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A HOUSE BY THE RIVER by William Miller


by William Miller & illustrated by Cornelius Van Wright & Ying-Hwa Hu

Age Range: 6 - 9

Pub Date: May 1st, 1997
ISBN: 1-880000-48-2
Publisher: Lee & Low

 Miller (The Knee-High Man, 1996) finds metaphors in the smooth shell of an egg, in a storm, and in the family bonds with those who have passed away to tell the story of the house that shelters Belinda and her mother from the forces outside their door. The river is rising and Belinda finds herself wishing, once again, for a clean, dry house like the homes of her classmates, closer to school, away from the elements. As the weather worsens, she greets her mother, who reassures her that the house will see them through the storm. As they watch and wait, Belinda's mother tells her about her father, and the dismal state of the house when they first moved in. The storm does pass, and Belinda is grateful for her home--and that's all. The narrative is made of reminiscences and descriptions of the storm's phases; Belinda and her mother happen to be African-Americans, but race is never a factor in the story. Luminous illustrations track the storm's progress and make Belinda's snug surroundings--leaky roof and all--glow. A quiet book--though not one to hand to children in the flood-wracked Midwest--with an unassuming, but sturdy, message. (Picture book. 6-9)