One More River
Can you imagine having to leave everything you have ever known to live in a country on the verge of war? Lesley Shelby, the main character in One More River by Lynn Reid Banks, knows exactly how it feels. This Jewish Canadian girl has to emigrate to Israel with her family. Through the determination and courage of one person we see how challenges, complications, and differences of the world are overcome.
In the story the most important character is Lesley. Lesley is a spoiled, pretty, Jewish, fourteen year old living in Canada. As the story progresses we see Lesley change to a caring and mature person by overcoming the differences in her new life. Two other important characters are Nat Shelby and Mustapha. Lesley’s father, Nat Shelby is the person who decided the family needed to live in Israel. Mr. Shelby decides he doesn’t want his daughter growing up as a spoiled uncaring princess. Mustapha, other important character, is an Arab boy who Lesley watches abuse his donkey across the Jordan River. All the Jews are not supposed to hate Arabs, but Lesley however comes in contact with Mustapha by the river and talks to him as a person not as an enemy. Mustapha made Lesley a more understanding person towards different kinds of people. The character I would most admire is Lesley for her ability to adapt to a new home, country and way of life.
Throughout the book there were many turning points. The war made Lesley really feel a part of Israel and the people. Another turning point was when Lesley was allowed to join the p’oola because she was finally excepted as one of them. The most important turning point is when Lesley, at the end of the book, takes the picture Mustapha threw at her and wrote “a peace between us and between our peoples” in three languages and stuck it in the wall in Jerusalem. The major conflict in this story was moving to Israel because Lesley threw fits until she secretly visited Noah. (Lesley’s brother who was disowned because he married a catholic girl.) He told her to go and that’s when the conflict stopped. The plot enabled the characters to change. Lesley became excepting of life and the Arabs through events in the plot.
In 1966 the Shelbys lived in Canada and then moved to a center in Israel were they had to learn Hebrew. From the center they moved to a Kibbutz. Lesley is not excepting of everything until she decides to become one of them. After she understands the culture she begins to love it there and it becomes her home. The plot needs the setting changes to keep interest and to allow character growth.
The author uses a lot of imagery and symbolism throughout the book. Whether she’s describing the land or a dress, you can almost picture what it looks like. “Lesley clutched at rough stems of plants as she half climbed, half slid down.” You are able o see Lesley trying to get down the riverbank. An example of symbolism would be the river. The river is a symbol of stupidity of the two countries. They could get along if they would just set aside differences, have courage, and cross over to peace.
Some of the patterns that contribute to the over-all theme are people forgetting about differences and having the courage to accept one another. Lesley realizes this after meeting Mustapha. Lesley’s parents also realize this when Noah comes back. The most important lesson in the story was you could overcome anything if you have determination and courage.
By the end of the story Lesley proved to have matured greatly and to except life in Israel. The story One More River taught us how to overcome challenges, complications, and differences of the world with determination and courage.