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Monday, June 14, 2010

Book Review: Three Rivers Rising: A Novel of the Johnstown Flood by Jame Richards

Three Rivers Rising: A Novel of the Johnstown Flood by Jame Richards
Buy Three Rivers Rising: A Novel of the Johnstown Flood by Jame Richards

Three Rivers Rising: A Novel of the Johnstown Flood
by Jame Richards

Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
ISBN-10: 0-375-85885-7
ISBN-13: 978-0-375-85885-7
Publication Date: April, 2010
List Price: $16.99

Review: Floods, disowning people, and an intense love story make Three Rivers Rising, by Jane Richards, a confusing book. Told by multiple narrators, the story is about a flood that brings many lives together. Celestia, Peter, Kate, Maura, and Whitecomb all tell about their experiences in this romantic novel. Families are ruined, but the love between Celestia and Peter survives the harshest conditions. Will everybody drown or die of typhoid fever because of the flood, or will they survive? Read the book to find out how the lives of four families will be changed forever.

The first part of the book introduces the reader to the baffling ways of the book. The setting details the characters and general plot in a dull way. The plot picks up pace when Peter walked to the lake to go fishing and he saw Celestia, who was reading a book. They immediately fall in love and a series of chain events begin. Celestia learns that her sister, Estrella, has upset her lover and has to fade away from her family. Subsequently, Celestia pretends to have a fever and is sent back to Pittsburg. The following summer Kate becomes a nurse and Celestia looks for Peter again. But then the rain comes pouring into the rivers and the water splashes over the banks. Maura’s husband, Joseph, protects all of the people in Johnstown by sounding the train whistle that signals flood. When she has a dream, Celestia tries to save Peter, but gets separated from him by the flood. Celestia’s mother, Whitecomb, tries to find Celestia and helps families along the way to Johnstown. Celestia later finds Peter, and with the help of Kate, manages to save his life. But Celestia catches typhoid fever and Peter, who is now healthy, helps Celestia survive. In the end, Peter and Kate are welcomed to stay with Celestia’s family because they both helped to save Celestia.

Three Rivers Rising does not come highly recommended for most people because of the complexity. With multiple narrators, this book goes from one story to another without making sense. Too many points of view are made and some of the characters are greedy and stubborn. To make this book better, Jane Richards could have made the narrators all from Celestia’s family (Celestia, Whitecomb, her dad, and Estrella) plus Peter and his dad. On a scale from 1-10, this book gets a 4 because it is too puzzling and I found it to be boring. If you really are fond of love stories with a hint of excitement, this book would be good, but the numerous storytellers make it dull. There are better books in life, unless you are truly addicted to poem-like stories such as Three Rivers Rising.

Review written by Adam (6th grade student).

We would like to thank Random House for providing a copy of Three Rivers Rising: A Novel of the Johnstown Flood for this review.

Have you read Three Rivers Rising: A Novel of the Johnstown Flood? How would you rate it?

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