The setting is southern Minnesota during the depression in the early '30s. Two brothers, Odie and Albert, are orphans who find themselves in a Native American boarding school run by an evil director. If you think Jane Eyre's awful school or Oliver Twist's orphan experiences you get the idea of the terrible situation these boys are in. Well, they do run away and bring along a few more kids who are desperate for freedom. They plan to canoe down the Minnesota River to the Mississippi and down to St. Louis, Missouri. Now you can think suggestions of Huckleberry Finn. Along the way, they meet criminals, supportive characters, a traveling healing ministry, a shantytown, and people struggling just like them.
This book is such a wonderful read. It is a 5 out of 4! The plot moves along and you get to meet lots of interesting characters. There are exciting scenes...some knuckle-biting and some filled with sweetness and hope. A little bit of mysticism and faith as well as characters of good and evil. I told my friends in my book club that they can't read this book because I'm picking it for my reader's choice next year. I highly recommend this book! This would also be a good choice for male readers too.