Riding the Flume

( 8 )

Overview

Don't tell anyone — the only safety is in secrecy.
During the summer of 1894 the giant sequoia trees — the oldest living things on earth — are being felled for lumber in northern California. When fifteen-year-old Francie finds a note hidden in the stump of an old sequoia, she immediately recognizes her sister's handwriting. But Carrie died in an accident six years ago. Could Carrie's secret still be important?
Francie's search for the truth ...

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Overview

Don't tell anyone — the only safety is in secrecy.
During the summer of 1894 the giant sequoia trees — the oldest living things on earth — are being felled for lumber in northern California. When fifteen-year-old Francie finds a note hidden in the stump of an old sequoia, she immediately recognizes her sister's handwriting. But Carrie died in an accident six years ago. Could Carrie's secret still be important?
Francie's search for the truth turns dangerous, and she needs to get to St. Joseph fast. She's faced with the choice of either giving up, or riding the flume, a rickety track that carries lumber from the mills in the mountains to the lumberyard in St. Joseph. Should Francie risk her life for the secret her sister fought to keep?

In 1894, fifteen-year-old Francie determines to fight the lumbermen and protect the largest Sequoia tree ever seen, which had been given to her sister just before her death six years earlier.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Booklist Pfitsch brings together a brave heroine, authentic background, and an intriguing view of a little-known part of U.S. history to make this a winner.
School Library Journal
Gr 5-8-Between 1890 and 1903, whole forests of giant sequoia trees were felled for lumber in northern California. In this exciting adventure story, Francie, 15, begins to unravel a mystery when she finds a hidden note left by her sister, now deceased, in the hole of a tree and sets out to stop the logging of the biggest giant. Set in 1894, the novel is a fast read, ending with a daredevil ride on the loggers' flume. Francie is a brave, high-spirited teen who values commitment, history, the environment, and the legacy of her sister's memory. A subplot involves the family dealing with the loss of Carrie six years earlier. The uneasy decision between whether to save the tree in memory of Carrie or save the economy and the loggers' jobs is handled objectively. Pfitsch has researched her subject well and gives the California mountain landscape and its inhabitants a note of realism. However, the book is weakened by too simple a resolution, the downplaying of natural hazards in the wild, and many dangers either glossed over or omitted. The writing is sometimes repetitious, but it is easy, making the story an accessible and enjoyable read. Some moral-value issues, such as telling the truth and minding parents, are nicely handled. The attractive jacket depicting the dangerous ride on the flume should draw readers and help sell the book.-Susannah Price, Boise Public Library, ID Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
"This couldn’t be real. They must be in some fantasy story." Francie Cavanaugh feels like an elf in a fairy tale next to the giant sequoia tree she has discovered, the Emperor of Trees, right there in front of her. It’s 1894. Francie’s sister Carrie died in a landslide six years before, but Carrie’s note left in a sequoia stump and her newly uncovered diary have led Francie on a mission to save this impossibly ancient tree from loggers. The economy of the town, the jobs of the loggers, and even Mr. Cavanaugh’s hotel business depend on logging, and that one tree by itself could provide wood enough for many houses. But Carrie’s diary leads Francie to an old will giving Carrie rights to the giant tree and the land around it. With the will in hand, Francie must ride the log flume to St. Joseph, many miles away—something only two men have tried before; one died, and one was injured. Pfitsch’s (Keeper of the Light, 1997, etc.) story is based on the real stands of Sierra redwood near Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks in California, and a real giant called the Boole Tree, 35 feet in diameter. Though the writing is wordy and awkward in spots, the story itself is exciting. By the end, Francie has proven herself and brought her family together in the wake of her sister’s death. A satisfying adventure with an environmental message. (author’s note, glossary, bibliography) (Fiction. 10-14)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780689866920
  • Publisher: Aladdin
  • Publication date: 4/1/2004
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 388,760
  • Age range: 10 - 14 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 7.50 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Patricia Curtis Pfitsch lives on a ridge-top farm in southwest Wisconsin with her partner, Jack, their dog, Gaea, and two annoying but lovable cats. They have three grown children, Hollis, Woody, and Jane. Ms. Pfitsch's award-winning stories and articles have appeared in various children's magazines, including Highlights and Cricket. She is also the author of Keeper of the Light and The Deeper Song.

"I was fascinated when I found out that the giant sequoias in California live to be thousands of years old," writes Patricia Curtis Pfitsch. "But I was horrified when I learned that in the 1890s, thousands of sequoias were cut down, even though their wood was so brittle that more than half of the trees shattered when they fell. Why would humans waste the long lives of such beautiful and ancient creatures? In my search for the answer to that question, Riding the Flume was born."

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 8 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(2)

4 Star

(4)

3 Star

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2 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 12 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2008

    Riding the Flume

    We rated this book a 5. The author Patricia Curtis Pfitisch. This book was so invigorating we wanted to just keep on reading.The main character in this book is a teenage girl named Francie. The setting is in 1894,in northern Calafornia when all the sequia trees being cut down.One day when Francie was counting the rings of a thirty foot sequia stump when her ladder brakes. This part was really exciting to us.Francie quickly grabed hold of a branch. She found that there was a hole in the tree with a silk bag in it,she immediately recognizes her sisters hand writting, but her sister Carrie died six years ago in a landslide. Then you are going to read this thrilling book to find out the rest?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 20, 2008

    thrilling and adventurous

    if you are a kind of person that loves hero's, then 15 year old francie will capture your heart. I rated this book a 4 star book because it was interesting but I still feel like the book wasn't complete. it left you wondering what would happen next. it didn't answer all of my questions that i had. but i wouldn't have guessed that a 15 year old could be such a hero and save something so big. she believes that you can do anything if you just keep trying. i think that pfitsch has pulled together a wonderful character.i recomend this book to readers all around the world who want an example of a young heroine.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 20, 2006

    RREEAALLYY GREAT!!!!!!!

    I think this was a reallly great book. A lot of people would think ohh it's set in the past, but it was intersting and fast paced. i really enjoyed it and couldn't put it down.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 30, 2005

    Riding the Flume

    It was 'aight' in the words of American Idol judge Randy. I liked it, but you didn't get totally HOOKED. So it was just ok for me.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 30, 2005

    Riding the Flume

    'Riding the Flume' is a fast-paced book about a girl with spunk who is trying to save a forest from being chopped down. When she finds a mysterious will she may get her wish.But, to get her wish, she must deliver it before sunrise. Will she ride the dangerous flume to rescue the trees? Or will she chicken out? To find out, buy a copy of 'Riding the Flume'.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2005

    It was good.

    It was good I liked it but it didn't hook you all throught the book!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 21, 2004

    I loved It!

    I thought it was a great book. It was well written, and had an interesting storyline. I really recommend this book to anyone who likes adventure books.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 29, 2004

    This was a GrEaT BoOk

    This book was great. Many of my frieds that read this book enjoyed it also.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 22, 2004

    Excellent Book

    Riding the Flume is such an excellent book! In the summer of 1894 the oldest living things on earth, the sequoia trees, are being cut down for lumber in northern California. When fifteen-year-old Francie finds a hidden note in a stump in an old sequoia her journey begins. She realizes the note has her sister¿s handwriting, but Carrie died in a accident six years ago. Francie needed to get to St.Joseph fast but soon the search for truth turned dangerous. Then she finds she must choose between giving up or riding ¿the flume¿, a track that carries lumber from the mills in the mountains to the lumber yard in St.Joseph . Francie then risks her life and rides the rickety flume. This brave girl will do anything to keep the spirit of her sister alive. The way she does this is by saving her sister¿s beloved tree that was given to Carrie by the old crazy man that used to live in the woods surrounded by the sequoias. She needed all the help she could get for her journey and with the help granted to her she managed to do the impossible. This book is a great way to teach people some lessons of life. As it has taught me that it¿s okay to want to keep the spirit of a lost one alive and if that is what your heart tells you to do than that path that leads you to remember one can be walked upon. You just have to believe in yourself. Believe you can do anything if you put your mind to it. Just as Francie rode the flume to do what she thought was right. I would recommend this book to anyone, young or old. It¿s a great book that I was hooked on until i finished it . When it was over i didn¿t want it to stop i wanted to keep reading on and on. I would give this book a 9 out of 10.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 19, 2002

    Great Book

    I really enjoyed this book. This book had a lot of adventure and courage. I would recommende this book to anyone.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 7, 2002

    This was a great book

    This book was very interesting and if you want to know what it was about i will tell you below This book was about a girl thats sister died and she wants to save the one thing that was hers, her giant sequoia tree. if you wanna no what happened, read the book

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 6, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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