Children Inexplicably Become Invisible and Forgotten in This Emotionally Charged YA Magical Realism Novel



A moving story of abandonment and belonging told through eloquent storytelling and rich characters.

Five young children, unknown to one another and living around the globe, in the blink of an eye, find themselves invisible and forgotten by all those around them, including their families—it is as if they never existed. As they become teenagers, having adjusted to this profoundly different existence, they find each other, build a new home, and begin a journey to discover the reason for their “separation.” With his young adult, genre-blending novel of speculative fiction and magical realism, author Jesse Banner masterfully crafts an emotional story with To Hover Over Waters.

A five-year-old American boy suddenly becomes invisible and forgotten while on vacation with his family. As a result, he is abandoned at an RV park. He is found by another boy, invisible as well, who is taking advantage of the strange phenomenon to see the world. Meanwhile, a German girl embraces her separation and casts herself into the wilderness. An Italian girl does the exact opposite; she chooses to stay as close to the “seen” world as possible. She feels a deep kinship with a street artist she adopts as a surrogate mother, even though the woman cannot see her. A boy from Uganda believes his removal is a punishment, and atonement is required to be reunited with his family. He begins a path to learn how to heal and do good for others. Each child takes a new name as they begin a new life.

Years pass and Des, Mar, San, Ren, and Pab become teenagers. They’ve made relationships and found purpose in their own way. Mar and Des, having met so young, are now like brothers. Ren helps her surrogate mother, Chiara, with her debilitating mental health by reigniting her passion for art. Pab observes doctors in a hospital, acquiring skills that prove beneficial when he happens upon San, who is near death, pushed to the limits by her animalistic lifestyle.

As the unseen teens find each other, their lives are overturned once again with the realization that separation has laws they must abide by, there is something they must do together, and there are even more children like them. How many unseen children are there? How many more will come? What is the purpose of the separation?

Author Jesse Banner draws from his work with young human trafficking victims to expertly weave a thought-provoking story, bringing together elements of loss, identity, trauma, coming of age, and survival. “This lyrical fantasy delves into childhood trauma, resilience, and solidarity for fans of both YA and literary fiction” – BookLife, Publishers Weekly. To Hover Over Waters is a perfect cross-market book for all readers.