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River Boy by Tim Bowler
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River Boy (1997)

by Tim Bowler

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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301557,790 (3.69)16
Knowing that he is dying, Jess's grandfather insists on returning to the river he had known as a boy to finish a special painting and fulfill a life-long dream.

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» See also 16 mentions

Showing 5 of 5
A young girl and her parents struggle with her grandfather's swiftly declining health as they all travel back to the rural area where he was born. Jess's grandfather is a painter, and his efforts to finish his last painting seem to be bound to both his own life and the mysterious boy who appears to Jess in the river near their vacation home.
The idea behind this one is really good, and potentially could be a great way to open up a conversation with kids about how to process the death of a loved one. But the writing wasn't great, and the character of Jess seemed a little flat, so the whole thing fell a bit short for me. ( )
  electrascaife | Nov 30, 2017 |
Story Elements
  dteach0102 | Sep 9, 2010 |
It's a short book, but Bowler does a good job of making you like Jess and her family in the early part of the book, necessary for the emotional ending to work. And yes I enjoyed it, and the ending is great, but for me some of the magic of Starseeker just wasn’t there.

Read and comment on my full review at:
http://www.bartsbookshelf.co.uk/2009/02/03/river-boy-by-tim-bowler/ ( )
  bart154ce | Feb 4, 2009 |
The girl's grandfather is dying. He is a skilful painter but never names his paintings. He has started a painting which he has titled, River Boy. Although painting is an extreme struggle the girl helps her grandfather finish the painting. She is a talented swimmer and as she helps her grandfather she begins to unravel a mystery of her own, down by the river.
A moving, emotional book that leaves you thinking about it at the end. It feels like a boring book at the start but as you progress through the book you are taken on a journey with all of the characters. It is a book that you have to think about but not in a bad way. The author has written an amazing book in such a way that leaves you facinated by it at the end.
1 vote bookworm908 | Oct 5, 2008 |
I enjoyed this mystery story very much. I have always been a swimmer and loved swimming so I could really relate to the main character. ( )
  JskyC | Jun 1, 2007 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Tim Bowlerprimary authorall editionscalculated
Olbinski, RafalCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
"All the rivers run into the sea, yet the sea is not full: unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again." -- Ecclesiastes 1:7
Dedication
For Larry, who knows about rivers
First words
"It didn't start with the river boy."
Quotations
She needed to swim. To be deprived of swimming would be like a perverse kind of drowning. She loved the sensation of power and speed, the feeling of glistening in a bed of foam.
It didn't start with the river boy. It started, as so many things started, with Grandpa, and with swimming. It was only later, when she came to think things over, that she realised that in a strange way the river boy had been part of her all along, like the figment of a dream.

And the dream was her life.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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