Escape to the River Sea


Yara’s hunt for the Giant Sloth brings her to Westwood, Rosa’s home since she was evacuated from Austria. Although war is over, Rosa’s has received no word of her mother, or older sister, Liesel. Only Opal, the black jaguar housed at Westwood, seems to offer Rosa hope until she escapes, and Yara arrives.

Yara’s optimism and stories of the Amazon alight something in Rosa. She is inspired to ask if she might accompany Yara on her journey, an Escape to the River Sea. Along the way, she learns more of Yara and then her investigation. However, once docked in Manaus, it seems that mood becomes suspicious. There’s Mr Carter, who seems most untrustworthy, despite a courageous act of rescue.

What is Yara up to really? Then again, why is she being followed? Something about the Amazon inspires Rosa to behave as she’s never done before. It might be the warmth and colour, the strength of the people, the animals and wildness. Then again, it might be the welcome given by Yara’s twin sister and brother, Vita and Enzo, their teacher, Minty, and their mother, Maia…. It means that when Yara goes missing, Rosa is quick to join Vita and Enzo on her trail, thereafter, realising that Yara is in danger, and her quarry might be more dangerous than anyone realised.

Emma Carroll is magical. Somehow, she is able to connect us with Journey to the River Sea, a well-loved classic title, seamlessly. We reconnect with characters whom we’ve loved and know. Then we’re taken up in Rosa’s discoveries as we make our own, of Minty, Finn, Maia and then what they face in a new age for the Amazon.

Bookwagon cannot shout loudly enough about this magnificent book. Readers of all ages are urged to pick up Escape to the River Sea.


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Escape to the River Sea

Inspired by the world of Eva Ibbotson

Emma Carroll

With illustrations by Katie Hickey

(Pan Macmillan)- hardback

Rosa has memory glimpses of her mother and then of Liesel, her older sister. When she seeks comfort, she clutches at the card her mother left her with at the station. There’s her photo, an uncertain surname and music scrawled on the reverse- Stars of the Forest. Yet war has forced Rosa’s evacuation from Vienna to Westwood, home of Sir Clovis, separating her from her home and family and all she once knew.
Rosa carries the card with her on the boat to Manaus on which she travels with Yara, a distant relative of Sir Clovis. It seems Yara’s sought information from Rosa’s host family, about the Giant Sloth, What’s more, Yara will use this information on her scientific hunt for the legendary creature. Somehow, Rosa’s summoned up the courage to ask to join Yara on an Escape to the River Sea. What’s more, this journey and its destination, the Amazon, will change Rosa’s life forever.
Why is Yara being followed? How can a man so untrustworthy as the former convict, Mr Carter, save a small boy from drowning? Where are Rosa’s family?
Emma Carroll picks up from the classic Journey to the River Sea flawlessly. It is a joy to reunite with Maia and realise the adult she’s become. Then again, we can smell the jungle warmth, alongside lingering in the friendship and adventure that seems to offer Rosa so much. What secrets will she discover with Enzo and Vita? Might any of them lead to the whereabouts of her mother, and Liesel?
Bookwagon loves this book! Escape to the River Sea is one of our favourite books of the year. We recommend this title to readers of all ages.


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