WHEN THE RIVER RAN BACKWARD by Emily Crofford

WHEN THE RIVER RAN BACKWARD

Age Range: 9 - 11
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Crofford (A Place to Belong, 1994) sets her newest historical near the banks of the Mississippi during the earthquakes of 1811–12—earthquakes so violent that thousands died and, at one point, parts of the river ran in different directions. Despite rumors of some very odd animal behavior, Laurel Mawston has no idea what’s coming when she sees the ink in her inkpot moving. But later that night she, her parents, and her older brother Jed suddenly find themselves forced out into the yard, surrounded by whatever possessions they could snatch, to watch their barn and other buildings fall while the earth bucks and heaves. The shocks don’t stop after a day or two either, but are still coming at random intervals weeks later, culminating in one so massive that the nearby town of New Madrid has to be abandoned. Crofford ably captures the terror and uncertainty of the times, plunks down quick romances for Laurel—who makes the pleasant discovery that, despite what she’s been told, her harelip is no obstacle to kissing, or marriage—and Jed, and wraps up the aftermath in a long postscript. Engrossing fare for fans of disaster tales, American history, and slender books. (Fiction. 9-11)

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 2000
ISBN: 1-57505-305-5
Page count: 84pp
Publisher: Carolrhoda
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 2000