Book Review, Middle Grade Fiction

My Name is River by Emma Rea

Eleven-year-old Dylan dreams of a wonderful future – a future where he grows up on his family’s farm in Wales, builds a treehouse and plays with his friends by the river. Then, suddenly, one phone call changes everything. A huge pharmaceutical company wants to buy the farm and his family will have to leave. Dylan knows he doesn’t have long to come up with a plan to save the farm so he and his family can stay in the village where they are so happy.  

Teaming up with his friend, Floyd, the boys concoct a plan that will lead them deep into the Brazilian rainforest – over 5000 miles away from home! Faced with challenge after challenge, they must use every ounce of confidence, courage and determination to discover the truth about Bluebird Pharmaceuticals, Floyd’s missing family, and how they can possibly save the farm. The adventure turns dangerous when the boys meet real-life villains, hungry piranhas and threatening street gangs. Hopefully, with the help of some new friends,  Dylan and Floyd will make it back home before their luck runs out.

This book is fantastic for exploring numerous global issues – from the protection of the rainforest and its animals to medical ethics and animal testing, there is so much to discuss. The question of “science for good” vs “science for evil” is sure to draw readers in and promote analysis and debate. The reality of life for street children in Brazil is presented in an engaging manner, showing how two completely different sets of skills and knowledge are equally valuable.

The Amazon Rainforest comes to life through detailed description of the flora and fauna. The intensity of the colours and hum of the wildlife envelop the children as they try to make sense of their surroundings. David is in awe as he finds himself in the home of piranhas, sloths, pink river dolphins and howler monkeys .

Readers need to hang on tight for this heart-stopping rainforest adventure. Dylan and Floyd show just how strong kids can be when they keep their wits about them, use all of their observation skills and are determined to succeed!

Thank you to NetGalley and Firefly Press for this exciting book!

Click on the cover below to find out more or purchase on-line from Amazon.

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