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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
In Rebellion in Riversleigh: The Madeleine Richards Series Book 1 by Juliette Duncan, Madeleine Richards (Maddy) is a typical pre-teen. On her birthday, she makes a mad dash outdoors in her pj's to chase away the dog that has been scaring her chickens. The birthday progresses with a surprise trip to the mall in town, along with her mom and her mother's new boyfriend, to pick out a new bike. The afternoon is a pre-teen all girl event, skating and a sleepover. It's the following day, the day after her birthday, that everything changes forever. That's the day that Hank, her mother's boyfriend, along with her mother, announce their plan to get married and move away - far away from the only home Maddy's ever known, the only friends she's ever had, and her grandparents.
Maddy is determined to stay. She does not want to move and she sets a course to try to prevent the wedding and the move from ever happening. Drawing in her best friend, Hannah, the two plot a run-away to scare Maddy's mom into listening to the girl's pleas. The run-away turns into a washout when a ferocious thunderstorm with torrential rain makes for a wet, cold night in the cave and a long morning wandering around lost in the muddy woods surrounded in mist.
Change is difficult for anyone, but for a pre-teen it often seems like it's the end of the world. While Maddy's defiance may appear to adults as selfish and thoughtless, her fears over change are very real and frightening. But, as the author clearly points out in the development of the story, change can be a very positive experience if one is willing to be open minded and consider the possibilities. Author Juliette Duncan has taken a very real-to-life scenario and created a story that will definitely relate to young pre-teen readers. This is a well-plotted story about accepting change, pointing out to young pre-teens that life can be good anywhere as long as you have your family.