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Raft of Stars

by Andrew J. Graff

Raft of Stars by Andrew J. Graff X
Raft of Stars by Andrew J. Graff
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  • Kim (Michigan)
    Left wanting more
    I love coming-of-age stories and was excited to read about the adventures of 10-year-olds Fish and Bread. By the end, however, I felt like I never really got to know the two boys.

    There is tremendous, often beautiful detail given to the physical environment and the creatures that inhabit it: forests, meadows, bears, coyotes, the river. But that same depth is missing with the characters, particularly Bread and Fish. I would have enjoyed knowing more about them and less about the budding romance between another set of characters. That would make for a more satisfying novel overall.
  • Bonnie B. (Port St. Lucie, FL)
    Adventure, Love and Fear
    This novel is primarily about two boys who are running away because of a crime they committed. It is also about their coming of age and the lives of those searching for them.

    Fish and Bread are nicknames for two friends who live in Wisconsin. Bread's father is a brutal man who abuses Bread. One night Fish shoots Bread's father and the boys decide they have to run away.

    The novel deals with their adventures, bonding and the struggles they encounter. It also deals with the adults who search for them and their hopes, dreams and love.

    I felt that the book would be more interesting for an adolescent reader than it was for me. I could raise interest for the adventures of pre-adolescent boys only up to a point. The character development of the adults was not deep enough to satisfy me. Overall, this seemed more like a YA novel and I believe it would be appreciated more by teens than adults.
  • Virginia M
    My apologies to the author
    I have really debated with myself about what to say in this review. The problem is that, from the description of the book, I should have known in advance that I probably was not really going to enjoy reading it – so it would be hard to be really objective in my critique. And sure enough, I would read several pages and set it aside, pick it up later and reading several more pages and quit again. I am just not a person who enjoys being in contact with nature and the idea of two kids canoeing a river with rapids really turns me off.

    Therefore, I did not enjoy reading about the adventure of two boy; however, to be fair to the author I guess he probably made that part of the book come alive for other readers.

    On the other hand, I sincerely appreciated the human touches the author added to the story. I was able to emotionally feel the bond of friendship that the two boys had for each other. That bond was made even more realistic because the tension of the problems they faced caused them to strike out at each other at times. Furthermore, I was personally drawn into both Cal's personal battle with himself and his thoughts of the future as well as the love and concern that Fish's mother and grandfather felt for Fish.

    So my rating is the average of a 5 for the human touches and a 2 for the adventure story.
  • Maribeth R. (Indianapolis, IN)
    Raft of Stars
    The title and description of this book appealed to me. Who wouldn't like a great read about two ten-year-old kids who set out on the river to escape the consequences of a crime they are believed to have committed? Perhaps some stories like this will hit the target. For me, this tale was a miss.

    It was hard to get to know the characters well enough to really engage with them because it was difficult to decide whose story was being told. I sensed there were too many main characters, and their stories were only partially told.

    While I am normally taken by any book that depicts the resilience of children, the number of encounters to test the boys' mettle, along with the severity of the encounters, left me shaking my head in disbelief.

    The flow of the writing left me wishing for more complexity, and I wanted the voices of the characters to be true to who they were instead of speaking in so many cliches.

    I appreciated the opportunity to review this book, and I hope others find the magic in it that I am sure the writer was trying to convey.
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