FICTION
Riverland
352p. Abrams/Amulet. Apr. 2019. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781419733727.
COPY ISBN
Gr 4–7—Eleanor protects her little sister Mike from their parents' violent fights by hiding with her under the bed and telling stories. The two children are made to think that all of the abuse is their fault and that they need to fix things. Under the bed, the kids fall into Riverland, where dreams are grown in the form of reeds, and horse-shaped nightmares made of smoke try to escape and wreak havoc on the real world. The two girls are told by a grouchy heron that they must fix the river in order to leave the dreamland and fix the issues with their parents. This book reinforces the idea that abuse is the child's fault and the onus is on them to be good and not cause trouble or tell any grownups. The characters are all static and don't have much depth.
VERDICT A poorly executed version of Lois Lowry's Gossamer, Alice in Wonderland, and the film Sucker Punch mixed together. Not recommended.

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