Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

The River Between Us

The River Between Us

Fall 2003 Fiction
Ages: 12 & Up
Author: Richard Peck
ISBN: 080372
Hardcover Price: $16.99
In 1916, the summer that Howard is fifteen, his father, Dr. William Hutchings, loads Howard and his five-year-old twin brothers into the family Model-T for a trip to see Dr. Hutchings' parents who live on the Mississippi in southern Illinois. Grandma Tilly, her ancient husband, the first Dr. Hutchings, Great-uncle Noah, who had lost his arm in the Civil War, and the bedridden Great-aunt Delphine live together on the family homeplace. For some reason, Howard's mother is standoffish about her husband's family and declines to go.

Switching from Howard as the first-person narrator to Grandma Tilly as the first-person narrator (telling her grandson the bizarre story of their lives during the Civil War) is an effective device for exploring the terrible havoc that the Civil War wrecked on one family and their history, which includes a ghost and a very startling family secret.

Kemie Nix   ©2003 Parents' Choice
Kemie Nix is Chairman of Children's Literature for Children (CLC), a non-profit, tax-exempt, educational organization dedicated to bringing children and books together. Mrs. Nix, a senior book editor for Parents' Choice, has a remarkable sense of selecting books children love to read.

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