crooked river book coverReviewed by Melanie Kline

Sam and Ollie are used to spending their summers living in a tepee with their father “Bear”. Now that their mother has died, they are attempting to prove to relatives that they will not only survive, but also thrive living there with their father full time.

That was the plan, but when a dead body is found floating in their swimming hole that summer everything changes. Their father is accused of the murder, and all evidence points to the tepee dwelling beekeeper; his appearance and ​lifestyle make him the perfect suspect.

Both Sam and Ollie ​are endearing, quite bright, and love their father. Ollie doesn’t talk when she is upset,​ and she can ​see​​ things that others do not. She sees things called “Shimmerings” that warn her about good and bad. Sam knows why Ollie doesn’t talk, but she doesn’t know what Ollie sees.

Crooked River has wonderful characters and an interesting storyline. You will fall in love with both of the girls and their adopted grandparents, Franny and Zeb. Their father takes a bit more time to warm up to.        ​

The writing is very descriptive and keeps you glued to the pages as Sam and Ollie search for clues that could prove their father is innocent. The story moves back and forth between the two girls in alternating chapters. It is an extremely intriguing book, yet leaves something lacking at the end.​

Everything about the tale is warm and family oriented. The story had me wanting to be there with Sam and Ollie to mother them and tell them to be careful with where they were going, who they were talking to and what they were doing. Crooked River just had a homey feel to it along with a storyline that had situations that ​could actually happen.

I’d recommend the book to anyone, but I’d warn that the ending seems off somehow–maybe too predictable? Nevertheless, it is a good read.

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by HarperCollins Publishers. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.