River Friendly River Wild by Jane Kurtz is an inspiring free verse poetry and picture book based on the author’s personal experience with a flood destroying her home. The book is special because it not only identifies with victim’s of natural disasters but allows the reader to live the real life experience of community working together to survive. At once beautiful and scary, the river is constantly changing as does the author during the course of the 1997 Grand Forks Red River Flood. There will always be times in our lives where we must face challenges and events that are out of our control. This book helps readers understand the emotions a flood victim, really any disaster victim, goes through. Somehow you must learn to put your life back together.
“The river is back in its banks again
and here we are,
I know now that
some memories live in things-
in old clothes and photographs,
drawings and trees.
Some of those memories we’ll have to let go.
But Mom and Dad and Max and Kiwi
and Sarah and I
will make new memories
and hold tight to the old ones that stick.”