Ricochet River
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Ricochet River

3.7 of 5 stars 3.70  ·  rating details  ·  186 ratings  ·  27 reviews
Set in a fictional Oregon town in the late 1960s, Cody's superlative coming-of-age novel is the story of Wade, Lorna and Jesse--teenagers preparing to break out of their small-town lives. Wade is the local sports hero. Jesse is his friend, a mythical athlete and the Indian kid who applies his own rules to sports and life. And Lorna is Wade's sweetheart who knows there's no...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published April 1st 2005 by Ooligan Press (first published 1992)
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Mona
Mar 18, 2008 Mona rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: All ages of people
Shelves: take-me-away
I love this book and the development of nature and nurture in this Oregon based fiction. I felt as if I knew these people, drove thru their town, tasted their tears.
I was happy to read this story aloud to my family in a car trip when my Boys were 10 and 13 they fussed at first than begged me to continue as we drove on vacation.
Robin Cook may never write another books as successful as this one but as Harper Lee once pointed out when asked why she did not write more, she answers something like is...more
jeremy
robin cody's ricochet river generated some mild controversy earlier last decade when some parents of a local school district attempted to have the book banned (on the spurious claims of age-inappropriate sexual themes & profanity). like many banned and censored works, ricochet river is a coming-of-age tale that narrates the requisite emotional awakening and sexual maturing of its teenage characters. set in 1960's calamus, a fictional oregon logging town near portland, the story follows three...more
Zarah
Oct 04, 2011 Zarah rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Oregonians, esp. little b
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Theryn Fleming
This is a coming-of-age story set in 1959-60 in a small Oregon town. I liked the West Coasty-ness of it; the setting was very authentic. The narrative voice was engaging. Storytelling (i.e. the characters telling stories to each other) plays a significant role in the book and this is, I think, what sets this story apart from others in its genre, but at times this device bogs the story down. The story itself is a quiet one with no dramatic plot developments—except for the ending. On the one hand,...more
Vinnie
Jul 01, 2008 Vinnie rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Just about anyone, but particularly to teenage boys
Recommended to Vinnie by: Pamela Smith Hill
I'm embarrassed to admit that, despite the fact that I've been involved with Ooligan Press since 2004, I haven't read this book until just now. It was on my "to read" list long before Ooligan's revised edition came about. It just wasn't on the top of the list. I'm glad that I finally got around to reading this book.

Ricochet River is one of the best books I've ever read. Robin Cody, the author, is a talented wordsmith. His characters are engaging, and he captures the setting perfectly. The book i...more
Paul
This is a book by an Oregon author about three teenagers coming of age in a small town. One teen, Jesse, is a Native American who doesn't quite fit in. He's a free spirit, unassuming, and difficult for the townspeople to understand. Overall written well. It held my interest well enough to finish. Some of the writing is very good, creating vivid pictures in my mind. In some places it was as if I was in the story. Unfortunately there were parts that seemed to drag on and occasionally I found mysel...more
Whitney
This is not your typical YA novel. An honest, small town story about Jessie, a boy who didn't seem to belong anywhere. Told from the point of view of Wade, the high school quarterback, who ends up befriending Jessie completely by accident. The narrative flows back and forth the like river the book was named after, drifting from memory flashbacks, current narration and Native American mythology. The book wrestles with high school issues of fitting in, both in the small scale and large scheme of t...more
Chandra
As an Oregonian, I loved that I knew the places and towns in this book. I had a difficult time getting into the story. Once I finally got hooked, about a quarter of the way through, it went a lot easier. It's a YA story, set in a little logging town in the 60s. Three teens - the QB, his girlfriend who can't wait to escape small town for something bigger & the new kid from the reservation - are basically trying to find their places within the town & the world, really. Slow to get into but...more
Nancy
This is a well written story set in what felt like my own back yard. For anyone from Oregon (or anywhere in the Northwest) this reads like a familiar tale about the clash between yesterday and today in the Columbia Gorge. Packed with rich images of salmon, rivers, reservations, fishing, friendship, dams and fish ladders, small towns, and the complexities of simple people struggling to adjust to the changing landscape. This would be a good book to read on a stormy weekend at the beach.
carolyn
A coming of age story in the woods and waters of Oregon. The depth of the characters and the sense of place is so precise. It makes me want to jump on a raft and ride down the Clackamas, though I would never go near the Columbia River Bar unless I was on a giant boat. The place really is its own character, just as it is here. The sincerity of the relationships was so real and wonderful.
Alan
The original hardcover version is the best, in my opinion. The paperback from the same time is different, particularly at the beginning of one chapter (without any spoilers). Also, I have heard that there are also newer versions of the book that are rewritten for younger readers. In any case, find the original.
Maija
I found this difficult to read. Don't get me wrong, the message of respecting the land of the Native Americans is one that should be constantly reminded amongst American citizens. However, I just found the overall story too drawn out and uneventful. I struggled trying to finish it.
Nicole
Had to read this for class when I was in high school. It was alright- it had some good parts, and then it had its not-so-good parts. The characters had distinct personalities and impact on each others lives. I love how Cody describes my state, Oregon. It truly is beautiful and wild!
Alice
Marc gave this to me after meeting the author at an anti-LNG event. We'll see, though I don't usually go for "growing up in the 50's" memoirs.

I liked it - but it seemed to be almost a textbook for a "literature" class. Felt like it was following a formula.
S.E. Shurtleff
I loved this book, and it's been a long time since I've said that. It's quiet, filled with beautiful language and made me think about all sorts of nature/life metaphors. I'm so glad to have met Robin and have a signed copy.
Jessicat
May 22, 2008 Jessicat rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: ya
This is a great “guy” book, with strong ties to Estacada, Oregon, salmon, the 1960s, and Native American culture. Realistic and lovable characters. If you’re an Oregonian—or have ever been one—you have to read this!
Karen
Just an excellent book. I like it because it encapsulates Oregon so well. I mean, just everything: the small towns, Portland, the forests, the rivers, the oceans, the people. I like the characters, especially Wade.
Edward Kidder
Portland, OR area story in a fictional town in the Cascades. High school buddies. Stranger comes to town and they all go on a journey. The ending didn't work for me, but it was a good page turner.
Kirstie
An interesting story of three teenagers coming of age in a small town. The book deals with issues of prejudice, freedom, and fitting in. The book is also a good area piece of northeastern Oregon.
Brittany Wilmes
Simple, but sweet. This book felt like a mash-up of Sherman Alexie's YA fiction and a novel by David James Duncan. I loved the NW elements - fish, weather, work ethic.
Alexa Hackett
My tenth graders were assigned this book so of course I read it too and loved it! This was a surprise find for me.
Laura
I didn't edit this book; I did work on marketing it. It's a great read and fun coming-of-age story.
Debra S
A coming of age story that takes place in a fictional Oregon logging town.
Nick
like me some robin cody. lets go rafting
Joellenparker
Growing up in Oregon
Akraven
Heartbreaking, but worth it!
Ola
Ola marked it as to-read
Aug 14, 2014
Jennifer Martin
Jennifer Martin marked it as to-read
Aug 12, 2014
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An Oregon native, Robin Cody is the author of Ricochet River and Voyage of a Summer Sun, both of which appear on the Oregon State Library's "150 Oregon Books for the Oregon Sesquicentennial" list. Voyage of a Summer Sun won the Oregon Book Award for literary nonfiction. Cody has worked as an English teacher, a dean of college admissions, a baseball umpire, and a school bus driver. He lives in Port...more
More about Robin Cody...
Voyage of a Summer Sun: Canoeing the Columbia River Another Way the River Has: Taut True Tales from the Northwest Willamette Landings: Ghost Towns of the River

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