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River Boy
by Tim Bowler (more about Tim Bowler) 173/116 first published 1997
Fantasy and Magic for ages 9 to 14 published by Oxford University Press
Available from:  Amazon.co.uk
* £3.99, Usually dispatched within 2-3 days
Mrs Mad's humble opinion
7/10 This is quite a good piece of work.
What's it about?
Who is the River Boy in the painting Grandpa is struggling to finish, and what is it that they want Jess to do?
What happens?
Jess has always loved swimming, almost as much as she loves Grandpa, but now she knows things are changing. Her Grandpa is terribly ill and pushing himself to complete a painting called River Boy. Returning to the place where he grew up seems to be making him worse, he needs her help, but first Jess must unravel the mystery of the River Boy. Only then will she be able to face the daunting task her Grandpa is asking of her.
Is it easy to read?
A complicated subject but well worth a read for any child with maturity and imagination.
Anything else?
Won the Library Association Carnegie Book Award 1997 A wonderful mix of fantasy and reality. Bowler with pace and clear imagery. The reality of the story, recognition of the death of those we love is a theme few authors dare to cover with younger readers. Bowler handles it very well and by adding that touch of fantasy to the story, he brings a whole new element to the book.
Who says so?
This review by Mrs Mad.
The publisher reckons...
Jess and her parents take her grandfather back to his childhood home so that he can finish his last painting "River Boy". While out swimming, Jess meets a boy who challenges her to swim down the river to the sea. Then she discovers that this was one of her grandfather's childhood ambitions.
And here's a sample...
It didn't start with the River Boy. It started, as so many things started, with Grandpa, and with swimming. It was only later, when she came to think things over, that she realized that in a strange way the River Boy had been part of her all along, like the figment of a dream. And the dream was her life.
And what do you think?
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