The Raft

The Raft by Jim LaMarche is an adorable book about a boy forced to spend a summer with his grandmother, a self-proclaimed river rat.

Bored at first, the boy spends his days doing chores.  Then one day he finds a raft on the river.  Animals are strangely attracted to the raft and boy spends his summer observing nature from his raft, sketching and learning about their behavior.

His last day at Grandma’s he rescues a fawn who is stuck in the river mud.

In the end, the boy has become a part of the river just like Grandma.

I liked this book because it highlights the simplicity of Nature and how a summer that is not jam-packed full of activities can be great.  It tells kids being in Nature is fun and adventuresome, which is important when a lot of kids today live on video games and TV.

It also shows how Grandmas whom kids don’t know very well can be cool, too.  I grew up not close to any of my grandparents so this shows how kids should give their grandparents a chance when given the opportunity to spend some time with them.

Nature has an incredible power to teach–something a lot of kids today have gotten away from.  This book illustrates this point beautifully.

2 thoughts on “The Raft

  1. That book sounds cute. I’m a grandmother of 4 (two of them boys) and a real outdoorsey grandma at that. I think I’ll download that on my Kindle. Thanks for the review of it.

  2. I don’t have grandchildren but thank you for reviewing this book. I loved growing up on a creek in a small subdivision and all the wonderful outdoor play. We had such freedom in those days and no fear. We fished, crabbed, caught minnows and dumped them into those blue plastic pools, went barefooted in the muddy clay by the creek, got scolded for wading barefooted because “there are snakes”, rode bikes on paths in the woods til dusk, had neighbors put up tents for us on empty lots, played baseball and kickball in the empty streets, rake huge piles of leaves with our parents, dumped them over the edge of the bluff and jumped in them over and and over again, had geese, ducks, and dogs that all ran loose because fences didn’t exist in our lovely subdivision. We had tree frogs that croaked into the night, big red firey ants that stung us, and bigger mosquitos that left whelps and itched for weeks. We didn’t have air conditioning for years in our schools (south of Interstate 10) and we lived with nature, had grandparents who had huge gardens or farms or ranches, and I realize now how I deprived my city children of this. Oh, for a do-over in that regard! If you’re a mom or dad out there with little ones, I do hope you expose your children to the joy and beauty and bugs and trees and flora and stinging things of this world that God created. I was way too focused on academics and the arts and sports and go, go, go, go, go, go, go, go, go. They’re grown before you know it. Sow those seeds now. And if your mother-in-law tries to tell you something like this…don’t be defensive…look at it like an ear of ripe corn…and “hear” that sweet kernel of truth there. Mine tried to tell me…but I thought I knew everything.

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