GUEST WRITER ABIGAIL BONNAR RECOMMENDS WILD RIVER BY RODMAN PHILBRICK
Wild River by Rodman Philbrick is a thrilling survival story that follows the journey five children are forced to make through the Montana wilderness. The story takes place as the ‘Future Leaders’ white-water rafting group make their way onto ‘Crazy’ river after discovering their original route has dried up. All seems well until the nearby dam breaks and floods the beach the group has set camp on for that night. Acting quickly, the camp leaders secure the children’s safety before being washed away themselves, leaving the children alone to figure out how to survive. The only known surviving members of ‘Future Leaders’ group, students, Deke, Tony, Imani, Mia, and Daniel are left to navigate the Montana wilderness. Without the guidance of adults, or knowledge of when, or if, they will be rescued, the group is pushed to their limits and forced to learn about embracing teamwork, overcoming obstacles, and facing who they are and what they stand for.
This book is recommended for a middle school audience, but you know your students best. The story encourages personal growth and shows readers that everyone can be a hero, and that courage is a choice and not a feeling. However, this story does deal with death, violence, and hard choices in survival situations, which will engage readers who love adventure stories such as Hatchet, but like every story, it is not for every reader. But it is for those described above.
Abigail is a pre-service teacher at UNB. She is an avid reader of fantasy and wilderness survival genres. Abigail is studying to be a teacher in order to ignite a love for reading in her future students.