River of Crows

River of Crows

by N.P. Thompson
Inky Cove, 2022
ISBN 978-0-9959942-4-9 (sc)
$14.99, 323 pp, ages 9 – 12

Inspired by the massive flocks of crows that roost near the Ottawa Hospital, author N.P. Thompson has crafted a fantastic tale featuring portals to a magical world, shapeshifting corviforms, an evil dictatorship supported by an army of bloodthirsty crows, and a prophecy suggesting young Ty Baxter, or his new grade seven classmate Ayslenne Avery, may be the long-awaited saviour of Arcania. Thompson is a gifted writer with a real sense of humour, and she enjoys the advice of her own children when it comes to adolescent slang and behaviours. A 2023 Book Club Award Finalist, River of Crows was originally envisioned as the first of a three-part mystery series, but it may have now blossomed into a franchise of perhaps four or more books.

Classroom Connections: River of Crows has no illustrations, but Thompson’s website has two maps, associated videos, and an author interview. Teachers interested in using this in an intermediate classroom could utilize character collages, readers’ theatres, vocabulary activities, and even origami practice. Lastly, this novel certainly would prompt discussions about the nature of friendships and techniques for overcoming adversity.

Review by George Sheppard.

This review is featured in Candian Teacher Magazine’s Spring 2024 issue.

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