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River Season    by Jim Black order for
River Season
by Jim Black
Order:  USA  Can
Penguin, 2004 (2003)
Hardcover, Paperback

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* * *   Reviewed by Barbara Lingens

A simple, but lovingly told story, River Season is set in a small town we would all like to live in. People care about each other, and adults, whether parents or not, look after children. At the same time, no one is perfect, and sometimes this leads to humorous situations and sometimes not.

Told by thirteen-year-old Jim, the story begins with his meeting Sam at a favorite fishing spot. The river they fish is as fickle as life, sometimes running full over its banks, sometimes petering out totally. But Sam has a particular way of giving Jim good perspective on what this all means. Over the summer, Jim and his two friends will have a full portion of experience, with everything from fright to first love. They will begin to understand how much damage prejudice can do and how important respect, kindness and love can be.

At first, the chapters of this book seemed like separate episodes, not really connected. Only at the end did things come together. And to me the epilogue, while interesting, actually took away some of the power of the ending. But do not let that stop you from enjoying the novel.

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