After the River the Sun

illus. by Kate Slater. 368p. S & S/Atheneum. 2013. Tr $16.99. ISBN 978-1-4424-3985-6. ebook available. LC 2012023710.
Gr 5–7—This companion to Eva of the Farm (S & S, 2012) stands on its own. Eckhart Lyon, 13, is struggling with guilt and sorrow after his parents die during a family rafting trip. He has bounced around in foster care in Seattle until now when his estranged Uncle Albert has agreed to take him on a trial basis. His uncle, who is also dealing with feelings of guilt and loss, lives on a farm in the high desert of eastern Washington and refuses to tell Eckhart what the trial entails. Eckhart is a devoted gamer and fan of "The Green Knight" video game. He loves all things Arthurian. When he meets Eva, also 13, in the canyon near their farms, they bond over their shared enthusiasm for legends about brave knights and fair ladies. Together they embark on Eckhart's greatest quest: to right a wrong and find a home. The story is written in free verse, which moves the plot along at a rapid pace. Although Eckhart and his uncle get off to a rocky start, there is never any real doubt that they will reconcile. The number of plot twists and turns keeps readers guessing what will happen next. "The Green Knight" game clearly parallels Eckhart's life and keeps motifs of knights and quests at the forefront. Lovers of gaming and Arthurian legends will thoroughly enjoy this one.—Nancy P. Reeder, Heathwood Hall Episcopal School, Columbia, SC

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