
Though is directed at young adults, all who have ever been a child, and those that still are will love this book. 
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on 29 May 2011
Beyond Dark Waters by Des Birch is Prolific!

There are so many threads weaving the levels of story taking place throughout this book that make the reader ponder themselves. The concepts are crafted very well and the creative ability of this author delivers a solid reading experience. There is such a strength in this story that will make you wonder how our culture would be different if this book were mandatory reading in the classroom.

Make this one of the important books to read in your lifetime.
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