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New Century Readers are educational texts that include pre- and post-1914 fiction, poetry and plays. They include activities which offer specific practice in the skills required by the English Test in the SATs. ‘Journey to the River Sea’ tells the tale of a girl’s emigration to South America.Journey to the River Sea, Eva Ibbotson’s tale of an orphaned London schoolgirl and her formidable governess’s journey to South America will touch the hearts of generations of children. Thanks to a thrilling story-line, a cast of richly drawn characters, and a voyage through the emotions of childhood, it is destined to join the A-list of children’s classics, perennial stories undiminished by the passage of time and the changing world in which children grow up.
Set at the turn of the 20th century, this is an adventure story full of magic and discovery–without a witch or a wizard in sight! It’s about real people, good and bad, and a journey to another world. Maia, accompanied by the straight-backed Miss Minton, leaves the familiar comforts of her boarding school to start a new life with distant relatives who live 1000 miles from the mouth of the Amazon. Both soon discover an exotic world bursting with new experiences beyond their imagination. More importantly, they learn one of life’s hardest lessons–to conquer their fears and embrace the unknown. And along the way they learn about tolerance, acceptance and trust.
Ms Ibbotson has put together a fine assembly of characters that all children will warm to. From gentle, trusting Maia, intelligent and mature beyond her years to her stern but caring governess with her hat-pin shaped like a Viking spear, her trunk full of books and a few secrets hidden up her sleeves–there are the good, the bad, the peculiar and the downright wicked. While Maia’s new family are not at all what she was expecting, she finds friendship in the most unlikely places, with the most unusual people. Clovis, a child actor roaming the world with a travelling theatre troupe, yearns for cold weather and stodgy puddings, while Finn, a half-English, half-Indian boy, would do anything to avoid his aristocratic English destiny.
An intricate, cleverly paced plot, with plenty of clues for children along the way, makes this a real page-turner–exciting enough to appeal to boys and girls alike. Journey to the River Sea is an inspiring read. Ms Ibbotson’s beliefs that children need challenges, that they need to think big and that they must be encouraged to believe in themselves, shine through in this enchanting book. For children aged 9 and over Carey Green
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