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Trouble River

Trouble River

4.0 14
by Betsy Byars, Rocco Negri (Illustrator)

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This adventure is set in the mid-1880s, in the pioneering days of the USA. Twelve-year-old Dewey has been left with his grandmother while his parents travel to the city for the birth of their new baby. But terror awaits when Dewey surprises an Indian about to set fire to their cabin on the prairie.


This adventure is set in the mid-1880s, in the pioneering days of the USA. Twelve-year-old Dewey has been left with his grandmother while his parents travel to the city for the birth of their new baby. But terror awaits when Dewey surprises an Indian about to set fire to their cabin on the prairie.

Product Details

Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
Seafarer Series
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.10(w) x 7.85(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Betsy Byars began her writing career rather late in life. "In all of my school years, . . . not one single teacher ever said to me, 'Perhaps you should consider becoming a writer,'" Byars recalls. "Anyway, I didn't want to be a writer. Writing seemed boring. You sat in a room all day by yourself and typed. If I was going to be a writer at all, I was going to be a foreign correspondent like Claudette Colbert in Arise My Love. I would wear smashing hats, wisecrack with the guys, and have a byline known round the world. My father wanted me to be a mathematician." So Byars set out to become mathematician, but when she couldn't grasp calculus in college, she turned to English. Even then, writing was not on her immediate horizon.

First, she married and started a family. The writing career didn't emerge until she was 28, a mother of two children, and living in a small place she called the barracks apartment, in Urbana, Illinois. She and her husband, Ed, had moved there in 1956 so he could attend graduate school at the University of Illinois. She was bored, had no friends, and so turned to writing to fill her time. Byars started writing articles for The Saturday Evening Post, Look,and other magazines. As her family grew and her children started to read, she began to write books for young people and, fortunately for her readers, discovered that there was more to being a writer than sitting in front of a typewriter.

"Making up stories and characters is so interesting that I'm never bored. Each book has been a different writing experience. It takes me about a year to write a book, but I spend another year thinking about it, polishing it, and making improvements. I always put something of myself intomy books -- something that happened to me. Once a wanderer came by my house and showed me how to brush my teeth with a cherry twig; that went in The House of Wingscopyright © 2000 by Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers. All rights reserved.

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Trouble River 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I recently read Trouble River by Betsy Byars and thought it deserved 3 stars. The book is basically a story about a kid and his grandma sailing down a river while experiencing difficulties along the way. There is not a lot of excitement in the book. Even during the attacks by indians and wolves, there isn't anything to capture the reader's imagination. It all seems to happen as if it were a timeline of events. I can see how being a children's author can limit the amount of pages you put in a book. I would have liked to see something a little longer that built suspense throughout the story. For most of the story the boy and his grandma talk as he battles the urge to sleep only to find that nothing bad happened during his slumber. Ultimately, it's a good book for the average person to read over the weekend if they have nothing else to do.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The best book i ever read!It gives so much thought into the book!
Guest More than 1 year ago
The book I am reviewing is Trouble River. The author of this book is Betsy Byars. I think this book deserves four stars. This book is about a boy named Dewey Martin and his grandmother. They escape out on a river called ¿Trouble River.¿ Dewey says that Indians will burn their house. A problem that occurs in this story is that the Indians burn all the cabins. When they find out that their friends, the Dargans die from the fires, Dewey gets worried. When Dewey sees smoke in the air, he thinks that their cabin has been burned down. I¿d recommend this book to people who like adventure. Other books by Betsy Byars are Summer of the Swans, Cracker Jackson, The TV Kid, The Cartoonist and The Cybil War.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The book I am reviewing is Trouble River written by Betsy Byars. I think this book deserves five stars because it was so interesting and I get so into reading it. This book is about a boy, his grandma and his dog going to find is ma & pa. One problem in the story is the reason is why they are leaving the house. They have to travel down Trouble River. They hit some shallow waters and the grandma has to get off the raft and wait till Dewey moves the raft. Another problem is that an Indian is chasing them. I¿d recommend this book to anybody who likes adventure books. Other books by this author include The Midnight Fox and The Computer Nut.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Betsy Byars writes a suspenseful book dealing with 3 main characters. Dewey, a young boy,Grandma, an older women, and Charlie, a dog.After fighting an indian Grandma decides the best thing to do is to get help from the Dargans.But will the three make it through trouble river on a raft built by Dewey? You will have to read Trouble River to find out the ending.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read the book Trouble River and I thought it was a very good book.It was very suspencful and I never wanted to put the book down. The best part in the book was when the wolves came to atack Grandma and Dewey. I personally think this is a great book and I would recomend it to anyone who likes adventure novels.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Betsy Byars wrote a so-so novel. When I read this bookit wasn't as fast as i thought it would be and the novel was a little 'choppy'. The worst part of the novel was when Dewey(main character), Grandma, and Charlie, were in the rapids and (it seemed) in 1 second they were in the city all safe and sound.It could have added some more detail on how the rapids were, and how they made it to the city. I'm pretty sure real people would be sitting on a raft covering their heads through a rapid. There could have been more action at that point. In this novel there were some suspensful moments and the flashbacks were interesting, but I would not recommend this novel to someone else just because it is not very exciting, and it is confusing at times.Also, it does not have that great of a story line, and the events did not flow as well.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Dewey and his grandma were going camping and they meet Mr. and mrs. Dargran. In the middle of the book Dewey and his grandma lose the raft and Mr. and Mrs. Dargrans cabin burns down while they were on vacation.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved the the book. even though it was it bit slow it pulled me in and I couldn't put it down the best part was when the indian came there are plenty of other good part but to know what thay are you have to read the book i would recommend the book to people who like adventures
Guest More than 1 year ago
Betsy Byars writes and adventure filled story about a boy and his grandmother trying to escape the Indians. I liked this novel because you are constantly waiting and wondering what will happen next. I would reccomend this novel to someone that likes advenutre, but probably not to someone that likes funny or modern day stories. I think the best part of the novel is at the very end, but you will just have to read the book to find out what it is!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Bestsy Byars writes a very actoin packed novel. It is back during the time when indians and white men fought. I loved this book it is just like a river going downhill never knowing what's going to happen. This book has alot of heart jamming parts. I recomend this nvel to adventurous children. It appeals to them because the main character Dewey Martin is adventurous.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I'm 9 and my 4th grade class just finished Trouble River. I think it's a great story. My favorite part was where the raft was stuck in the rocks!
Guest More than 1 year ago
The book Trouble River is a pretty good book. It was very adventurous. They have been chased out of their cabin by a Indians, have made a raft for them to escape on the river, and they run into some trouble along the way. It was a good ending because everything turned out all right. Dewey meets up with his parents and lays his eyes on his new baby sister. If you¿re somebody who likes adventurous books this is the book for you.
Guest More than 1 year ago
My favorite character in this book is Willy because he built a boat . He saved his grandma and he took care of his grandma.