This winter was snowy, this spring brought a terrible blizzard, and now the river is rising. Sandbags don’t stop it, the dikes don’t stop it, and late one night sirens warn everyone to evacuate. A girl and her family don’t expect to be gone more than a couple of days, so they leave their cat and race for shelter with only a suitcase each. But as days stretch into weeks they worry: Is the cat safe? Will they have a home to return to? And how will their lives be changed? In searing, personal poems, Jane Kurtz explores what it’s like to struggle through a flood and pull your life together afterward. Inspired by Kurtz’s own flood experience, this tale is realistic and unforgettable. Not just a moving story of one girl’s courage, River Friendly, River Wild is a tribute to everyone who’s ever faced great loss.
This book is wonderful for creating empathy for the victims of natural disasters and what it feels like lose all your worldly possessions and try to put the pieces back together. The writing is beautiful as well, and while it may not be one that you’ll be drawn to return to again and again for story time, it’s a great read for getting a peek at someone else’s reality.
I was born in Portland, Oregon (where I now live) but I spent almost all of my childhood in Ethiopia, where my parents worked for 23 years. Many of my books connect to Ethiopia, but I’ve also written books that celebrate bad moods, good habitat for birds and bees and butterflies, real life heroes and many other things.
One of my most lovely activities is volunteering to create colorful, attractive, easy-to-read books for Ethiopian kids…since that is where I learned to read, after all. With those books, I get to play with both words AND art and how they fit together.