Down River by Will Hobbs


No adults, no permit, no river map. 15-year-old Jessie and her six companions from Discovery Unlimited, an outdoor ed program she’s been sent to by her father, “borrow” the company’s rafting gear and take off down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon on their own. Floating beneath sheer red walls, camping on white sand beaches, exploring caves and waterfalls, Jessie and the others are at first having the time of their lives. Pursued by helicopters, they boldly push on into the black-walled inner gorge, the heart of the Grand Canyon, only to encounter huge rapids, bone-chilling rain, injuries, and conflict within the group. What will be the consequences of their reckless adventure?

This is a book I never would have picked up on my own. Downriver by Will Hobbs is on the required reading list for my son’s sophomore language arts class. In all honesty the first half of the book I kept thinking – You’ve got to be kidding me, of all the books that could be chosen this is the book that was picked? It took me nearly a month to make it half way through the book. I was then hooked and finished the book in one day. Upon completing this book I realize it is a good fit for the unit that was being taught in the class: Life from the perspective of the young & old. The other book in the unit is Tuesday’s With Morrie.

Downriver won many awards and I do admit this is a well written coming of age story. Although not a favorite it was worth reading and I would recommend it.

Content: A clean read.

Rating: I’m going with 4 stars due to the writing although if based just on how well I liked it I would give it 3.5 stars.