Parents' Guide to

What the River Knows: Secrets of the Nile, Book 1

By Jasmine Baten, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Thrilling race through 1800s Egypt has romance, violence.

What the River Knows book cover: Young woman's silhouette against a stone gate with Egyptian pictographs, with palm trees, plants, flowers, and alligators along the border

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Is It Any Good?

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Isabel Ibañez's exciting, well-crafted novel makes for a fun and fast-paced read with the satisfaction of beautifully-researched histories and culturally accurate portrayals. What the River Knows is packed full of mystery, magic, and romance, which will have young adult readers glued to its pages. The pacing of the novel is interrupted only by its cliffhanger ending, which leaves more unanswered questions than problems solved. While the ending will have readers clamoring for the next book, the lack of any resolution could be frustrating. Also, for more sensitive readers, the murders may feel unnecessarily graphic, but for older teens who are ok with a little violence, there's much to love. Inez is a bright, courageous heroine, the Egyptian setting sparkles, the slow-burn romance is enchanting, and there's even thoughtful reflections of colonialism's impacts on those who experience it. This genre-blending novel will hit the spot for many teen readers.

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