Saturday, July 07, 2007

Book with a View- Downriver

This month Reader Views is featuring two books for kids. The books were read/reviewed by kids – who else better than the kids themselves to tell their peers about the books they read. Check them out on our new website: Reader Views Kids

Erik HareAuthor House (2005)

ISBN 9781420887167

Reviewed by Ian McCurley (Age 13) for Reader Views (05/07)

“Downriver” begins with the race of the Hopnegs, diminutive 3-inch tall people, who like Humans are intelligent but fear Human machines as “demons”. One of these “demons” lives up to its reputation when it runs over and completely destroys the house of the Hopneg, Popey. He barely escapes with his life in his pajamas, and the lack of possessions turns him into a Punk, or a Hopneg without the magic of ownership. Seeking to warn the people of his nearby village, he travels to the village to deliver his message to its leader, Rouger. After delivering his message, Rouger, decides based on the wisdom of the Book, to move the entire village to a different location. Popey and another Hopneg, Rod, rally the town to destroy the “demon” by putting grass into its exhaust. But this fails as the Humans simply remove the grass. Having failed, the Hopnegs realize that they must go upriver, away from the “Giants”. Popey, however, decides to go downriver in his quest to discover knowledge of the Humans and their mysterious magic. Not far into Popey’s trail, he is met by a Traveler called Shajee who is experienced in the way of the world and the Humans. For instance, Shajee not only knows things about the physical Human world and how to get around in it, he also has an understanding of Human psychology which, in my opinion, is in a way somewhat better than our understanding. As they journey through the Human cities, Popey and you, the reader, get a new perspective on these “Giants”, or Humans who do everything bigger than themselves.

“Downriver” is for ages 12 and up, especially those who liked the “Borrowers” book series. Erik Hare’s writing style is new and unique, and refreshingly different. He gives vivid descriptions of certain aspects of both the physical and personal persuasion that set the mood in a way unlike any other. Gradually, I became engrossed in the story. “Downriver” is an interesting, funny and deep book that will be enjoyed by many.

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