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TAKE ME TO THE RIVER by Will Hobbs

TAKE ME TO THE RIVER

By Will Hobbs

Age Range: 10 - 14

Pub Date: March 1st, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-06-074144-0
Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Terlingua Ghost Town isn’t a common destination for teenagers, but 14-year-old Dylan is hitchhiking his way there for a white-water–rafting adventure with his reclusive uncle and his boisterous cousin, Rio. When he learns that his uncle has unexpectedly gone to Alaska, Dylan goes along with Rio’s plan to shoot the Rio Grande rapids anyway. Rough water isn’t the only challenge; Dylan and Rio are coerced into helping a murderous gangster escape Mexico even as a powerful hurricane threatens Texas. Hobbs brings his standard adventure-packed narrative to life with his usual style; teens encounter nature’s powerful forces and must draw on all their abilities and wits to survive the onslaught. Both Dylan and Rio are decently fleshed-out characters, though gangster Carlos’ characterization as a villain is less than subtle. Diego, the child Carlos has kidnapped, is unremarkable and easily forgotten in the narrative flow. While the author brushes against issues of undocumented immigration and quality of life in border towns, it’s just briefly. While this is nothing new for the veteran, readers who want to avoid the current paranormal or dystopian action-adventure trends can take comfort in a simple man-vs.-nature tale. (Adventure. 10-14)