The Upside Down River: Tomek's Journey

Binding: Paperback

Imprint: Andersen Press

Book 1 of Upside Down River Series

Age 8+

Fantasy & Magical Realism Adventure Stories

When Tomek learns of the magical upside down River Qjar, he sets out on a fantastical journey to find it.

Tomek lives a quiet life running his late parents' village store, which has everything you could ever need, and more. Then one day a girl visits. She asks Tomek if he sells something he's never heard of before: a drop of water from the magical River Qjar, which flows back to front and upside down. When he admits he has none, she slips away.

Tomek is desperate to follow the mysterious girl, and so he sets out on an incredible adventure. To find the upside down river, he must journey through strange and wondrous places: the Forest of Oblivion where monstrous bears roam, a meadow of deadly scented flowers, a long-hidden island cursed by a witch, and beyond . . .

A million-copy bestseller in France, this beloved fantasy story is at last published in English for the very first time.

Translated by Ros Schwartz


Jean-Claude Mourlevat was born in Ambert, Auvergne in 1952 in a farming family. He studied in Strasbourg, Toulouse, Bonn and Paris, and worked as a German teacher in college before becoming an actor. He performed as the clown character Guedoulde in a show that toured France and internationally and has also staged works by Brecht, Cocteau and Shakespeare. Jean-Claude Mourlevat turned to writing for children in the late 1990s and has since published numerous books for young readers and won several awards including the Prix des Incorruptibles and the Sorcières Prix. In 2021 he was given the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award. He lives near Saint-Étienne, with his wife and their two children.

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