78 pages 2 hours read

Richard Peck

The River Between Us

Fiction | Novel | Middle Grade | Published in 2003

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Teacher Introduction

The River Between Us by Richard Peck

  • Genre: Historical fiction; young adult
  • Originally Published: 2003
  • Reading Level/Interest: Lexile 740L; ages 12 and up
  • Structure/Length: Divided into chapters; approximately 164 pages; approximate audiobook length 3 hours, 53 minutes
  • Protagonist/Central Conflict: The River Between Us is a young adult historical novel set during the American Civil War. The central conflict revolves around the lives of Tilly Pruitt and her family, who live in a small town on the Mississippi River. When mysterious newcomers arrive, including a wounded Confederate soldier, the Pruitt family becomes entangled in secrets and tensions. As the war unfolds, the novel explores themes of family, identity, and the impact of war on ordinary people. Told from the perspective of young Tilly, it provides a unique look at a tumultuous period in American history.
  • Potential Sensitivity Issues: Themes of war, conflict, and societal changes during the Civil War era; mentions of suicide

Richard Peck, Author

  • Bio: Born 1934, deceased 2018; American author known for his works of young adult and children’s literature; celebrated for his engaging storytelling and his ability to capture the experiences of young readers; received the Newbery Medal for A Year Down Yonder (2000)
  • Other Works: A Long Way from Chicago (1998); Fair Weather (2001); The Teacher's Funeral: A Comedy in Three Parts (2004); The Best Man (2016); Richard Peck authored numerous young adult and middle-grade novels that resonate with readers for their humor and historical accuracy
  • Awards: Newbery Honor Book (1999); Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction (2004); National Book Award Finalist (2003)