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The River Way Home: The Adventures of the Cowboy, the Indian, and the Amazon Queen
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The River Way Home: The Adventures of the Cowboy, the Indian, and the Amazon Queen

4.39  ·  Rating details ·  36 Ratings  ·  18 Reviews
It's 1914, and the Florida jungle between Lake Okeechobee and the Atlantic Ocean is a wild and magical place, but the train will change everything when it reaches the lake in a few months. Three improbable friends, Queenie, an African-American girl, Billy, a young Cracker, and the Chief, a Seminole boy, lose their boat in a storm on the lake. When the Ashley Gang blocks th ...more
Paperback, 338 pages
Published April 1st 2013 by Wrb Publishing
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Follow along with three young and unlikely friends as a simple boat ride through the waters of an untamed Florida becomes not only a dangerous journey, but an adventure of epic proportions sure to ignite the imaginations of readers old or young! The River Way Home: The Adventures of the Cowboy, The Indian and the Amazon Queen by Mary E. Dawson is filled with historical value and a sense of wonder and discovery as Queenie, an educated young black girl, Chief, a young Seminole boy and Billy, a you ...more
Nathan Beck
Nov 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is a goodreads first reads review.

This book is geared towards young teenagers, and even though I am not one, I still enjoyed the story greatly. Well written and organized with plenty of history woven in, it's a good read for anyone. At the end of the book, it has photos and bios of real people that she based the characters off of, as well as other history about the setting of the story.
Diane Walters
Dec 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
The River Way Home--What a Gem!

I just turned the last page of this book. And, what can I tell you that other reviewers haven’t mentioned already? This book reminded me what it’s like to be a kid, and to dream of grandiose adventures in a world that is full of wildness, wonder, and possibilities. We are so conditioned in this age to wait for the “nightmare” to come out and grab us in current fiction. And, so I waited. And, I waited some more. The fun adventure never turned into a horrible nightma
Jan 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The River Way Home by Mary E. Dawson is a classic! This wonderful book combines adventure, history, companionship, action, and most of all honor. The story of Queenie, Billy, and the Chief is one all readers, young and old alike, will devour and love. While intended for a YA audience, The River Way Home proved to be a book I loved, and I’m not quite in the YA age range!

What I liked best: I loved the characters. Queenie, Billy, and Chief are characters I came to love, respect, and root for. Their
Josh Liller
"The River Way Home" is a local historical fiction set in Okeechobee and Stuart in 1914. It follows three 13-14 year old characters: a poor white boy who wants to be a cowhunter/cowboy, a Seminole boy, and a "proper colored girl" who wants adventure. The book is basically G-rated and aimed at a YA audience, but written at a level to be accessible for adults. 273 pages of story are followed by a 60-page appendix with photos and information explaining the historical basis for the novel.

First off,
Book Preview Review
May 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
Book Description:


What is it? The Florida story of course.

"The River Way Home: The Adventures of the Cowboy, the Indian, and the Amazon Queen," is a nostalgic tale of pre-bulldozer Florida for young adults and adults who are young at heart.

A young Cracker who yearns to become a Florida cow hunter, a Seminole boy, and an educated African-American girl from the northeast are stranded in the magical and mysterious Florida Jungle between Lake Okeechobee and the Atl
D.C. Grant
Mar 11, 2014 rated it liked it
The novel follows the journey of three children who become lost in the Lake Okeechobee region of Florida during a storm. Set in 1914, it is a diorama of life in Florida as the railway was making incursions in that state and the effect this progress had on the people and the places. The novel well written and well researched and captured the essence of small town life very well. It was a gentle tale that lacked a strong plot line or character development. Apart from a few climatic incidents, the ...more
Jul 10, 2014 rated it it was ok
Because I live in the area where this book takes place, I loved the local history, but I felt the plot and characters were lacking. The plot had no depth, but seemed more of a surface storyline - a string of events that, except for the characters, really did not tie together. I was hoping for something a little more complex - a minor conflict that took a bit of resolving, and then a more complex and suspenseful conflict based on the first. But each obstacle that the characters ran into was too e ...more
Erik This Kid Reviews Books
Sep 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Summary – It was the year 1914, and Queenie (an African-American girl) never could have imagined how running into a white fishboy (Billy) and a Seminole Indian (the Chief was his nickname) would change her life. But change it they did. It all started out with a simple boat ride onto a lake. It turned into an all-out adventure! From running from an outlaw to getting struck by lighting, join the tale of 3 unlikely friends on an adventure through the Everglades!

What I thought – Historical fiction i
Gary Stout
Aug 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
As story tellers go, Ms. Dawson is one of the better ones. Following close along the path of Huckleberry Finn, The River Way Home: The Adventures of the Cowboy, the Indian, and the Amazon Queen is a well told coming of age story about three teens in Florida set during the second decade of the last century. Filled with a strong story, wonderful imagery, and well developed characters, the book paints a vivid picture of the time with a solid mix of history, the clash of different cultures, the stil ...more
Kim Claesen
Mar 24, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First of all I offer my thanks to Mary Dawson for allowing me to read and review this marvelous story. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book!

It’s a story about 3 young friends with different cultural backgrounds. It takes place in Florida in the year 1914.

A fun read, recommended for all ages. And especially for anyone who loves adventure and history that is turned into a wonderful story. Everything is beautifully described by the author, this made it very vivid. I could easily place myself nex
Maureen Saltzer
Jun 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The River Way Home is a truly delightful historical novel from new author Mary Dawson. For those who love the classic A Land Remembered by Patrick Smith, The River Way Home will be a real treat. Though the novel encompasses only a few days of adventure in the lives of the Cowboy, the Indian and the Amazon Queen, it paints a compelling and accurate portrait of frontier Florida in the early 1900's. An excellent choice for readers from middle school on up, Dawson breathes life into her diverse trio ...more
Nov 12, 2013 rated it liked it
I won this book in a Goodreads Giveaway! It turns out, that the target audience for readership is probably several years younger than I. In fact, I'm going to pass it on to my grandson who is nine and I think it will be a perfect fit. I'm particular about the books I give to grandchildren - I want them to be well written, exciting, and educational. Dawson's "The River Way Home" meets all my criteria.

The short chapters take readers on a wild adventure through Florida in the early 1900s. The three
Sue Potter
It is easy to see why Ms. Dawson has received awards and nominations for this story.

Though fiction, it seems so real and captures the minds eye beautifully. With a history lesson, of the exciting type, that follows the main story - Ms. Dawson shows exactly where she derived the inspiration for each character and how Florida was during the early 1900's.

i travel the country as a photographer, do some research before visiting a state to photograph it, and I somehow missed all this! Now I NEED to go
Aug 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
I just finished reading The River Way Home and really liked it. I liked it because it was a setting in the outdoors and the characters were always running into a lot of interesting animals, people and different situations. Queenie, The Chief and Billy worked together using their natural skills. I also liked this book because I've been to Florida several times and it gave me a different perspective of Florida. I thought it was cool how they did every thing without modern technology.
Oct 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
I love living in this part of Florida. What a delight to read this engaging tale set in and around Stuart in 1914. I enjoyed learning the history of this beautiful place through the eyes of three young adventurers as they set off on a quest to tour a lake only to discover so much more about their land and themselves.
Nov 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This was an exciting book that explores Florida's history and rich cultural makeup. Through the adventures of some very intelligent children, you visualize Florida and the untapped potential people saw in it during 1914. With great attention and focus, the author explores the frontiers discovered in Florida and a world that was viewed by hunters and Seminole warriors of great fame.
Mar 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
Not being a fan of former Martin Co. Commisioner Mary Dawson, I was pleased with her research and tales of Old Florida. Her fiction combined the real and unreal extremely well of what the early settlers had to endure. Should become a "must read" for the schools.
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GENRES: Literary fiction with strong female characters. Historical fiction suitable for young adults and their grandparents. Historical fiction with strong romance and erotic elements

"The River Way Home," which is a blend of History and Historical Fiction set in the Florida of 1914, is suitable for young readers. It was recently awarded the 2013 Gold Medals for Florida Fiction and Best Florida YA
More about Mary E. Dawson...

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