Today, I have the pleasure of reviewing my friend and critique partner's new book for children, RIVER GIRL. Linda Jo Martin is a novelist and content writer living in Northern California. You can learn more about Linda at her website.
From the back cover of RIVER GIRL:
In 1918 Claire Welch moves from the San Francisco Bay Area to the coastal town of Eureka, far to the north. She must leave her dearest friend behind.
From there Claire heads toward a difficult life, traveling inland to Happy Camp, a small town in the middle of a huge forest.
Near Happy Camp, in the Klamath River Valley, she faces the pain of loneliness and learns the true meaning of friendship.
RIVER GIRL (Review)
By Linda Jo Martin
Have you ever had to move away from the only home you’ve ever known, to a new place where everyone is a stranger? How did you feel when you had to leave behind your best friend and most of your personal belongings? Were you angry or happy, sad or excited?
Author Linda Jo Martin’s novel for middle grade readers, RIVER GIRL, is the story of nine-year-old Claire Welch whose life is suddenly turned upside down when her father, Elijah, inherits an estate on the Klamath River, at a town called Happy Camp. Even the doll her mother gives Claire cannot make up for having to leave her friend, Emily, and her home. Worse trouble awaits them on the journey to their new home. Elijah dies, leaving his widow, daughter Claire, and son, Toby, to fend for themselves. The year is 1918 when life was tough for most families, but especially so for a young widow and her children. The author gently tells Claire’s story and how she and her family make a new life for themselves in difficult circumstances, including a new father for Claire and Toby when their mother marries again. As most children do, Claire sometimes makes bad choices; she also learns from her mistakes.
RIVER GIRL reminds me of the Little House on the Prairie books. Not only does the reader meet a family trying to survive through death, illness, and a new land, the author paints a lovely historical picture of a simpler life without TV, computers, iPhones, and other luxuries we take for granted today. RIVER GIRL would make a nice addition to school classrooms for discussion, especially in history classes. I recommend Ms. Martin’s book for not only children but adults, too, who love history and/or stories about families.