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Author: Watkins, Steve
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Year Published: 2016
ISBN: 9780763671556
Grades: Grades 7 to 12

Great Falls

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Former professor of journalism and award-winning author Steve Watkins write a descriptive narrative, balancing fast-paced action with an authentic somber examination of a suffering war hero dealing with life after war and readjustment to family life. Shane, a high school athlete, adores his older brother, Jeremy, whose PTSD is escalating, and accompanies him on a camping trip to try and help him deal with the erratic behavior. Fast-paced adventure ensues as the brothers endure an unexpected and treacherous canoe trip with a raging river full of challenges Рa metaphor for the lives of the brothers. The action is heart-stopping as they face rapids, the falls, a knife-wielding drunk with a psychotic girlfriend, alcohol excess, rifle misuse, police avoidance and much more as the story progresses to a tragic climax. The feelings of powerlessness and tension Shane exudes are palpable, with the writer steadily ratcheting up the suspense as the canoe progresses towards Great Falls. Violence and some profanity are an integral part of this powerful story that mature young adult readers will find intense and meaningful.

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