Author Spotlight

“My first hope for my novels is that they tell a good story, that the reader will keep turning the pages and will hate to see the story end. Beyond that, I try to weave lore about the natural world and special places that I know and love into the fabric of my stories. I believe that if kids come to care about and identify with the characters in stories, they will also learn more about, and ultimately care more about, preserving the treasures of our natural world.”—Will Hobbs

Will Hobbs is the award-winning author of several novels, including the Avon titles Bearstone, Kokopelli’s Flute, and Far North, and the American Library Association has recognized many of his novels as Best Books for Young Adults.


Along with his wife, Jean, author Will Hobbs has lived near Durango, Colorado, since 1973. For 17 years he was an English and reading teacher. He loves to stay in touch with students. He says: “I love meeting with kids and visiting with them about reading and writing.” Will Hobbs graduated from Stanford University with a Master of Arts in English and now writes full-time. Downriver, the third novel by Will Hobbs, is a skillfully crafted novel with a classic theme, perfect for young adult readers. It’s the thrilling story of Jessie and her new companions, who are having the time of their lives on a wilderness trip to the Grand Canyon. But “fun” is not the only thing waiting for them as they take a white-water rafting trip downriver. Amid great danger, the group must learn to think and act for themselves.

Downriver and River Thunder draw heavily on Hobbs’ own experience rafting down the Colorado and also demonstrate his tremendous love of and respect for nature.



—An ALA Best Book for Young Adults
—An ALA 100 Best of the Best Young Adult Books of the Past 25 Years
—An American Bookseller Pick of the Lists
—A California Young Reader Medal Winner
—A YALSA Quick Pick

“Exquisitely plotted, with nail-biting suspense and excitement.”—School Library Journal

“Vivid, fast-paced, and convincing. . . . Hobbs makes the group dynamics compelling. . . . Jessie is a tough heroine in a genuinely exciting story.”—The Bulletin