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Ricochet River


Ricochet River Cover

ISBN13: 9781932010046
ISBN10: 1932010041
All Product Details


Staff Pick

I'm usually not drawn to "coming-of-age stories," but this one stuck with me. Set in the 1960s in the fictional Oregon town of Calamus, it follows three high school kids as they struggle with small-town life. I grew up in a small, rural logging town, and Cody nailed the type of people and places with which I was raised. The whole novel resonated with and reflected my own adolescent experiences.
Recommended by Shauna, Powells.com

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Set in a fictional Oregon town in the late 1960s, Cody's superlative coming-of-age novel is the story of Wade, Lorna and Jesse — teenagers preparing to break out of their small-town lives. Wade is the local sports hero. Jesse is his friend, a mythical athlete and the Indian kid who applies his own rules to sports and life. And Lorna is Wade's sweetheart who knows there's no hope in Calamus for a bright, independent girl. The river rushes past the town, linking the three friends with their pasts, their plans and the world beyond. This new edition from the author addresses issues of graphic language and sex that thwarted the book's use in high schools.

About the Author

Robin Cody has written widely about the West, the place, its people, and the culture. A winner of the Western Writers of America's Silver Spur Award, he is also the author Voyage of a Summer Sun. He lives in Portland with his wife Donna.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 4 comments:

kylebrittain, March 3, 2011 (view all comments by kylebrittain)
As a former small-town adolescent (in Colorado, not Oregon), I was amazed by the precision and depth with which Cody writes about kids coming-of-age in insular, often-stifling rural environments. Cody captures the ennui of small town life better than just about any writer, and his three-dimensional characters are often reminiscent of J.D. Salinger’s. There’s a lot to like here—especially the character of Jesse, an impulsive Native-American transfer student. Cody also writes about weighty, potentially controversial (for younger students, anyway) issues such as race and sexuality with great care and sensitivity.

Although Ricochet River’s primary demographic is probably high school students, this is a novel with universal appeal. Reading the novel as an adult provoked feelings of nostalgia for my childhood (as well as relief that I’ll never have to do it again). Ricochet River would make a great gift for any intelligent and introspective teenager.
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Samwise, December 7, 2009 (view all comments by Samwise)
An interesting story of three teenagers coming of age in a small town. The book deals with issues of prejudice, freedom, and fitting in. The book is also a good area piece of northeastern Oregon.
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Polysorbate, August 7, 2009 (view all comments by Polysorbate)
The best coming of age novels tend to reflect some aspects of the readers’ youthful experiences: emotions, awkwardness, aging, social wars, friendships gained and lost, first loves, sexual exploration and the feeling of place in the town where you grew up.

Ricochet River is a masterfully crafted tale that weaves all these aspects together through three friends among the background of a river in a small Oregon town called Calamus.

But beyond the general questions of growing up, Ricochet River flows with an underlying theme of racial tensions in a small town and how it tests the bonds of friendship to their limits.

The setting is the mid-1960s in a fictional logging town about an hour drive from Portland, Oregon. Other geographic locations, however, are actual areas of the Pacific Northwest described in vivid detail, including the twists and turns of the Columbia and other rivers.

Wade, the narrator, is a high school senior descended from loggers and liked among the town’s denizens for his personality and academics, but even more so for his athletic prowess. His girlfriend, Lorna, feels an outcast in the small town and wants nothing more than to escape. And Jesse, an Indian who joins Wade’s high school as a junior transfer from elsewhere, lives in the present with a devil may care attitude, seemingly unconcerned about what the future may hold.

Their distinct personalities seethe through the pages of Ricochet River and Cody rarely fumbles through the narrative that so perfectly describes them, revealing that as much as they are different, they have a common bond beyond friendship.

Calamus is the most prominent character in the book, the foundation from which the characters derive their sense of place. It’s a town loaded with positives and negatives as the three develop their lives.

It all culminates into an ending that will leave the reader in stunned, satisfied silence when they close the book, which should be considered one of the better coming-of-age novels in recent decades, whether the reader lives in Oregon or elsewhere.
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Product Details

Cody, Robin
Ooligan Press
Cody, Robin
Historical - General
General Fiction
Literature-A to Z
Coming-of-age, Native American culture
Edition Description:
Print PDF
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
8.50x5.76x.73 in. .85 lbs.
Age Level:
from 14

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Related Subjects

Featured Titles » Banned Books » Literature
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Sale Books
History and Social Science » American Studies » Popular Culture

Ricochet River New Trade Paper
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$14.95 In Stock
Product details 272 pages Ooligan Press - English 9781932010046 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

I'm usually not drawn to "coming-of-age stories," but this one stuck with me. Set in the 1960s in the fictional Oregon town of Calamus, it follows three high school kids as they struggle with small-town life. I grew up in a small, rural logging town, and Cody nailed the type of people and places with which I was raised. The whole novel resonated with and reflected my own adolescent experiences.

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