Our Time on the River [NOOK Book]

Overview

1968. Steve’s older brother has just broken the news that he’s quit college to enlist in the army. Before David departs for Vietnam in September, their father decides to send the brothers on a canoe trip down the Susquehanna River. Steve knows that David isn’t happy about the plan, and he’s not looking forward to being trapped with his swaggering, tough-guy brother either. “Look out for each other!” is the last thing they hear Dad shout as they round a bend out of sight, David in the rear, controlling the canoe. ...
See more details below
Our Time on the River

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$10.49
BN.com price
(Save 30%)$15.00 List Price

Overview

1968. Steve’s older brother has just broken the news that he’s quit college to enlist in the army. Before David departs for Vietnam in September, their father decides to send the brothers on a canoe trip down the Susquehanna River. Steve knows that David isn’t happy about the plan, and he’s not looking forward to being trapped with his swaggering, tough-guy brother either. “Look out for each other!” is the last thing they hear Dad shout as they round a bend out of sight, David in the rear, controlling the canoe. At first narrow and quiet as a stream, the river soon grows wider and more complicated, carrying the boys through gritty small-town America on a journey that pushes their adversarial relationship into new territory. There is no map or guide for this trip: just two brothers going forward, navigating the twists and turns of the river, learning to fight for each other.
In this lyrical first novel, Don Brown tells the powerful story of two brothers coming of age in a challenging time.

Two brothers take a river trip by canoe in advance of the elder brother being shipped out to Vietnam.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In Brown's (Alice Ramsey's Great Adventure) brief, straightforward first novel set in the late 1960s, 14-year-old Steve and his older brother, David, canoe down the Susquehanna River at their father's insistence, shortly before David ships off to Vietnam. As they travel, they battle nature-rain and lightning, a fallen tree, raccoons ransacking their food supplies-and sometimes each other. They also encounter an array of people in the towns they pass, from a Dairy Queen owner who once rowed the river himself, to a carnie who recruits them for a day. Many of these strangers share their own war stories or their thoughts about Vietnam, and David gradually reveals his own complicated position ("Maybe trying to keep your ass from being blown away is smarter," David admits about draft dodgers). A run-in at a general store brings the Vietnam controversy sharply into focus, as WWII vets first subtly imply that their war was more important than David's, then physically intimidate the brothers. Even readers unfamiliar with the debate will be able to relate to Steve's difficult relationship with his brother (who often dismisses him as " `bozo,' `jerk,' or `loser,' ") and will understand how much it means when the siblings' relationship deepens during their two-week trip. Some of the musings seem too scripted (e.g., "Vietnam didn't scare David, or so he said, but was he telling me the truth? Was he telling himself the truth?"), but overall, Brown paints a convincing picture of brotherly bonding and of a complex era. Ages 12-up. (Apr.) Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.
KLIATT
The year is 1968, and Steve's older brother, David, has decided to drop out of college and enlist in the army. Before he ships out to Vietnam in the fall, the two teenagers undertake a canoe trip down the Susquehanna River together. There is less sentimentality than you'd think; the bugs bite and the brothers squabble realistically. But the boys literally have to pull together to help each other through various adventures, from an encounter with flirtatious girls to helping set up a carnival, avoiding lightening strikes in a storm, and being chased by drunken rednecks—just about everything except snakebite, in fact. The trip, with all its ups and downs, cements their relationship. In the end, David goes to Vietnam and returns wounded, and the brothers reminisce about their time on the river. This is a well written, quietly affecting tale about their journeys of self-discovery and the course of their relationship. It's an accomplished first novel, successfully conveying the fear that lies behind David's bravado and his conflicted feelings about the war, as well as Steve's desire to measure up to his older brother and to win his respect. A good choice for reluctant readers. KLIATT Codes: J—Recommended for junior high school students. 2003, Houghton Mifflin, 144p.,
— Paula Rohrlick
Children's Literature
The year is 1968. Fourteen-year-old Steve's older brother, David, has suddenly quit college and joined the army. After David's basic training, their self-centered father insists that the boys take a canoe trip together down the Susquehanna River through New York and into Pennsylvania. Both brothers are appalled, but reluctantly agree. The trip (and the story) gets off to a slow start, with much emphasis on mosquitoes, sunburn, wet sleeping bags, and other discomforts. David bullies Steve unmercifully. As the journey continues, things get more interesting (sometimes gross), when the boys meet small town residents, a carnival where David gets drunk, and some murderous World War II veterans who denigrate Vietnam soldiers like David. Sharing these experiences and saving each other from dangers, the brothers discover their deep affection, especially after David is an invalid home from the war. In his first novel, Brown, author and illustrator of several picture-book biographies, has tackled a sophisticated subject—suitable for young adults—that his simple prose style doesn't match. We never get a satisfactory explanation, either, of why David wants to join the army (although he does begin to express doubts) or just why he is so mean and bullying to Steve. Brown once made a similar trip and the details sound right, although the veterans' viciousness must seem inexplicable to young readers who have no knowledge of the history of those times. Some boys may enjoy this tale of male bonding, but it's hard to imagine girls doing anything but rolling their eyes. 2003, Houghton Mifflin, Talcroft
VOYA
A difficult age dawns in America during 1968. The narrator of the story, fourteen year-old Steve, is five years younger than his brother, David. When David announces at dinner one night that he has quit college and enlisted in the army, family dynamics rapidly take center stage as their parents alternately fear and look forward to the past repeating itself. Before David ships out, their father arranges for the brothers to take a canoe trip down the Susquehanna River. Albeit reluctantly, the boys set out, and together they combat insect attacks, fatigue, loss of supplies, and surprise storms. They face issues of racism, homelessness, drunkenness, and the growing division of opinion regarding the conflict in Vietnam. Their adventures are tempered by some good-natured fun and even a small flirtation with some local girls. Alternately bored and terrified, in the end they grow closer, even learning a bit about themselves and the world in which they live. Although the writing is straightforward enough for ten- to twelve-year-olds, the climactic scene where the boys are chased out of town and pursued as they paddle downstream by rock-hurtling racists is downright scary, and one brother's brush with death might be too much for younger readers. This engaging story will appeal to readers who seek adventure and a fast-moving plot. It might also be the subject of additional interest, with the current political atmosphere and renewed war activities. VOYA CODES: 3Q 3P M J (Readable without serious defects; Will appeal with pushing; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9). 2003, Houghton Mifflin, 144p,
— Holly King
From The Critics
College freshman David returns home during December 1968 with shocking news: he's quit school, enlisted in the army, and wants to fight in Vietnam. This information is poorly received by his parents, and heightens David's estrangement with Steve, his 14-year-old brother. At their father's suggestion, the brothers reluctantly embark on a summer canoe trip before David ships out in September. As hoped, their shared trip experiences create a brotherly bond. Steve's subsequent fear for David translates into poor school performance, and after David's unit is hit, David returns with a possible hearing loss and uncertain future. Reminiscing about their trip and planning another provides hope for both boys. Steve narrates this slice-of-life story through short, fast-paced chapters. Still, one voice lessens character development, notably David's, as reasons for his initial disdain of Steve and enlistment are vague and contradictory. Moreover, as the canoe trip is the story's focus, Vietnam era details are sketchy, creating a setting largely devoid of this period's historical and emotional contexts. Middle-level boys should easily identify with these brothers who mirror themselves and their peers. Vietnam era explanations will enhance understanding of the story's setting and events. 2003, Houghton Mifflin, 135 pp., Ages young adult.
—Lisa A. Hazlett
School Library Journal
Gr 7-10-Steven's older brother, David, has a few short weeks at home before he ships out for Vietnam. Mindful of the uncertain future, their father insists that the two boys spend some time together on a canoe trip, just as he and David had done years before. David is uninterested and openly hostile to the younger boy as they embark down the Susquehanna River. Steven remains unruffled as his moody sibling seems distant and preoccupied. The brothers contend with little more than insects, a wet sleeping bag, and rural scenery in an uneventful beginning that gains momentum as they paddle. They meet girls, carny workers, and story-filled veterans, peripheral characters who react in different ways to the combat-bound teen. Steven absorbs every nuance and patiently cares for David when he gets drunk and later rescues him from drowning. David returns the favor when Steven seriously cuts himself. The canoe trip is clearly just a vehicle for the bonding of these two young men at a crucial point in their lives. Prosaic writing does not hinder the narrative but strengthens Steven's voice, that of a 14-year-old boy keenly aware that his brother might soon die in a war. Readers who enjoy the style of Gary Paulsen's The Beet Fields (Delacorte, 2000) will find a thoughtful choice here.-Vicki Reutter, Cazenovia High School, NY Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
When David drops out of college and enlists in the army, his mother is horrified. But with a summer ahead before David must report, his father decides a "man-building" canoe trip would be a good bonding experience for David and his younger brother Steve. For a work with the Vietnam War as a backdrop, Brown's first novel is rather light. The pair meet some girls, find a Dairy Queen in the middle of nowhere, help set up a small-town carnival, deal with an injury in an auto graveyard, and get stuck in storms. Their final stop, at the Snake Landing Bar & Grill, sends them racing for their canoe and the safety of the river. Oddly, neither brother seems affected by the trip, nor has their relationship changed. The light writing style but mature subject matter will make this appeal to a younger-than-intended audience. (Fiction. 12+)
From the Publisher
“Brown paints an interesting, accurate portrait of 1960’s life and culture…this is a satisfying read, with the river journey offering a microcosm of society at that time.” Booklist, ALA

“Prosaic writing does not hinder the narrative but strengthens Steven’s voice, that of a 14-year-old boy keenly aware that his brother may soon die in a war.” School Library Journal

“Brown paints a convincing picture of brotherly bonding and of a complex era.” Publishers Weekly

“Brown paints a convincing picture of brotherly bonding and of a complex era.” Publishers Weekly

“This engaging story will appeal to readers who seek adventure and a fast–moving plot.” VOYA (Voice of Youth Advocates)

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780547348674
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 4/21/2003
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 144
  • Sales rank: 1,191,157
  • Age range: 12 years
  • Lexile: 750L (what's this?)
  • File size: 94 KB

Meet the Author

Don Brown is the award-winning author and illustrator of many picture book biographies. He has been widely praised for his resonant storytelling and his delicate watercolor paintings that evoke the excitement, humor, pain, and joy of lives lived with passion. School Library Journal has called him “a current pacesetter who has put the finishing touches on the standards for storyographies.” He lives in New York with his family.

Don Brown is the award-winning author and illustrator of many picture book biographies. He has been widely praised for his resonant storytelling and his delicate watercolor paintings that evoke the excitement, humor, pain, and joy of lives lived with passion. School Library Journal has called him “a current pacesetter who has put the finishing touches on the standards for storyographies.” He lives in New York with his family. Visit his website at www.booksbybrown.com.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 1 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(1)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2012

    Jddsmdmdkfkdkddmkdmdmzldmdldm

    Jaajssaikyelskjbdjdkdksskssjsjjajhwcxgvchcrvvrxrctctcrfgchrghjkngfdecefjkdadfbnkigddgjjtdxvnjuyfhklitfbkiygvhjhhgbjihvcnkydsgm.kgcgmkrdgkutreerfgghdxbmjhfcnkhfggghbhhhggghgjjhjgghvgvvvvvvbbhhhhjhdbkuhnkkkkkkkmmhm.khvcngccbnhfjjhcdghhjhcfhhjjjcfvjgfjdhhjkkmnnhgggtyujjvdrhkjtfgjygvhtfnkugffgjnjbgbjjgggnnjgfffvvvjjutefcdxvkjyrsxvjjkuyhghhhhgggffcvbnkiuuytrrazxcvbnmm.llpoiiuouyytrrewqasdfggghhjjjkkkklmbnbnbbvvcxzzaqwrrettyuuiiooplihgfgjggcgcgkmknofnwkfkeckkf
    aew

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)