First Descent

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First Descent

by Pam Withers

Tundra | February 11, 2014 | Trade Paperback

First Descent is rated 4.5 out of 5 by 2.

Montana-born Rex dreams of following in his grandfather''s footsteps and making a first descent down one of the world''s last unconquered wild rivers. When he finally gets enough sponsors, Rex heads to South America to tackle the well-named El Furioso. And while he anticipates the river''s challenges, he finds himself in a situation where the real danger is human.

In Colombia, he hires a guide: seventeen year-old Myriam Calambás, an indígena who has lived along El Furioso all her life. Though she loves its rushing waters, Myriam longs to go to university, become a reporter, and tell the world what is happening to her people. Her dreams, and her very survival, are in the balance when she and Rex become caught up in the clash between the paramilitaries, who work for the rich landowners, and the guerillas, who are supposed to protect the poor.

Pam Withers'' skill at writing about extreme sports is reflected in this compelling novel about an endangered world and a people struggling for their very right to exist.

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 272 pages, 7.65 × 5.37 × 0.73 in

Published: February 11, 2014

Publisher: Tundra

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 177049412X

ISBN - 13: 9781770494121

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Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from Finnally, a book with some real kayaking in it! I loved it! I found it annoying how much of a jerk the main character was for about the first half of the book, but loved the story, it feels as if I've been to Chile myself now.
Date published: 2014-01-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Adventures while Extreme White Water Kayaking! Reason for Reading: The plot sounded exciting and I am a fan of this publisher, trusting their book selection when I haven't heard of the author before. Excellent. A superb adventure story that should especially touch reluctant male teen readers. This is an exciting rush of adrenaline from start to finish. 17-year-old Rex is an expert whitewater kayaker taking after his grandfather who raised him along with his mother. His grandfather was well-known in his day for making many first descents down rivers in South America but ended his career when local Natives chased him out of an area of Colombia leaving El Furioso unconquered to this day. Rex promises to finish his grandfather's legacy by making this his first "first descent" and heads off to Colombia without anyone in his family really understanding the political situation in that area. Hiring a local indigenous girl, 17-year-old Myriam, to be his guide he finds himself not only facing man vs. nature as he shoots extreme rapids but man vs man when he learns the plight of the indigena out in the wilderness caught between the paramilitary and guerrilla soldiers. An eye-opening story of culture clashes and world social problems that do not make headline news but should be known and addressed globally. Interesting characters that are real and relatable to teens. I found both Rex and Myriam to be likable teens, flawed and each developed throughout the story. I'm not usually into this type of "political situation" novel but am very fond of outdoor adventure/survival stories and found the political situation only enhanced the exhilaration of the plot. A great library pick!
Date published: 2011-12-05

– More About This Product –

First Descent

by Pam Withers

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 272 pages, 7.65 × 5.37 × 0.73 in

Published: February 11, 2014

Publisher: Tundra

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 177049412X

ISBN - 13: 9781770494121

From the Publisher

Montana-born Rex dreams of following in his grandfather''s footsteps and making a first descent down one of the world''s last unconquered wild rivers. When he finally gets enough sponsors, Rex heads to South America to tackle the well-named El Furioso. And while he anticipates the river''s challenges, he finds himself in a situation where the real danger is human.

In Colombia, he hires a guide: seventeen year-old Myriam Calambás, an indígena who has lived along El Furioso all her life. Though she loves its rushing waters, Myriam longs to go to university, become a reporter, and tell the world what is happening to her people. Her dreams, and her very survival, are in the balance when she and Rex become caught up in the clash between the paramilitaries, who work for the rich landowners, and the guerillas, who are supposed to protect the poor.

Pam Withers'' skill at writing about extreme sports is reflected in this compelling novel about an endangered world and a people struggling for their very right to exist.

About the Author

PAM WITHERS is the critically acclaimed author of fifteen best-selling outdoor-adventure books for teens. Born in Wisconsin and fascinated by the world of extreme sports, she is a former slalom kayak racer, kayak instructor, whitewater raft guide, journalist, editor, and associate publisher. A popular public speaker across North America, Pam Withers is also co-founder of www.keenreaders.org. Pam Withers lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, with her husband. The author lives in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Editorial Reviews

“…Pam Withers'' new book First Descent is a book that just can''t be put down. From the first page to the last, Withers keeps her readers on the edge of their seats. Moving from a tale of frustration and arrogance to one of survival, heroism, and humility, the story of Rex''s adventure to Colombia to navigate the aptly named El Furioso river will keep audiences flipping pages until the last sentence. Withers is a talented author with a knack for exciting and gripping action as well as for sympathetic and moving characters. The plot is well-paced, and her prose elicits beautiful images of the Colombian landscape…. Highly recommended.”
–CM Magazine

"...From the first page, when Rex hears a crack of river ice, sees an eight-year-old in peril, and enacts a dramatic rescue in which he must out-paddle an advancing mountain of ice, Withers flings the reader from one perilous adventure to another...."
— Booklist "
 
Kayaking action and encounters with the various military groups are vivid and thrilling."
— Kirkus Reviews
 
"...a fast-paced novel.... Mature teens will find this a compelling story of clashing cultures and social challenge."
—The Midwest Book Review
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