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When things go bad at home, sisters Eleanor and Mike hide in a secret place under Eleanor's bed, telling monster stories. Often, it seems those stories and their mother's house magic are all that keep them safe from both busybodies and their dad's temper. But when their father breaks a family heirloom, a glass witch ball, a river suddenly appears beneath the bed, and Eleanor and Mike fall into a world where dreams are born, nightmares struggle to break into the real world, and secrets have big consequences. Full of both adventure and heart, Riverland is a story about the bond between two sisters and how they must make their own magic to protect each other and save the ones they love.<br>
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Sisters Eleanor and Mike are sworn to secrecy about what goes on in their house; it's the most important of their family's many rules. If they are good, house magic will protect them. But house magic which sweeps up the shattered glass and puts cookies out after their parents have a big fight isn't enough when something that can't be replaced or repaired gets broken: the witch ball, a mysterious family heirloom. As the boundary between the real world and a magical dream world begins to erode, Eleanor and Mike must confront the hurt and anger within themselves if they are to find a way to fix things and to keep the deceiving voice of guilt and shame from breaking free and destroying everything. Along their quest, the sisters learn from the inhabitants of Riverland, including a pony made of dishrags and a heron made of metal, about the power of telling and embracing the truth. A narrative that challenges the stereotypical stories of domestic violence, this is painful and heartwarming all at once in its portrayal of two sisters creating their own magic and protecting one another. The latest from award-winning Wilde is a must-read for upper-middle-graders looking not just for a magical quest but also for lyrical writing and a beautiful story, too.--Eleanor Roth Copyright 2019 Booklist
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