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Riverland Paperback – May 11, 2021
"There Was an Old Mummy Who Swallowed a Spider" by Jennifer Ward
From the creators of the bestselling There Was an Old Monkey Who Swallowed a Frog comes a spooky rendition of the popular “Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly” song. | Learn more
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"A narrative that challenges the stereotypical stories of domestic violence, Riverland is painful and heartwarming all at once . . . A must-read."
"Wilde approaches the difficult subjects of domestic violence and emotional abuse with the care and respectful treatment that they deserve, using the fantastic to symbolize and illuminate the complex emotions her characters experience. About courage and truth overcoming denial and fear, Riverland is an important book."
About the Author
- Grade Level : 5 - 9
- Paperback : 368 pages
- Item Weight : 1.11 pounds
- ISBN-10 : 1419743384
- ISBN-13 : 978-1419743382
- Publisher : Amulet Paperbacks (May 11, 2021)
- Reading level : 10 - 14 years
- Language: : English
Best Sellers Rank:
#7,954,396 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #707 in Children's Dysfunctional Relationships Books (Books)
- #1,296 in Children's Abuse Books
- #13,322 in Children's Siblings Books (Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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This is a book for kids. It's also a book for adults, whether you remember, forgot, or never knew what it's like to be a child in danger. It's also very much a book that captures the reality of how kids, siblings especially maybe, can take care of, and feel a deep responsibility for, each other and for their family in a way that can be hard to understand for outsiders and adults.
That sense of kids trying to hold the world together, of fixing the cracks in their reality through sheer force of will and imagination. that sense of "if I say it is so, then it will be"... is captured so well. As I found this morning, it's very hard to put this book down.
"There's no happily ever after....and there are monsters, and that's not fair. But once upon a time, there were two sisters who rescued each other."
"And we kept on doing that, until we didn't need to anymore...."
Eleanor and Mike (Mary) are sisters living in an ancestral home on the river. Their parents are busy and stressed out trying to develop the land along the river into a housing development. Their stress spills over into their home life, and as the girls do their best to behave the way their parents expect (which in many ways is not how any kid acts!), cracks are forming in the family bond.
But that is not the only place that cracks are forming: the magical river world that exists in tandem with our own is springing leaks, allowing nightmares and other monsters into our own world. Eleanor and Mike soon discover that they must summon the power to fix those leaks, just when they have become convinced that they have no power and no way of getting help.
I felt waterlogged along with the girls, and Riverland made me feel the way I felt watching Pan's Labyrinth and What Maisy Knew. I was holding my breath alongside them, hoping they would find their courage.
I cannot say enough how much I love this novel and its masterful approach to children dealing with domestic violence in their home and family. It manages to be both poignant and accessible and to teach children the importance of identifying an adult they can trust. A novel that highlights sisterly love and devotion, I heartily hope it continues to cut a wide swath through the awards season. Thoroughly deserved. The best middle-grade novel of 2019.
Andre Norton Award for 2019, Lodestar nominee for 2020.