DEATH ON THE RIVER by John Wilson

DEATH ON THE RIVER

Age Range: 14 & up
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KIRKUS REVIEW

This riveting look at the Civil War’s horrifying Andersonville prison through the eyes of an 18-year-old inmate has the power to shock and to compel young readers’ interest while uncovering exciting history for them. Wilson doesn’t shove the history down his readers’ throats. He merely writes a tension-filled story packed with appalling events that really happened, although his protagonist, Jake, is fictional. Jake’s character development takes center stage as he tries to survive in the prison’s hell on earth. The young soldier finds himself burdened with guilt over things he did to survive and did not do to save others. Worse, he’s tied to Billy Sharp, a murderous thief who includes Jake in his nefarious activities and intends to continue doing so. The author paints clear pictures of Jake and Billy, along with sketches of others both strong and weak, virtuous and vile. When the war ends and he tries to sever his ties to Billy, Jake gets the chance to redeem himself. This engrossing novel leaves an enduring impression. (Historical fiction. YA)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-1-55469-111-1
Page count: 200pp
Publisher: Orca
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 2009




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