Middle School to Young Adult Books

Theme: Rivers

Down the Yukon - (ISBN: 978-0380733095)

by Will Hobbs

In this great adventure book that younger teens will enjoy, Jason and his girlfriend Jamie enter a paddling race down the Yukon to win a great monetary prize. Along the way, they are hijacked, meet Swedish and Russian immigrants, learn about the lives of Eskimos, and appreciate the companionship of their faithful dog Burnt Paw. This book is so popular and lifelike that the writer included an epilogue about what happens to Jason and Jamie after the race finishes.

Paris Under Water: How the City of Light Survived the Great Flood of 1910 - (ISBN: 978-0230617063)

by Jeffrey H. Jackson

When the Seine floods the streets and metro tunnels in 1910, the entire city rallies to save their historic treasures, homes, and wine supplies! Compiled from many primary sources, the book illustrates the efforts of many French people to cope with the flood and triumph over the catastrophe. Compare the methods and finesse shown here to the disastrous response in New Orleans to Hurricane Katrina.

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn - (ISBN: 978-1594567308)

by Mark Twain

Read or reread this classic adventure tale of the socially out-of-place Huckleberry as he takes off down the Mississippi River with the African American slave Jim. Huckleberry’s unique point of view about the many escapades they experience leads to humor, fright, and even tears. What is Huckleberry Finn’s take on the value of education? What does “Mark Twain” mean, in river terms?

The Blue Nile - (ISBN: 978-0060956400)

by Alan Moorehead

Enjoy this fascinating history of the Nile River, a major river that flows north. Written about the period of history beginning in 1798, this book focuses on the portions of this great river in the Sudan, Ethiopia and Egypt. How does the White Nile contrast with the Blue Nile?

Uncle Tom’s Cabin - (ISBN: 978-0486440286)

by Harriet Beecher Stowe

This classic civil rights book began the abolitionist movement in pre-Civil War America. It was the most popular book in the U.S. in 1855. Uncle Tom is a slave, who -- despite being in the home of “sympathetic” owners -- is separated from his family when he is sold and finds himself on a riverboat, sailing down the Mississippi toward his new owners. How did the term “Uncle Tom” come from this book?

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer - (ISBN: 978-1935814016)

by Mark Twain

The White Nile - (ISBN: 978-0060956394 )

by Alan Moorehead

Three Rivers Rising: A Novel of the Johnstown Flood - (ISBN: 978-0375858857)

by Jame Richards

Activities for this Theme

Try some water sports on a river. Canoeing, kayaking, whitewater rafting, and even tubing are popular in many places in the U.S.

Share water conservation ideas with your community