78 pages 2 hours read

Richard Peck

The River Between Us

Fiction | Novel | Middle Grade | Published in 2003

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Chapters 9-12

Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Chapter 9 Summary

Noah rarely writes to his family, but it is obvious from his infrequent letters and the news the family hears that the soldiers are treated terribly. The army gives them no uniforms, no blankets, no weapons, and no protection from the cold, wet ground they are forced to sleep on. For food, they receive small rations of meat that they must eat raw if they cannot figure out their own way to cook them. Originally, Noah is stationed farther north than Grand Tower, away from the fighting. Soon, he is moved to Cairo, Illinois, the southernmost city along the Mississippi River in Illinois. Everyone says that the war will be fought along the river.

In his letters, Noah says that most of the camp is sick. Dr. Hutchings closes his Grand Tower office and relocates to Cairo. When the doctor writes, his letters are posted downtown for all of Grand Tower to read. He reveals how dire the situation in Cairo actually is: Half the soldiers are sick with measles, and the other half are drunk. As the bad news continues, Mama slips further and further away from Tilly.

One night, Tilly wakes up sensing someone is in the kitchen.