Reader Reviewed The River Singers by Tom Moorhouse

The River Singers

Written by Tom Moorhouse

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The Lovereading4Kids comment

One of our Books of the Year 2014 In the tradition of Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind in the Willows and Richard Adams’s Watership Down, The River Singers captures the desperate adventures of a family of water voles struggling survive as their habitat changes. Sylvan and his younger siblings are only just prepared for the world of the river when their lives are thrown into confusion following the violent death of their mother. Sylvan knows he must lead his family to a new home. Their journey takes them along the river which must now be their guide but the waters are treacherous and there is great danger all around them from the other animals that live along its banks.

A Piece of Passion from Liz Cross, Children’s Publisher, Oxford University Press Among all the riches in the children’s book world, there are some books that stand out, some books that are truly special and I am delighted that we have found just such a book in The River Singers. Lyrical yet gripping… with characters that spring from the page fully-formed. Packed with witty, authentic dialogue, and filled with moments of genuine peril, this is a book to fall in love with.

Reader Reviews

Kids love to read and so in addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Lovereading4kids Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title.

  • Alex Boulton, age 11 - 'This book is wonderful. It is full of happiness, sadness, excitement and action-packed adventure. All the way through you will be crying and laughing with joy and tears of emotion.'Read full review >
  • Ewan Young, age 10 - 'This story is brilliant, seeing the river through the eyes of a water vole is really interesting.' Read full review >
  • James smart, age 13 - 'Loved the book, I found it gripping and I advise it to anyone.'  Read full review >
  • Charlie Upchurch, age 9  - 'The River Singers is a wonderful, exciting adventure about a family of water voles in danger who are looking for safety. It reminded me of Watership Down.'  Read full review >
  • Sam Harper, age 9  This heartwarming tale has danger and excitement. It is both funny and sad and the characters are so believable that I felt like I was living the adventure with them.  Read full review >


The River Singers by Tom Moorhouse

There is a rumour spreading along the length of the Great River, warning of a mysterious new danger that will threaten all the River Singers.

Something was approaching the burrow. Something deadly. Something that made Sylvan's fur bristle with fear ...Knowing their lives are under threat, Sylvan and his brother and sisters have no choice but to abandon their burrow for ever. Together they set out on an epic journey along the Great River; but with dangers lurking at every turn, will they ever find a safe place to call home?

This is the debut novel from ecologist and water vole expert, Tom Moorhouse, who is responsible for reintroducing seven new populations of water voles to the Upper Thames.

Now available in paperback, this exciting and beautifully-illustrated animal adventure has the makings of a future children's classic.


'A hymn to nature, written with compassion and flair.' Lauren St John, author of The White Giraffe

'With echoes of The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame and Watership Down this is a wonderful story with a classic, traditional feel ... An utterly lovely book and highly recommended.' The Bookbag

'The book was amazing - it was the best book that I have ever read. I felt like I was in the book. My eyes would just not stop reading. I will recommend it to lots of people.'
Lulu, age 9

About the Author

Tom Moorhouse

Tom Moorhouse works as an ecologist at Oxford University’s Zoology Department as part of WILDCRU, the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit. He has a BSc from Durham, an MRes from York and completed his DPhil on water vole conservation ecology in 2003.
A water vole expert and dedicated naturalist, Moorhouse’s many achievements include reintroducing seven new populations of water voles to the Upper Thames.

Originally from the Dales, he now lives in Oxford.

Tom talks in greater detail about The River Singers (this is an extended version of the video on the book page.)

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Book Info


256 pages


Tom Moorhouse
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Oxford University Press

Publication date

3rd July 2014




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