School Library Journal Review - 12/06

GRAY, Dianne E. Tomorrow, the River. 233p. diags. map. CIP. Houghton. 2006. Tr $16. ISBN 0-618-56329-6. LC 2005038068.

Gr 6-8–It’s 1896, and feisty Megan Barnett, 14, leaves her family in Nebraska to be a mother’s helper for her sister, who lives with her husband and young son on a Mississippi steamboat. Her adventures begin as soon as she boards the train, where a charming college student occupies the seat next to her. Scoundrels, river rats, and an accident all provide grist for twists and turns in the plot as Megan learns to swim, navigate the river, take photographs, fish, and nurse her injured brother-in-law back to health. Newspaper articles give hints about the characters whom Megan meets and are an integral part of the plot. History and river life are skillfully woven into the fast-moving plot, and the characters are fully realized. The dialogue has enough 1890s vernacular to give a sense of the period, and historical information flows smoothly in the text. A first choice for independent reading or as a read-aloud.–Kathryn Kosiorek, Cuyahoga County Public Library, Brooklyn, OH