What the critics say


‘A river is a natural metaphor for life and death and Tim Bowler uses it to wonderful effect in this lovely simple story. River Boy is written in quiet, non-poetic prose – but it’s a poem, as well as a very moving novel.’ Susan Cooper


‘Beautifully written…it feels like a written painting, a descriptive, emotive work that will mean something different to each reader. This mystical story is a true work of literature.’ Voya


‘River Boy has all the hallmarks of a classic…You are not the same person at the end of this book.’ Carnegie Medal judges


‘The book is indeed a stunner – powerful, magical, unforgettable, a young classic of a book enjoying the first couple of years of what could and should be immortality.’ Evening Echo


‘Unflinchingly facing down the subject of death, Bowler elevates it into an elegiac, magical depiction of a granddaughter’s relationship with her grandfather.’ Scotland on Sunday


‘It’s an intense, mystic exploration of the relationship between a teenage girl and her irascible grandfather, an artist. Bowler’s writing creates indelible visual images and his characters are a refreshing change from the stereotypical problem children and single parents with which contemporary children’s literature is littered…engrossing.’ Time Out


‘The atmosphere is haunting, the sense of the power beyond ourselves, strong and silent, and the mystery of the natural world, woodlands and airy hills and sliding, glittering water are beautifully suggested, as is the strength – oh, subject most rare – of familial love.’ The Spectator


‘River Boy is strong on mood and atmosphere. It deals with death unpretentiously and unsentimentally, investigating the final stages with dignity and calm.’ The Guardian


‘A fine winner of this year’s Carnegie Medal – haunting, poetic and written with great feeling.’ The Mail on Sunday


‘Bowler’s sensitive but often dark tales have slowly built his standing, while this year’s Library Association Carnegie Medal for children’s fiction with River Boy has sealed his reputation as one of the best new children’s authors.’ Publishing News


‘Beautifully written and brimming with startling imagery.’ Junior Education


‘A lyrical story of bereavement that manages not to be effete thanks to credible and courageous characters and a plot that involves mystery and tension.’ The Sunday Times


‘A superbly written, well-crafted story.’ School Librarian Journal


‘A beautifully written story.’ Carousel


‘A thrilling time-slip novel…an imaginative and tense read for long dark evenings.’ Oxford Times