Hank of Twin Rivers: Journey of Change M. C. Arvanitis

hankHank of Twin Rivers Book 1: Journey of Change

By M. C. Arvanitis

214 pages – ages 8+

Published by Agate Beach Press on July 15, 2013

Hank Heaton lives in Buck Creek, Iowa in the 1860s. Sadly, his mother and sister died of cholera and Hank  was left with a limp after suffering from the disease. Soon after his mom’s funeral, Pa decides that it’s best for them to head out West. Hank, Pa and Uncle Mac (his mom’s brother) pack up and head to Nebraska in hopes of starting a new life. The trail they follow is full of dangers, like floods, claim jumpers, and rattle snakes. The Oregon Trail is harsh but Hank manages to meet some good friends along he way to his new home.

Historical fiction is one of my favorite genres. I also think it’s one of the hardest to write because you have to make the setting, plot and characters accurate and believable and be entertaining all at the same time. Ms. Arvanitis does this very  well. I was drawn into the story right away. Hank is a very believable character, especially for the time period in the story. Hank’s dad is very strict but that is balanced with Hank’s jolly Uncle Mac. I really got a good picture of what the Pioneers dealt with on their journey.  My only problem with the story is that it ends rather abruptly. I would have liked a bit more, but there is a second book in the works. The adventure and story in the book is enough to keep a kid entertained while learning about the Oregon Trail and life of a Pioneer. This book definitely earns a spot on my book shelf.

I give this book 4 out of 5 bookworms.fourbooks

Categories: Age 9+

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21 replies

  1. I have to agree with you that historical fiction takes a bit more to develop the setting to pull the reader into that particular time period. This sounds like it was done well and it would be interesting to check this book out. Thanks for the review, Erik 🙂

  2. I have been enjoying historical fiction more lately. Seems the writing is getting better, in my opinion anyway. The Oregon Trail would be a great subject. Too bad the mother died before they left. Nice interview Erik. :burrito: for you!

  3. Hi Erik!
    I love historical fiction but it is very challenging to write. You have to pull the reader into a different time period and, knowing what the kids in my history class are like, few want to go there. Great review!

  4. I’ve never attempted to write historical fiction (although I would like to), exactly because of the extra challenges involved. Love to read it, though!

  5. We need more HF stories with boy MC’s. It sounds like it’s up my alley with the animals and all. Cannot wait to read it. Dobut? NOM NOM NOM. Oh. SHORRY. *gulp* 🙂

  6. Oooh, I would enjoy this book. I love historical fiction and that time period and the pioneers moving west. Sounds like it is packed with action. Nice review.

  7. Well, that title caught my eye. I used to have a big brother named Hank. He was a big yellow fellow and I adored him. The kids at my school study about the Oregon Trail. They play some video game about it. I’ll have to look for this book. Thanks Erik!

  8. Oh! This looks right up my alley!

  9. We love historical fiction and NG just finished studying the Oregon Trail. We will look for this. Your reviews are so well done, Erik.

  10. Like you, I enjoy historical fiction too. But it does take a lot to make the narrative come alive for the reader.

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