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Cover image for After the river the sun
After the river the sun

1st ed.
Publication Information:
New York : Atheneum Books for Young Readers, ©2013.
Physical Description:
347 pages ; 22 cm
After his parents' death, his own near-drowning, and months in foster care, twelve-year-old Eckhart Lyon moves to his Uncle Al's orchard on trial but yearns for a real home, and with new friend Eva's help he sets out on a quest to atone and prove himself worthy like his hero, Sir Gawain.
Reading Level:
Ages 9-12.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 4.5 5.0 159910.

Reading Counts RC 3-5 4.4 9 Quiz: 60022.


Call Number
J Calhoun, D.

On Order



Will Eckhart find the courage to rise from his past-and climb to his future? This quest for home is a stunning companion to Eva of the Farm.

When Eckhart Lyon arrives at Sunrise Orchard, all he wants to do is play video games and read about King Arthur's knights. Anything that helps him forget that his parents drowned in a river, forget his own cowardliness. Eckhart doesn't want to clear the dead orchard, or explore the canyon, or do anything else that stern Uncle Al asks. After all, Uncle Al is only taking him in on trial, and Eckhart can't imagine the orchard ever becoming his real home.

Then, up in the canyon, he meets Eva-a girl with a wild imagination and boundless hope who knows all about King Arthur's knights. With her help, Eckhart sees that he is on a knightly quest of his own: a quest for home and courage. But what if he's forced to choose between a new home and his most treasured possession-a gift from his mom?

In this companion to Eva of the Farm , author Dia Calhoun shows that with friendship, determination, and the grace of nature, we can overcome tragedy and rise toward the sun.

Reviews 3

Horn Book Review

After his parents' drowning, Eckhart moves to eastern Washington to live (for a trial period) on his reticent uncle's orchard. Lonely and grieving, he develops a close friendship with Eva (from companion novel Eva on the Farm). Stream-of-consciousness verse captures Eckhart's confusion and survivor's guilt, though at times Calhoun seems to favor developing the narrative at the expense of the poetry. (c) Copyright 2014. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Kirkus Review

A boy draws on Arthurian legend to ease his grief in this companion verse novel to Eva of the Farm (2012). Having recently witnessed his parents' deaths from a drowning accident, Eckhart Lyon is sent to live with his uncle Albert, one of his few living relatives, on a trial basis. A gaming expert, the boy is certain he'll never enjoy his strange uncle's rural home without modern technology, but he grows to appreciate helping his uncle rebuild his orchard and hanging out with Eva, from a neighboring property. Despite these brief, comforting moments, he struggles with unrelenting guilt, feelings of cowardice and a desire to make his uncle's house a real home. Calhoun's precise verse ("Suddenly the stars beating down / were too bright, / the river too loud") make Eckhart's anguish palpable. The boy soon likens himself to Sir Gawain, who proved his worth to his uncle, King Arthur, before becoming a knight. Eckhart's quest for home and courage is a true test, as his uncle grapples with his own grief and despair and will not commit to Eckhart's future. A sudden tragedy allows the boy to heed the call of bravery, show his knightly spirit and forge a new family. A quiet testament to readers who relish the beauty of language over action. (Verse novel. 9-12)]] Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Booklist Review

In this companion to Eva of the Farm (2012), 12-year-old orphan Eckhart Lyon comes to live with Uncle Al on a trial basis. Life at Sunrise Orchard is not as he imagined there's much less time for video games and reading about King Arthur but Al needs Eckhart's help, and Eckhart needs a permanent home. Calhoun's verse novel addresses themes of unresolved grief (both Eckhart and Al), belonging, and the healing power of nature. Neighbor Eva plays a supportive role, helping Eckhart to face his demons (feeling responsible for his parents' drownings) and assert himself with his uncle. Genuine and resonant.--Weisman, Kay Copyright 2010 Booklist