Riverland – from Abrams Books
Order: Barnes & Noble | Amazon | Indiebound |
“Harrowing and beautiful, Riverland is both the dark tumbling water and the lighthouse of imagination and resilience that shows a way through it.” – NPR
Once upon a time, there were two sisters who rescued each other.
When things go bad at home, sisters Eleanor and Mike hide in a secret place under Eleanor’s bed, telling monster stories. Often, it seems those stories and their mother’s house magic are all that keep them safe from both busybodies and their dad’s temper. But when their father breaks a family heirloom, a glass witch ball, a river suddenly appears beneath the bed, and Eleanor and Mike fall into a world where dreams are born, nightmares struggle to break into the real world, and secrets have big consequences. Full of both adventure and heart, Riverland is a story about the bond between two sisters and how they must make their own magic to protect each other and save the ones they love.
Cover by Robert Frank Hunter.
Riverland is a portal fantasy about domestic violence. In the tradition of portal fantasies, the fantastic is an adventure to help right a world that has gone somehow wrong. In another way, it is a story about two sisters gaining control over their own narrative, learning their strengths, and rescuing themselves. I’m hoping you’ll get to know Mike and Eleanor, Pendra and Kalliope, Dishrag and the Heron, the dreams and the ‘mares. It is the book of my heart, that I swore I’d never write, and then felt compelled to write.
Reading and Classroom Guide, with Activities (PDF) Download
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In lieu of more, here are a few things I’ve written related to the book, and the topic:
- Washington Post: “Three Children’s Authors on the Importance of Tough Topics in Young People’s Literature”https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifest…
- Washington Post: “Domestic Violence and Teaching My Daughter to Always Rescue Herself First”https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/p…
- SteaMG: “The Magic and Science of Glass”https://steamg.org/blog/2019/3/23/the…
- Nerdy Book Club: “On Being Raised By Books And Boats”https://nerdybookclub.wordpress.com/2…
- Booksmugglers: “A Map of Inspirations and Influences for Riverland”https://www.thebooksmugglers.com/2019… (less)
Starred Review from Shelf Awareness!! “With her middle-grade debut, award-winning author Fran Wilde (the Bone Universe trilogy) depicts two girls attempting to make sense of the emotional and physical abuse they suffer from and witness every day. Wilde approaches the difficult subjects of domestic violence and emotional abuse with the care and respectful treatment that they deserve, using the fantastic to symbolize and illuminate the complex emotions her characters experience. About courage and truth overcoming denial and fear, Riverland is an important book.”
Starred Review from Booklist!! “The latest from award-winning Wilde is a must-read for upper-middle-graders looking not just for a magical quest but also for lyrical writing and a beautiful story, too.”
Here’s some more news: