Carnegie Medalist Geraldine McCaughrean (the Michael L. Printz Award–winning author of The White Darkness as well as the only three-time winner of the Whitbread Children's Book Award) here turns to the Missouri River of Mark Twain's day, where a small cadre of schoolmates takes refuge from a diphtheria outbreak aboard a rickety steamboat with a colorful history. Their wild and unpredictable journey downstream is spiced up quite a bit with grand stage performances, aggrieved river gamblers, irate lawmen, and perilous races, in this book for readers 9 and up.
"McCaughrean invests her characters with humanity and shows a farcical sense for dialogue, while her arch narrative voice, with its theatrical vocabulary and clever turns of phrase, is a delight."—Booklist
"Mark Twain and Sid Fleischman must surely be nodding their posthumous approval of so imaginative a cast and so preposterous and cunningly devised a plot—exactly the kind of story for which the term 'rollicking' was coined."—Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (starred review)