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Monday, October 28, 2013

Scamps and Scoundrels Unite: Big River's Daughter by Bobbi Miller

Hi there!
Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers...the place to be when you hear the voice of adventure calling but you just can't determine the source.  No worries, I'll help set you on the right course.  All in due time...and speaking of time...

Today, we are going back in time to a land both familiar and yet not so much.  Its leading lady is anything but expected and the rapscallions she encounters are straight out of history.  Though some might shirk at something historically tinged word to the wise...THIS ONE GETS IT RIGHT (in my humble opinion at least).  Are you ready to set sail on the mighty waters of a river wilder than most and in more ways than one?  Let your hair fly free and holler out a big's time to meet today's book of choice...

Bobbi Miller
Holiday House

About the book...
Raised by her pirate father on a Mississippi keeler, River is a half-feral river rat and proud of it. When her powerful father disappears in the great earthquake of 1811, she is on the run from buccaneers, including Jean Laffite, who hope to claim her father's territory and his buried treasure. But the ruthless rivals do not count on getting a run for their money from a plucky slip of a girl determined to find her place in the new order.

River is one little lady I'd rather not be inside the mind of.  Why you might ask?  Because...I'd rather count her as a friend by my side than a puzzle to be puzzled.

She's a red-headed rough-and-tumble scamp who knows her way around the river like the back of her hand.  Navigatin' with the aid of her Da's spyglass, she takes the world by storm...though not purely by choice.  While it's true enough she can handle her own affairs even at the whippersnapper age she be...her mostly solo status is a result of bad timing, Mother Nature's fury, and the mighty Mississip.

One nasty earthquake that broke the whole of the ground they infrequently tread and nothing was ever the same again; harrowing scenes hard to read even though certainly censored enough for the target reading audience.  We go from childhood freedom and bliss to heartache in the blink of an eye.  Treading the murky waters left behind, danger is never far just like the spirit of her Da, whether he still be earthbound of travelling beyond.  Why is not for her Da's fierceness burning withing (something a striped friend recognizes along the way and calls kin) and her own determination, I do believe we'd find the young lass victim to any number of foul plays which seem to follow closer than her own shadow...with or without her Tiger friend.  What's that?  Oh, yes...she has a Tiger as a friend.  It's rather sweet actually...the relationship, not necessarily the tiger.  Does wonders in proving just how far kindness and understanding can take you though when language is not the common denominator.  Moving forward...

The story is written so we get a mix of fact and fiction but IT WORKS, exposing readers of all ages to a time period in history that for many is long forgotten.  The characters are vivid and rich with real emotions on which to tread, lives on which to impose and friendships of which to establish lifelong (okay, book long) connections.  From River herself who would rather do almost anything than be "civilized" (too funny when they try, too!) to Tiger who is all BIG cat but built with enough heart to recognize goodness when he sees it.  From Annie Christmas, whom I'd rather NOT owe a pearl or anything besides thanks to, and ALL her boyos, whose kindness is too grand a scale to measure, to Gurdy and his swampy kin.  There is so much and so many to love and yet only so much cyberspace I can allot to this review...or at least only so much you'd be willing to read before ditching the site for your own "date" with the book.  ^_^

Author Bobbi Miller
In the end, whether good (yay River!), bad (boo Pirate Laffite and your double crossing crossed crony's), or somewhere in between (Harpe...nuff said), this tale of triumph and tragedy on the grand ole Mississip will have you glued to the page like a river pirate to his guiding pole.  There's trausre to be had, true enough and if I were a betting woman, my money would be on River to find it first...but the REAL treasure is the work itself.  It's fit for all middle grade readers and beyond, boy and girl alike.  What the story doesn't do for you, the characters will the spot on dialect (bookmarks up to the author for capturing it so well!).

Review copy received courtesy of author Bobbi Miller.  (THANKS!)  For more information on this title as well as her other works, be sure to visit her online, or friend her on Facebook.  This book is available now via Holiday House, so seek thee out a copy on a bookstore shelf nearest you.

Until next time...WHO-OP...and happy reading!


Tracy Terry said...

Loving the sound of this unlikely heroine, I think we should have a lot more of them in children's literature.

Gina R said...

Tracy: Well said and seconded!

Claudine G. said...

Sounds like a grand adventure I'd love to pick up.

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