Rayner’s Black Water Rising tackles environmental activism

The book highlights the fact that there are often no easy answers and no clear-cut heroes and villains.

As the rains come down, Stanton and the residents of Black River know that it is only a matter of time before the river rises and the town will be flooded. But TransNational Power, the company that owns the local dam, refuses to open the gates to help avoid the pending disaster. Many of the townspeople blame local manager Willis Frame, Stanton’s father, even though both Stanton and his father share their frustration with TransNational. But when Stanton’s girlfriend gets involved with an environmental activist group that believes in going to extreme lengths in their defense of the environment, he finds himself caught in the middle of a complex situation.

Rayner’s topical contemporary drama is fast-paced and compelling. Stanton feels guilty for not being as driven as Jessica to take action to protect the environment but questions some of the actions that the radical activists are willing to take. Is violence ever acceptable, even if all else has failed? The way in which the activists so easily whip the group into a frenzy and the frightening speed in which a group of ordinary citizens become a violent mob is realistically–and chillingly–depicted. The book highlights the fact that there are often no easy answers and no clear-cut heroes and villains.

Black Water Rising
by Robert Rayner
Nimbus Publishing

Written By

Lisa Doucet is the co-manager of Woozles Children’s Bookstore in Halifax. She shares her passion for children’s and young adult books as our young readers editor and book reviewer.

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