Author: Hilton, Marilyn
Eleven-year-old River Rose, bullied at school and missing her older brother, Theron, makes friends with a strange new classmate, Meadow Lark, and the two search for a miracle by floating wishes down the river.
Download a Teacher's Guide
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 4.80
Points: 7.0 Quiz: 173905
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 3-5
Reading Level: 4.70
Points: 11.0 Quiz: 62954
Common Core Standards
Grade 5 → Reading → RL Literature → 5.RL Key Ideas & Details
Grade 5 → Reading → RL Literature → 5.RL Range of Reading & Level of Text Complexity
Grade 6 → Reading → RL Literature → 6.RL Key Ideas & Details
Grade 6 → Reading → RL Literature → 6.RL Range of Reading & Level of Text Complexity
Kirkus Reviews (05/01/14)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (09/14)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 06/01/2014 When her brother, Theron, runs away after causing a car accident, River’s adopted family is shattered: her mother doesn’t happily hum anymore, her father works all the time, and she suddenly starts speaking with an unfamiliar accent. Then she starts having vivid, elaborate dreams of a house where she is sure she has never been. River and her family chalk it up to Theron’s departure, but when a new girl, Meadow Lark, becomes River’s best friend and starts encouraging her to make wishes, River learns more about her family, the river where she is forbidden to play, and her past than she ever bargained for. Debut author Hilton weaves a gentle story of steadfast hope in the face of loss, told from the perspective of an intelligent, sensitive young girl who is perceptive beyond her years. River’s sometimes poetic first-person narration reveals her gradual understanding of the ways Theron’s disappearance reverberates throughout her community. With enigmatic Meadow Lark benignly prodding her forward, River bravely seeks out answers and learns valuable lessons about forgiveness and faith. - Copyright 2014 Booklist.
Bulletin for the Center... - 09/01/2014 After her brother disappears, River Rose goes ever more frequently to the river that is her namesake, where family legend says she was found and where she now collects pieces of dolls and jewelry and other items that wash up on shore. Taunted by the school bully, River finds her loneliness eased by the arrival of Meadow Lark Frankenfield; with physical deformities and an unnervingly assured comportment that guarantee she will remain an outsider, Meadow Lark becomes fast friends with River. The more time River spends with Meadow Lark, the more secrets surface and unfold in River’s family life, while wishes she makes seem to come true, leaving her to wonder who exactly Meadow Lark is-and to ask the same about herself. Lyrical and poignant, this novel weaves lessons about family, friendship, and forgiveness with elements of magical realism; otherworldly infusions into the novel, namely the mysterious Meadow Lark, emerge subtly but powerfully, maintaining focus on River’s reality while imbuing the narrative with an eerie wonder and possibility. Hilton has a remarkable gift for language, employing memorable, heart-piercing turns of phrase (the red hearts drawn on Meadow Lark’s lunch napkins show she is a “cared-about girl”) and using sophisticated conceits, such as speech alteration after trauma, to approach serious subjects of loss and self-discovery. Sensitive to its characters and attuned to the needs of the eleven-year-old heart, this evocative novel will fare well with readers who love language or uncovering family secrets, and who don’t mind a bit of thought-provoking ambiguity in a story’s end. AA - Copyright 2014 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.