River Rats

Author: Wyatt, Leslie J.

Subjects: Growing up; 1940s

Age: 9, 10, 11, 12, 13

Grade: 4, 5, 6, 7

ISBN: 978-0-89824-378-9

Order code: 3789

Price: $14.99
Website price: $10.00

Also an iBook from iTunes

Class sets: 10 or more: $7.00 each.
Order code: 3789S

River Rats Cover

The novel is set in 1940s rural Missouri, with World War II about to shatter lives forever. The story is told in the authentic voice of 12-year-old Kenny, who roams the countryside with his older brother and friends, hanging out together in the bottoms of the Chariton River. Trouble comes with the arrival of a new boy, Henry Nichols, who is "a thin stick of a person, looking like a half-starved hound...and not like us." 

Can he join the River Rats? Kenny's big brother, Jim, is a bully and tries everything he can to humiliate and hurt the newcomer, who doesn't even go to school he's so poor. Kenny must risk losing the friendship of his own brother by doing what, deep down, he knows is right. In the midst of the rough and tumble of the boys' day-to-day lives, the story tackles head-on the dilemmas and choices that Kenny must face about loyalty, friendship, and right and wrong.

"Playing out against the small foreground of local events is a big story on the world stage: over in Europe, another dominating individual is bending all of Europe to his sway. Kenny comes to realize that trivial-seeming decisions can have big consequences, and a tyrant is a tyrant, no matter how petty. Readers will appreciate the authentic feel of the times and the interplay between characters." – Redeemedreader.com

Author Leslie J. Wyatt learned first hand about the Chariton River bottoms from someone who grew up there. "Listening to his stories was like stepping into a bygone age. I began to wish I could capture them for my children and all the other children in the world who would never get to live that life."

Wyatt’s writing credits include a previous historical novel, Poor Is Just a Starting Place, and more than 200 stories and articles in national magazines. A two-time graduate of the Institute of Children’s Literature and a member of SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators), she served as 2010 SCBWI Missouri Mentor and has presented at literature festivals, SCBWI writing conferences, schools, and homeschool co-ops. Her work is varied, but the themes of justice, individuality, and heritage run throughout them.

The novel is set in 1940s rural Missouri, with World War II about to shatter lives forever. The story is told in the authentic voice of 12-year-old Kenny, who roams the countryside with his older brother and friends, hanging out together in the bottoms of the Chariton River. Trouble comes with the arrival of a new boy, Henry Nichols, who is "a thin stick of a person, looking like a half-starved hound...and not like us." 

Can he join the River Rats? Kenny's big brother, Jim, is a bully and tries everything he can to humiliate and hurt the newcomer, who doesn't even go to school he's so poor. Kenny must risk losing the friendship of his own brother by doing what, deep down, he knows is right. In the midst of the rough and tumble of the boys' day-to-day lives, the story tackles head-on the dilemmas and choices that Kenny must face about loyalty, friendship, and right and wrong.

"Playing out against the small foreground of local events is a big story on the world stage: over in Europe, another dominating individual is bending all of Europe to his sway. Kenny comes to realize that trivial-seeming decisions can have big consequences, and a tyrant is a tyrant, no matter how petty. Readers will appreciate the authentic feel of the times and the interplay between characters." – Redeemedreader.com

Author Leslie J. Wyatt learned first hand about the Chariton River bottoms from someone who grew up there. "Listening to his stories was like stepping into a bygone age. I began to wish I could capture them for my children and all the other children in the world who would never get to live that life."

Wyatt’s writing credits include a previous historical novel, Poor Is Just a Starting Place, and more than 200 stories and articles in national magazines. A two-time graduate of the Institute of Children’s Literature and a member of SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators), she served as 2010 SCBWI Missouri Mentor and has presented at literature festivals, SCBWI writing conferences, schools, and homeschool co-ops. Her work is varied, but the themes of justice, individuality, and heritage run throughout them.

River Rats Cover

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