From School Library Journal
Grade 7 Up-Scott, 15, and his older brother Gregg are sent to live with their Uncle Rocky, whom they never knew existed, after their parents are killed in an automobile accident. Gregg plans to begin college soon and does not want to move from Los Angeles to rural Colorado. He is angry, rude, and uncommunicative. To make matters worse, Rocky is struggling to make a success of his river-rafting company and insists that his nephews work for him. Both boys come to enjoy the rafting experience. Scott tries hard to have a good attitude, but Gregg becomes increasingly difficult, making the wrong kinds of friends and drinking too much. He resents his uncle, and Scott is placed in the middle of their serious arguments. When Gregg makes an irresponsible and life-threatening choice, he comes to realize that the way he deals with his unhappiness affects both his brother and his uncle. Scott, the first-person narrator, is a well-developed character with intelligence and independence and just a touch of rebellion. The other characters are also believable, although Gregg's behavior often seems slightly exaggerated. Packed with details about rafting, Rough Waters will excite some readers and perhaps bore others. However, much of the information is needed in order to understand the dangers of this sport and the plot. With the thrill of the rapids, realistic family dynamics, a little romance, and likable characters, this book is a great read.Elisabeth Palmer Abarbanel, Brentwood School, Los Angeles
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Gr. 7^-12. The trauma of facing their parents' deaths is only compounded for Gregg and Scott when they're forced to move in with their estranged uncle, whom they know only as a painful memory from their father's past. Desperate for stability, 15-year-old Scott struggles to work through his grief and make the best of life in Colorado, where their uncle Rocky has the boys help with his white-water rafting business. Unfortunately, Gregg, 17, adds only resentment to his grief, making life miserable for all three and eventually triggering a tragic mishap on the rapids. Driven mostly by dialogue, the plot moves briskly, snaking its way through various subplots that include young love, drug abuse, and criminal misconduct. Amid the continuously unfolding drama emerges the story of Rocky's tumultuous past with his late brother, finally providing Scott the key to accepting his loss and finding hope for a future with the only family he has left. Roger Leslie
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