Children of the River

Children of the River

4.3 81
by Linda Crew, Christina Moore
     
 

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Grades 7 and up


Sundara fled Cambodia with her aunt's family to escape the Khmer Rouge army when she was thirteen, leaving behind her parents, her brother and sister, and the boy she had loved since she was a child.

Now, four years later, she struggles to fit in at her Oregon high school and to be "a good Cambodian girl" at home

Overview

Grades 7 and up


Sundara fled Cambodia with her aunt's family to escape the Khmer Rouge army when she was thirteen, leaving behind her parents, her brother and sister, and the boy she had loved since she was a child.

Now, four years later, she struggles to fit in at her Oregon high school and to be "a good Cambodian girl" at home. A good Cambodian girl never dates; she waits for her family to arrange her marriage to a Cambodian boy. Yet Sundara and Jonathan, an extraordinary American boy, are powerfully drawn to each other. Haunted by grief for her lost family and for the life left behind, Sundara longs to be with him. At the same time she wonders, Are her hopes for happiness and new life in America disloyal to her past and her people?

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Sundara Sovann, a Cambodian refugee, fled from the Khmer Rouge army when she was 13. Living with her aunt and uncle in the U.S., also ``boat people,'' she doesn't know what has happened to the rest of her family. Four years after her arrival, she is still haunted by the death of her infant cousin, with whose care she was entrusted on the nightmarish boat trip. And she still hasn't adjusted to the new culture. Torn between the Cambodian customs she is supposed to live up to at home, and the need to assimilate at high school, Sundara knows she shouldn't even be talking to American boys. Then she falls in love with Jonathan, a handsome football player. The resolution comes smoothly and plausibly, offering a pleasant and moving look at the way in which a survivor of great tragedy, having confronted overwhelming changes in her life, faces young adulthood. Ages 12-up. (Mar.)
From the Publisher
* "A powerful first novel....A book to change readers' eyes and hearts."— Pointer, Kirkus Reviews

• "Crew salutes the basic goodness of humankind which triumphs in some way even under the most inhumane circumstances."— Starred, School Library Journal

"A moving look at the way in which a survivor of a great tragedy, having confronted overwhelming changes in her life, faces young adulthood." — Publishers Weekly

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780788732102
Publisher:
Recorded Books, LLC
Publication date:
01/07/2002
Edition description:
Unabridged
Age Range:
15 Years

Meet the Author

"The approach I take with my writing is to have my work reflect real life, and yet be shaped into the best story possible. I feel that a powerful piece of fiction can often convey an emotional truth more compellingly than a strictly factual version."—Linda Crew

Linda Crew is a recipient of the IRA Children's Book Award and the Golden Kite Award, and her books have been named ALA Notables as well as ALA Best Books.

Linda Crew didn't always have to be a writer. In fact, while attending junior high school in the early sixties, this award-winning author wanted to be a folksinger. By high school, when it bad become apparent to her that she really couldn't sing, she decided to become an actress. Then, at the University of Oregon, her theatrical ambitions evaporated. At her mother's suggestion, Crew switched her major to journalism—and loved it.

Crew's training was in journalism—interviewing, researching, and marketing—and she was encouraged to present the facts accurately and without fuss. But her assigmnents always ended up full of dialogue and she "had this compelling urge to make a story just a little better than the way it happened." Thus, her talent for writing fiction was born.

After college, Linda Crew married her husband Herb and settled on a farm in her home state of Oregon, where the couple still resides today with their three children. Crew leads a full, busy life and admits, "It's difficult sometimes to carve out the time for writing with so many other demands, but it's important for me to do some living. After all, what could a person possibly write about if she spent all day closeted in front of her computer?"

Book List

Long Time Passing

Children of the River
An ALA Best Book for Young Adults
An IRA Children's Book Award
A Golden Kite Award
New York Public Library Books for the Teen Age

Fire on the Wind
Maine Student Book Award Master List 1996-1997
Vermont Dorothy Canfield Fisher Book Award Master List 1996-1997

Nekomah Creek
An ALA Notable Children's Book

Nekomah Creek Christmas

Author Fun Facts

Previous jobs:
Florist, mail carrier, visitor center receptionist for the Forest Service at Cape Perpetua

Pets: One lively black cat named Goblin

Favorite . . .

. . . hobbies? I like theater. I enjoy working with dried flowers, also sewing, especially creative things like doll clothes and costumes. I am notorious in my house for going overboard on costumes!

. . . foods? chocolate!

. . . clothes to wear? jeans or long dresses

. . . colors? green, of course! I'm an Oregonian.

. . . books? good children's books

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Children of the River 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 81 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
We read this book for lit groups and it was amazing! It is a lot of love and emotional feelings. This book keeps you on your seat. I didn't like that most of the names were Khmer so they were hard to pronounce or even hard to read. This is a great book and i recommend it to people looking for a great love story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is not the real version , the original has like 300 pages and this one only has 168
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I had to read this book for school. I liked reading it to learn about the history of cambodia. I had never even known about what happened there. I thought sundara was a good protagonist because she had a lot of internal conflict. But i thought the romance was a little underdeveloped. I dont really get what sundara saw in jonathan other than that he was good looking.
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I read this book ten years ago when I was in seventh grade and it has stuck with me all these years!
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lilmudduckmuffineater More than 1 year ago
Very good book. It is fiction but based on a real life war and customs of certain cultures. It made me glad to be me and live in this time. It's sad and makes you want to hope for the best when you know you'll only see the worst. To be torn away from everything you know and and everyone you love must be very hard and it was hard not to get emotional when reading parts of this book. If you have read this and didn't feel a thing there must be something wrong in your compassion department. Overall I say read it if you already haven't. I read this in jr. high and I enjoyed reading it again at the age of 22
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Guest More than 1 year ago
My seventh grade geography teacher gave me this book to read, while I was out of the country. I mean it meant well, but I was disappointed. The hardships before their journey to America and the language barrier I can understand, but I was put off by the romance between Jonathan. It felt out of place and it ended up consuming the rest of the book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book demonstrates the great and terrible aspects of life and just how hard it is to cope with them. The main characater, Sundara has a strong sense of courage trying to preserve her traditions and culture of Cambodia, while also trying to adapt to a new American lifestle. She goes against many of her fears and still is able to give space to what she truly desires from within her heart.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. It was an assigned book when I was in junior high and at first I thought it wouldn't be very enjoyable, but it turned out to be one of the best books I have read. It made me cry at least three times. Must read!
Guest More than 1 year ago
this book starts out weird but then it really gets interesting. this book keeps your hopes up until the end. it has a powerful message that evolves slowly but it captivates all readers.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The book ¿Children of the River¿ was one fine book. It was like a journey through the past with romance, and action. It was about a girl named Sundara who had to move away from her county because of a war in Cambodia. Sundara had to make a choice between her family, and an American boy named Jonathan, she liked. So I recommend that everybody read this book. It will make you think about things like Sundara really had a bad time of it, or my life isn¿t bad after all, it will change your thinking. Today people in the world still have to live like they did in the story. At first, you may think the book is boring but it not, it gets better later. During the war in Cambodia, Sundara had to go with her aunt to the United States. While Sundara was in school in the United States people were dying in Cambodia for no reason. If you really think about it, things like that are probably still going on somewhere right now. Also, in her culture, she had to marry someone her parents choose even if she was in love with someone else. Arranged marriages still go on today in other cultures. The best part of the book was the romances in the middle of the book, which is about Sundara and Jonathan they were trying to sneak out at night. Sundara was the main character in the story. She was a very quiet girl that didn¿t know how to speak in English that well until later.