River Rats

River Rats

3.0 3
by Caroline Stevermer, Frances Collin
     
 

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A paddle wheeler cruises up the Mississippi, delivering mail and hosting an occasional concert. A scene straight out of the nineteenth century? Not quite. This Mississippi is a toxic brown river. And the paddle wheeler is run by the River Rats, a troop of orphans who survived the Flash, a nuclear holocaust. What were once huge cities are now plague-ridden ruins

Overview


A paddle wheeler cruises up the Mississippi, delivering mail and hosting an occasional concert. A scene straight out of the nineteenth century? Not quite. This Mississippi is a toxic brown river. And the paddle wheeler is run by the River Rats, a troop of orphans who survived the Flash, a nuclear holocaust. What were once huge cities are now plague-ridden ruins haunted by gangs of savage children. And the concerts the Rats play are post-apocalyptic rock and roll--a music as rough and ragged as the musicians who perform it.

When the Rats rescue a stranger from the river, all the troubles of the old world suddenly threaten to end their travels forever.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Too good to miss."--Booklist

"An unusual, compelling futuristic novel . . . wry, sharp, lively, and perceptive."--The Horn Book (starred review)

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In this futuristic fable, almost a generation has passed since the Apocalypse poisoned the Mississippi River and destroyed a united society. On board the restored paddleboat River Rat , Tomcat and his friends travel up and down the polluted waters, bartering news, mail and music for fuel and food. Orphans all, these children escaped school, slavery and other assorted evils and now enjoy a free and easy life on the river. They don't take passengers but, encountering a man hunted by a group of rednecks, find themselves changing their rules and getting into big trouble. The rednecks commandeer the ship, and the children set off in search of the most frightening treasure of their time--firearms. Calling to mind such widely disparate writers as Mark Twain, Andre Norton and Peter Dickinson, Stevermer ( The Serpent's Egg ) paints a realistic ruin of society. In the tradition of good speculative fiction she offers up an appealing landscape for adventure, yet her unwavering interest in the individuals who live there distinguishes the novel from mere space opera. Ages 12-up. (Apr.)
School Library Journal
Gr 7-12-- Some years after the ``Flash'' (a global disaster caused by a bomb, germ warfare, or chemical weapons) transforms the Mississippi into a polluted, ravaged wasteland lined by violent families and outcast tribes of homeless boys, six teenage orphans restore an old paddle wheel steamboat and ride up and down the river hauling freight, delivering mail, and putting on impromptu rock concerts in return for food and clothing. The River Rats, as they call themselves, break their vow never to take on passengers when they save a man named King who is fleeing from the unsavory Lester family. King tells them that the Lesters are after him because he knows where a cache of guns is hidden. Forced ashore by the family, the River Rats find that King had actually been hiding something even more valuable than guns--water and other survival gear. Narrated by Tomcat, one of the River Rats, the story moves quickly, although readers may want more detail about the origin of the disaster and the society that evolves from it. Tomcat's observations are sharp, providing a rounded view of the other characters. But the upbeat ending, although appealing to young readers' values of justice, sugarcoats the dismal future this crew faces. --Jack Forman, Mesa College Library, San Diego

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780152055547
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
10/01/2005
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
320
Product dimensions:
4.50(w) x 7.00(h) x (d)
Lexile:
690L (what's this?)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

CAROLINE STEVERMER has written several books for adults and one other fantasy novel for young readers, River Rats. Ms. Stevermer also lives in Minneapolis.

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River Rats 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lindsey25 More than 1 year ago
This book is just flat out amazing. I dont even think i can explain it! This style of book is not what I like- i'm more into werewolves, whitches, the supernatural and stuff like that. But this book is my favorite of all time. I loved the wild boys- they were almost kind of scary but at the same time alurring! This book was just so interesting! Tomcat is wonderful too : ) he's very sweet. This book is just cool. I had so much fun reading it and I loved all of the characters and their attitudes were perfect. While i was reading the book it felt like maybe the writer had actually worked on a steam boat! Probably not but it had to of taken some serious research to get all of that! Seriously get this book. You are missing out on a great read if you don't. It's never boring! It's like stepping into a new world, it's our world all gone to bits like the sci-fi show dark angel but it's ten times better. a thousand times better : ) deffinitly recomended for everyone!