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Will Hobbs

Paula's Young Adult Literature Website

Home | Topic 1 | Classic Novel | Graphic Novel | Printz Award | Topic 2 | Speak | Squashed | Annie on My Mind | Frenchtown Summer | Topic 3 | Chris Crutcher | Joan Lowery Nixon | Will Hobbs | Author Study - Biography | Author Study - Bibliography | Author Study - Analysis | Topic 4 | William Sleator | Phillip Pullman | Annette Curtis Klause | Topic 5 | Blood Secret | A Single Shard | Gary Paulsen | Millton Meltzer | Topic 6 | Heartbeat | Seeing the Blue Between | YA Poetry Collection


Hobbs, Will. 1991. DOWNRIVER. Laurel-Leaf Books: New York: ISBN: 0440226732.


DOWNRIVER is a suspenseful adventure novel packed with fun and excitement.  School Library Journal states that it is, “Exquisitely plotted, with nail-biting suspense and excitement."  The story takes place on the Colorado River down through the Grand Canyon and is told through first person narration by Jessie, the young protagonist.  Jessie has been sent by her father to Discovery Unlimited, an outdoors education program where she is to learn to meet problems, make responsible decisions, and work towards becoming a successful adult.  At the camp Jessie meets seven other problem kids and they begin to call themselves “Hoods in the Woods.”  Their leader, Al plans for them to white water raft down the San Juan River, but the group decides that rafting the Colorado will be heady and wild.  They steal Al’s van and equipment, drive to Lee’s Ferry, sneak past the park rangers, and inflate their rafts.  With Troy, the group’s reckless leader, seven of the eight boys and girls begin their foolish journey down the river.  Heather, the eighth girl, decided to split.  The group begins to have the time of their life, but as the rapids increase in strength, danger and challenges become greater at every turn. Troy, whom at first displayed strong leadership qualities, is becoming more and more frightening.  Jessie must take on a new and demanding role if the expedition is to survive all the while the dangers they face will hold you in suspense.  The Bulletin refers to DOWNRIVER as, “Vivid, fast-paced, and convincing... .Hobbs makes the group dynamics compelling....Jessie is a tough heroine in a genuinely exciting story."  The elements of adventure, danger, and mystery will appeal to a wide variety of readers while exploring several important themes including trust, friendship, and survival.  DOWNRIVER is a wildly exciting adventure novel that all young adults should experience.

This website was created as an assignment for LS 5623 at Texas Woman's University.