Over the River

Praise for Over the River:

  • Booklist Top 10 Youth First Novels
  • Booklist Top 10 Historical Fiction for Youth
  • Starred review in Booklist  
  • Publishers Weekly:  “The Narrator’s strong, appealing voice and detailed setting mark this author as one to watch.”
  • 2005-2006 Iowa Children’s Choice List
  • Friends of American Writers Award 





Most of the important stuff eleven-year-old Willa Mae wants to know is shrouded in secrecy. But mysteries have a way of unraveling on their own. When her long-absent daddy returns after the war, Willa Mae finds her life stirred into a mix of buried secrets. Why does Grandpa despise her daddy, and what does it have to do with her mama’s death? Before she can find the answers to these questions, she is pulled away from her Illinois home to begin a new life with her daddy in Oklahoma. When the past begins to catch up, she feels she may have to choose sides between the Illinois family she has always adored and the daddy she is beginning to love.


From the author:

Over the River is fiction, but it is inspired by my dad’s difficulty in finding employment after he returned from military service at the end of World War II.  The character Harold Clark is much like my dad, though my dad couldn’t sing a note.  The Shannon grandparents are much like my maternal grandparents, and Willa Mae’s trauma of being taken away from people she adored is my story, though I was only a toddler at the time.

Henry Holt                           ISBN 0-0850-7049-4                  Ages 8-12