Hello and welcome to Book Tuesday. Pull up a chair because we have a humdinger of a book this week.
Today’s focus is going to be on a children’s book written by an author who has been awarded numerous awards for her outstanding books. Her name is Eva Ibbotson and the book we will share today is Journey to the River Sea.
Now I stumbled across this book in the school library and I was pushed to reading it with the Book Club because we had spare copies and that meant no-one had to buy the club book. Apparently it was a class reader once upon a time. Some of the children had already read Journey to the River Sea but they managed to convince the rest of the members that the book was so wonderful, it was worth reading again. Straight away I could sense there was something special about it.
The story follows the life of an orphan called Maia, who is sent to live with her estranged uncle and aunt on a rubber plantation in Brazil, near the Amazon river. With hopes of finding herself a new loving family and twin cousins to call sisters, she embarks on the voyage with a rather stern governess who has a love of books that surpasses most things. Of course, the twisty tale takes us to a place where lies melt beneath the heat of the jungle and the true reason behind the request for Maia to live with her long lost relatives becomes apparent.
What I loved most about this book was the way Eva Ibbotson created characters that literally jumped off the page and into my heart. The setting brought to life vivid creatures from the Amazon and a life that most children could only dream of as an escape from the mundane. Danger is never far off and the promise of adventure is around every corner of the story, sending the reader on a journey down the river to a place where, hopefully, Maia finds true happiness. Not only did one root for the main character but each supporting role, whether protagonist or otherwise, as each evoked great emotion within the reader.
We are completing a chapter a week in our Book Club and the pressure is mounting to read faster to find out what happens next. To see the children enjoying the challenge of the book as well as listening to further explanation about some aspects of the culture of the people or the language used gives us ample opportunity to chew over the delicious details of this story.
If you are looking for a good read for your child and are stumped to find something that includes adventure, excitement, sadness and honest-to-goodness fantastic writing/vocabulary/grammar/punctuation (I fear a lot of the modern ‘fun’ books have forgotten good grammar), then this is the book for your child and you!
Click on the link below to order your copy of Journey to the River Sea by Eva Ibbotsun.