Jess and her parents have brought Grandpa back to his boyhood home by the river. Although the old man has recently suffered a heart attack, he insists on this journey. He wants to finish one last painting before he dies. Jess is training to be a long distance swimmer, so when Grandpa is napping, she practices in the river. But soon she starts seeing a presence there--one that is also affecting Grandpa's painting. Who is the boyish figure Jess sees in the river? What does he want her to do? Tim Bowler grew up in a house overlooking an estuary of the Thames. A scholar, translator and writer, he wanted to create a book that would use the river as a spiritual metaphor for the course of life and death. River Boy is a gripping story as well as an invitation to discuss the ways people cope with dying. It was awarded the Carnegie Medal in 1998.