Escape to the River Sea

Escape to the River Sea

By Author / Illustrator

Emma Carroll



Age range(s)



Pan Macmillan








Beautiful and full of adventure, Escape to the River Sea is Emma Carroll's compelling new novel inspired by Eva Ibbotson's bestselling, classic masterpiece, Journey to the River Sea

In 1946, Rosa Sweetman, a young Kindertransport girl, is longing for her family to claim her. The war in Europe is over and she is the only child left at Westwood, a rambling country estate in the north of England, where she'd taken refuge seven years earlier.  The arrival of a friend of the family, Yara Fielding, starts an adventure that will take Rosa deep into the lush beauty of the Amazon rainforest in search of jaguars, ancient giant sloths and somewhere to belong. What she finds is Yara's lively, welcoming family on the banks of the river and, together, they face a danger greater than she could ever have imagined.

Featuring places and characters known and loved by fans of Journey to the River Sea (including, among others, Maia, Finn, Miss Minton and Clovis) this spectacular new chapter in the story tells of the next generation and the growing threats to the Amazon rainforest that continue to this day.

'Unputdownable storytelling. I loved it.' Hilary McKay, Costa Award-winning author of The Skylark's War.



Inspired by Eva Ibbotson’s classic, Escape to the River Sea opens with the story of Rosa Sweetman, a young girl who arrived in England as part of the Kinderstransport and who finds herself in the care of Sir Clovis and living at Westwood Estate, initially in the company of other schoolgirls evacuated from their city homes. Once the other children leave at the end of the war, Rosa is left longing to be reconnected with her mother and sister who she had left behind in Vienna. Although Sir Clovis and his wife, Lady Prue, are kind to her, Rosa longs for adventure and when a friend of the family, Yara Fielding, arrives for a visit, Rosa asks to accompany her to the Amazon in search of the giant sloth.  Captivated by the lush beauty of the rainforest, Rosa meets Yara's lively family, who live on the banks of the river, and finds herself caught up in the adventure of a lifetime.

In Escape to the River Sea, Emma Carroll has achieved a perfect balance of her own voice and staying true to Eva Ibbotson's original story. The story features familiar characters and locations from Journey to the River Sea whilst introducing the next generation.

Rosa is a very engaging young girl, whose hopeful nature has kept her optimistic about being reunited with her mother and sister, and whose love of animals has sustained her during her loneliness. With the new-found freedom of her trip to the Amazon, Rosa flourishes in a way she was not able to at Westwood. Each setting is vividly described with the beauty of the rainforest and its creatures celebrated whilst highlighting the threats it is facing.

Emma Carroll also broadens the story, developing a new thread and mystery to solve, but I don't wish to give any spoilers..! One not to miss, Escape to the River Sea is a fabulous read!

288 pages / Reviewed by Susan Wilsher, teacher

Suggested Reading Age 9+


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