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Raft of Stars  By  cover art

Raft of Stars

By: Andrew J. Graff
Narrated by: Lincoln Hoppe
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Publisher's Summary

“A rousing adventure yarn full of danger and heart and humor.” (Richard Russo)

An instant classic for fans of Jane Smiley and Kitchens of the Great Midwest: when two hardscrabble young boys think they’ve committed a crime, they flee into the Northwoods of Wisconsin. Will the adults trying to find and protect them reach them before it’s too late?

It’s the summer of 1994 in Claypot, Wisconsin, and the lives of 10-year-old Fischer “Fish” Branson and Dale “Bread” Breadwin are shaped by the two fathers they don’t talk about.

One night, tired of seeing his best friend bruised and terrorized by his no-good dad, Fish takes action. A gunshot rings out and the two boys flee the scene, believing themselves murderers. They head for the woods, where they find their way onto a raft, but the natural terrors of Ironsforge gorge threaten to overwhelm them.

Four adults track them into the forest, each one on a journey of his or her own. Fish’s mother Miranda, a wise woman full of fierce faith; his granddad, Teddy, who knows the woods like the back of his hand; Tiffany, a purple-haired gas station attendant and poet looking for connection; and Sheriff Cal, who’s having doubts about a life in law enforcement.

The adults track the boys toward the novel’s heart-pounding climax on the edge of the gorge and a conclusion that beautifully makes manifest the grace these characters find in the wilderness and one another. This timeless story of loss, hope, and adventure runs like the river itself amid the vividly rendered landscape of the Upper Midwest.

©2021 Andrew J. Graff (P)2021 HarperCollins Publishers

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What listeners say about Raft of Stars

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Bad

Didn't even finish it. The story is bad. The author allegedly grew up in Wisconsin yet somehow this book portrays Wisconsin as a vast wilderness (its not, even in the national forests in the Northern part of the state you can't travel more than a mile through the woods without hitting another forest service road) and the local coyote population as some sort of local menace that for some reason bears mentioning about 50 times. Cables stretched across rivers to warn boaters of dams or gorges are made of cable. Not rope that can be cut through by a little kid with a pocket knife in a few seconds. I guess for this author, growing up in Wisconsin means growing up in Milwaukee and never leaving his house.

Lest anyone be misled, coyotes in Wisconsin are the same as they are everywhere else. Not even a minor nuisance and are one step above foxes on the vicious scale. Nothing you can base a book on.

83 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars

Highly unlikely, really foolish, choices by characters propel this story

I appreciated the descriptions of different key characters fighting for their lives against a fierce and wild river. Vivid!
But way too much of this story rests on characters making highly unlikely, really foolish, decisions. I didn’t believe people would act that way. So the story didn’t ring true, seemed implausible.
In this Audio version, I didn’t like the narrator’s usual soft, conspiratorial, voice.

39 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

good beginning, lost momentum

The beginning was good. I enjoyed the characters. I felt like the story had merit. I liked how the story moved from a rural town to wilderness. about halfway through the story became a little repetitive. and I also felt like the author struggled to come up with unique ways to describe wilderness situations because a lot of the descriptions were similar. I think the story would make a really excellent young adult novel, especially for young adults who are dealing with parents who are absent either from death situations or parents who are struggling with alcoholism. The ending was both unbelievable, and not a good way, and extremely predictable. for that reason I think that this would make a good young adult novel. as an adult I'm looking for unique endings or even believable conclusions. overall it was a good listen, I think it would be an even better read, but I enjoyed it.

30 people found this helpful

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A possible family read

Lots of spiritual overtones, and not just Christian if you're really paying attention. If you have middle schoolers this would be a good book you could both read together. Themes of innocence lost and found, facing down ones past, 'happy accident' relationships. A lovely journey overall.

16 people found this helpful

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You won’t be sorry!

What a wonderfully written story. Well developed characters and a thoughtful and beautifully written book. I loved this so much I will be buying the hard back book as gifts!

16 people found this helpful

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Great adventure read.

Redman Soup...most memorable. Narrator seemed a bit slow for me but putting the speed to 1.15x made it perfect. Loved how this book gives me the nostalgia of childhood adventures and how adults must have seen them.

9 people found this helpful

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Fantastic Story

Great story with a wonderful narrator. Lincoln has a great reading voice. I found myself always wanting to listen "just a little longer", sitting in my car in my driveway after I got home from work.
Highly recommend this book!

8 people found this helpful

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Best book ever!

I absolutely loved this book! I would love to listen to more audiobooks by this author. The narrator was perfect for this story. I laughed and cried. Loved it!

7 people found this helpful

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Loved it

Suspenseful. Good storytelling. Storylines were enjoyable and heartfelt and descriptive. Hope there's another book!

6 people found this helpful

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fantastuc

I absolutely loved this book.
The narration is fabulous. it's a must read or listen.

6 people found this helpful