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Extended Audio Sample The River Between Us, by Richard Peck Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,937 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Richard Peck Narrator: Lina Patel, Daniel Passer Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Richard Peck is a master of stories about people in transition, but perhaps never before has he told a tale of such dramatic change as this one, set during the first year of the Civil War. The whole country is changing in 1861—even the folks from a muddy little Illinois settlement on the banks of the Mississippi. Here, fifteen-year-old Tilly Pruitt frets over the fact that her brother is dreaming of being a soldier and that her sister is prone to supernatural visions. A boy named Curry could possibly become a distraction.

Then a steamboat whistle splits the air. The Rob Roy from New Orleans docks at the landing, and off the boat step two remarkable figures: a vibrant, commanding young lady in a rustling hoop skirt and a darker, silent woman in a plain cloak, with a bandanna wrapped around her head. Who are these two fascinating strangers? And is the darker woman a slave, standing now on the free soil of Illinois? When Tilly’s mother invites the women to board at her house, the whole world shifts for the Pruitts and for their visitors as well.

Within a page-turning tale of mystery, adventure, and the civilian Civil War experience, Richard Peck has spun a breathtaking portrait of the lifelong impact that one person can have on another. This is a novel of countless riches.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “This unusual Civil War novel really boosts Peck’s credentials as America’s best living author for young adults. Not only is it a gripping yarn…but it is nearly as intricately structured as Wuthering Heights, with multiple narrators and tales-within-tales enhancing both the mystery and the wistfulness of long-ago events.”

    Washington Post

  • It's a riveting story that shows racism everywhere and young people facing war, not sure what side to be on or why. (Booklist, starred review)
  • Peck reaches new depth with this Civil War-era novel. . . (Publishers Weekly, starred review)
  • Historical fiction fans should enter this at the top of the must-read list. (The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, starred review)
  • The harsh realities of war are brutally related in a complex, always surprising plot that resonates on multiple levels. (he Horn Book, starred review)
  • This unusual Civil War novel really boosts Peck's credentials as America's best living author for young adults. (The Washington Post)
  • Unforgettable characters and handsome prose make this book one you won't want to miss. (Children's Literature)
  • A rich tale full of magic, mystery, and surprise. (Kirkus Reviews, starred review)
  • “Peck writes beautifully, bringing history alive through Tilly’s marvelous voice and deftly handling themes of family, race, war, and history. A rich tale full of magic, mystery, and surprise.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • “The author crafts his characters impeccably and threads together their fates in surprising ways that shed light on the complicated events of the Civil War.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “The harsh realities of war are brutally related in a complex, always surprising plot that resonates on multiple levels.”

    Horn Book (starred review)

  • Winner of the 2004 Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction
  • A 2006 Rebecca Caudill Young Readers’ Book Award Nominee
  • A 2003 Publishers Weekly Best Book for Children
  • A 2003 National Book Award Finalist for Young People's Literature
  • A 2003 Los Angeles Times Book Prize Nominee for Young Adult Fiction

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by *Megan* 8-3* | 2/12/2014

    " At first this book was confusing, but it got a lot better. At the end I couldn't put it down. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Miah | 2/12/2014

    " SAD in middle and end. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Amy | 2/1/2014

    " A good middle-grade historical fiction about the civil war. Good look at both sides of the war, focused on a citizens POV. Full review to come. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Victoria-Lynn Winning | 12/19/2013

    " This book was about a time period I was quite unfamiliar with, which is part of the reason I picked it in the first place. I do feel that the atmosphere was authentic, and the characters intrigued me, but I couldn't help feeling that some things ended rather abruptly, or came up and then were dropped with little development. My favourite parts were the beginning and the end, which are narrated not in the past but in the present, by a teenage boy who is hearing the story from the elder Tilly herself. A note I have that relates not to the print version but to the audio version is how much I enjoyed and appreciated the talents of the respective narrators! They were easy to listen to, evoked a good mood, and made for a wonderful listening experience. "

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