The Falls

Children - Adventure
192 Pages
Reviewed on 06/13/2024
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Christine Nguyen for Readers' Favorite

The Falls by Janet R. Macreery is a children’s story about an eleven-year-old girl named Monty embarking on an Alaskan adventure with her father. Her father is offered a job in the wilderness of Alaska at a fishing camp for men called Brooks River in Katmai National Monument. Their journey begins when they travel to their destination by a bush plane and settle into their sturdy tent. Monty must learn to be constantly on guard for the numerous dangers that can harm her, especially the bears that come out of hibernation seeking salmon in the rivers and waterfalls. With the help of her new friends, Mrs. Devon and Mr. Charles, Monty spends the summer learning about the wildlife and plants in Alaska, while also gaining independence and confidence within herself.

Author Janet R. Macreery pens an extraordinary masterpiece in children’s fiction with an endearing and relatable heroine in Monty. Readers cannot help but be enthralled by Monty’s resiliency and bravery in exploring her treacherous surroundings and overcoming obstacles. I loved following Monty’s trips with Mrs. Devon to learn about the plants and animals around the camp with so much fascinating detail. Readers will also learn about important life lessons like the cycle of life in nature, death, logic, bullies, friendships, and more. This series should continue to follow Monty every summer as I can see it becoming a beloved classic that stands the test of time. Readers of all ages will surely fall in love as I did with The Falls.

Pikasho Deka

The Falls is a children's adventure story by Janet R. Macreery. Set in 1953, the story follows eleven-year-old Monty Wilson, who lost her mother when she was four. This summer, Monty is traveling with her father to the Brooks River fishing camp at Katmai National Monument in Alaska. Monty's father is a skilled angler, and his expertise in construction has prompted Mr. Luke Stafford to offer him a job at the camp. After they arrive, Monty realizes she is the only child in the place, unwittingly drawing the unwanted attention of a bully. But soon, with the help of Mrs. Devon and a few other friends, Monty begins to enjoy her stay with activities that include animal watching, small hikes, journaling, playing with squirrels, identifying plants and berries, and soaking up the beautiful Alaskan landscape.

Heartwarming and uplifting, The Falls is an adventure tale for children and young adults alike. Janet R. Macreery has written a beautiful story that takes you on a fascinating adventure in the Alaskan wilderness. Narrated through the POV of an eleven-year-old, the story allows the reader to see the world from a child's perspective and how they process life's different challenges. The book also offers readers a rare view into the heart of the Alaskan wilderness, showcasing its lovely and diverse flora and fauna. Monty is an immensely likable protagonist and someone who young readers can relate to. I really liked her character development and how she stood up to her bully toward the end. Overall, this is a captivating story. Preteen readers will find a lot to love about this book.

Antoinette Wessels

The Falls by Janet Macreery is a coming-of-age story about Montgomery and her father's summer vacation in Alaska. To be considered for a more permanent position at home, Monty’s father needs to work the summer in Alaska as a fishing guide and construction worker, and Monty is coming along. Much to her disappointment, she will be the only child at Brooks Camp, full of wild animals and even plants that can hurt you. At first, Monty is afraid and alone at the camp, but soon she makes friends with the shopkeeper, Charlie, and Mrs. Devon, who helps in the kitchen. Charlie takes Monty on short walks to watch the bears, and Mrs. Devon teaches Monty about all the interesting plants in the area. Before Monty knows it, she enjoys the trip and can’t wait to return.

The Falls by Janet Macreery will be appreciated by children who enjoy reading and learning about nature and animals. It is filled to the brim with interesting facts about plants and wildlife, and I learned a lot from it. Character development was excellent; Monty grew from a scared little girl to a strong-willed individual. She also learns from the bears how to stand up against a bully. This book is full of lessons to be learned through an easy-to-read story. Monty is a character you can relate to. Like all children, she was not enjoying the trip at first, but through learning more about the environment, she started to enjoy it. The scenery is beautifully described, but not in a way that detracts from the story. Instead, it adds to the magical feeling of The Falls. This story made me want to go to Alaska and experience this country.

Shrabastee Chakraborty

After her mother died in an accident when she was only four, Montgomery Wilson was raised by her dad and her Aunt Betty. When an opportunity to work as a fishing guide and construction planner at an Alaskan summer camp presents itself, her dad accepts the job, taking eleven-year-old Monty with him. Spending a summer away from city life would be hard, especially as she expects frequent encounters with brown bears and other wildlife. Some occupants believe that Monty is not fit to live in the camp and go to any lengths to make her life miserable. Can Monty survive the ordeal? Find out in The Falls, a children's adventure by Janet R. Macreery.

Although the storyline spanned a single summer, reading this book was enriching. Monty showed significant character growth, her initial fears and uncertainty giving way to a newfound confidence. My heart went out to her when she tried to seek her elders’ approval at every step or was afraid of humiliating her father. Her experiences gave her the strength to confront bullies and taught her when to avoid a fight. I loved how Janet R. Macreery sketched her character to be incredibly perceptive of human interactions and natural occurrences. It was a wholesome feeling to be lost in the wilderness and see the world through Monty’s eyes. I loved every moment in this book, whether it was hiking on unknown trails, finding new flora and fauna, gathering knowledge about natural resources, or simply feeling a connection with nature. The fascinating information about the bears’ hibernation and the salmon migration was enough to enthrall me. I recommend The Falls to anyone who loves a camping story or coming-of-age novels.

K.C. Finn

The Falls is a work of fiction in the adventure, action, and slice-of-life genres for young independent readers to enjoy. Penned by author Janet R. Macreery, this charming story follows 11-year-old Monty, who relocates to the Alaskan wilderness in 1953 due to her widowed father's job. This unplanned move immerses Monty in an unfamiliar, rugged environment. Throughout the summer, she navigates treacherous landscapes, encounters dangerous wildlife, and forms unexpected friendships. The climax of her journey leads her to discover the marvel and enigma beyond the Falls, transforming her perspective on the wilderness and herself.

Author Janet R. Macreery puts heart and soul into this warm and wonderful story to craft an immersive family read that vividly transports readers to the Alaskan wilderness alongside the very lovable Monty. Despite it not being her choice to move, Monty's resilience and curiosity quickly engage readers and her attitude and emotional journey are relatable from the start. There’s a keen sense of adventure and trepidation that permeates the work with skillful descriptive language and a classic depiction of 1953 Alaska that was consistently rich and detailed. The harsh yet beautiful environment comes alive on every page, and Monty's encounters with wildlife and her growing friendships were compelling and presented with some engaging speech and thought presentation. The pacing builds with plenty of interesting action and interaction as the themes of adaptability and change bubble up to the surface, culminating in a brilliant finale that symbolizes Monty’s growth and newfound understanding. Overall, The Falls is a captivating blend of adventure, personal growth, and the beauty of the natural world that I would not hesitate to understand.