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Sunday, October 4, 2015

Take Me To The River by Will Hobbs

                Dylan has spent the past few years looking forward to his first trip to Texas to join his uncle and cousin, Rio, on a river trip down the Rio Grande on the border of the United States and Mexico. Practice at summer canoe camps has given him the skills he needs to make the trip – at least, that’s what he and his parents believe.  His trip gets off to a rocky start when no one is waiting to greet him at the bus station and a note from his cousin tells him to hitchhike the rest of the way. When he finally arrives in tiny Terlingua Ghost Town, he discovers that nothing is going according to plan; his uncle has gone to Alaska leaving only Rio to join him on the trip and a hurricane may be headed their way.  The two teens decide to take to the river anyway and find that Mother Nature isn’t the only thing working against them. Already pushed to their limits by the increasingly dangerous hurricane-fueled rapids, their trip takes an even more deadly turn when they find themselves at the mercy of a Mexican gangster on the run from authorities on both sides of the border.  Can the boys protect themselves and the gangster’s other victim, the kidnapped young son of a Mexican judge, from the dangers of both the river and a criminal on the run?

                Take Me to the River is an exciting adventure tale for students from upper elementary age and beyond.  Some students may have difficulty with some of the specific vocabulary within the book dealing with types of rapids and other river features such as eddy or class three, but context clues are provided through much of the text to support students unfamiliar with these terms. Although familiarity with river rafting will add to the reader’s understanding and enjoyment of the story, it is not necessary.  Fans of other wilderness adventures such as Gary Paulsen’s Hatchet and Roland Smith’s Storm Runner, as well as Hobb’s other titles will enjoy the action and suspense in Take Me to the River.

Themes: Courage

Age Appropriateness:
10 and up
Areas of concern (content):
Foul Language: mild
Nudity/Adult Content: none
Violence: moderate (shooting, blades)