Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Book review: Across the Rolling River by Celia Wilkins (no spoilers)

Book: Across the Rolling River
Author: Celia Wilkins
Series: Caroline Series #5
Publication: September 18, 2001
Source: Local Library
Rating: 3/5 stars

Summary (from goodreads):
The little town of Concord, Wisconsin, is bustling with new settlers from the East. Caroline is now eleven years old, and she can't wait to go to the town's new school. Her days are full with classes, chores, and harvesttime. Wisconsin has its very first state fair, and Caroline becomes friends with a fiddle-playing boy from across the river, a boy named Charles Ingalls. "Across The Rolling River" is the fifth book in the Caroline Years, an ongoing series about the adventures of another girl from America's favorite pioneer family.

My Thoughts
The Caroline Series is odd in the fact that it switches authors midway through the series. Maria D. Wilkes is the author of the first four books and Celia Wilkins is the author of the last three. After reading several books by Maria D. Wilkes I was used to her writing style. When I started Across the Rolling River I wasn't sure I was going to live Celia Wilkins writing style. Since these are children's books and are made for a younger audience I try to think like they would if they were reading this book because I know I'm way older than the targeted audience. At the beginning of this I just thought the author was way over descriptive, explaining things that didn't need to be explained, and dumbing down the reading experience. As the book progressed I noticed the descriptive writing less and less. For that I was grateful.  This book did not hold my attention as much as the last one did. The author begins the book with Charles Ingalls and Caroline Quiner meeting. You will probably never hear me say this, but I hope the author got their meeting wrong. I hated the way they met. I hope they met at church or somewhere else besides where they met in the book. Then the book moves on to talk about Miss May coming to live with the Quiner family. Miss May is their teacher. I enjoyed those parts because I liked Miss May's personality. Martha finally becomes a better character because she was finally growing up and I can see her getting married in the next novel. From my previous review of On Top of Concord Hill we know that Martha marries Charles Carpenter which is talked about often in the novel because his family was neighbors with the Quiner's when they lived in Brookfield. I don't know if that is all true. There is a possibility that Martha and Charles could have met at an older age, but it does make more sense for them to have a past relationship before they eventually get married. Caroline's other siblings kind of faded into the background in this book. There is Joseph, Henry, Eliza, and Thomas. Although their names were mentioned from time to time they weren't really doing anything. Caroline was twelve years old in this book and as always is the main character of the story and she was as curious and helpful as ever. Overall I liked this book, but had a few things I didn't like about it. I still thinking learning about Caroline Quiner's life is really interesting and I will be reading the 6th book Little City by The Lake soon.

Thanks for reading


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