Sita Brahmachari

Thought provoking adventure with a strong environmental theme.

In a caste-divided, dystopian world, two children risk everything in search of a better life.

Kairos City was beautiful once, before the storm.

Now the flowerbeds are built over with brick, the bees are long gone and children are sent to Freedom Fields to pollinate crops by hand for the good of the nation.

Eleven-year-old Shifa knows her twin Themba won’t survive this harsh existence for long: they have to escape. But then she uncovers an impossible secret. If she can protect it on their perilous journey home, Shifa could change everything.



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Eve Haberdasher’s Aske’s school for Girls

Where The River Runs Gold is a thrilling novel. I was hanging on the author’s every word… always wondering what was coming next. This realistic, dystopian novel almost inspired fear into me- it touched on what climate change can do to civilisation if we continue and the massive threat something like this could do to my generation. Shifa, Themba and Luca are all such strong and resilient characters and the story of their journey is so impressive and their story will influence me in every decision I will ever make. I would DEFINITELY rate this book a 4.5 out of… Read more »


I really enjoyed this book because it is unique and very interesting with a strange ending . Is it meant to end on a cliffhanger ?

Maya Haberdasher’s Aske’s School for Girls

I thought this book was a very interesting dystopian novel. It made me wonder what was going to happen next and I didn’t want to put it down. I thought the characters felt very real and the things they did felt like what people would actually do. Overall I thought this was a very good book and would strongly recommend it to anyone.

Isabel St Cedd's School

I really liked this book but it take me a long time to get in to it. There was one character that I really liked who was originally bad but was very nice to Shifa and Themba in the end.

Darcy montgomery junior school

I read a little bit of where the river runs gold and i didn’t really enjoy it it wasn’t my kind of book so what i would say is read it, and think what you want to think. The bit i did like is when it said that Shiva the 11 year old girl, walked past a wall that smelt like pee and that really made me laugh. I didn’t really get in the right mindset for reading that kind of book it was a mystery book. That’s all i have to say for the book where the river runs… Read more »

Education Resources Service

‘Where the river runs gold’ is a fantastic book! It’s a thriller as well as a mystery book! I really like the way the writer described the character! In my opinion I would rate this book an 8/10! –
St Helena

Olive - Hockerill Anglo-European College

I really enjoyed the storyline for this book, it had many twists and I really like the way that it was written. I this book was absolutely amazing and I would recommend it for any child over the age of 8, or even for adults! This book really made me feel like I was there with the characters so I was really upset when I finished it.

Maisie R Sweyne park school

Where the river runs gold is a exciting and thrilling book that made me want to read on. The book however at the start is a bit slow to start with but it does to become much more exciting in the middle so much that I couldn’t put the book down. I love the way Shifa is wrote and she develops throughout the book. The dystopian tale highlights the effects of climate change in a way that warns the reader what could happen without being too bleak. I found that the characters interactions very believable and interesting to read especially… Read more »

christian great baddow high-school

I think this is a great dystopian thriller about a desolate wasteland which has been caused by climate change and pollution with mystery intertwined. It has a great message about climate change and apocalypse with some quite emotional bits mixed in with its survival plot. The characters all have meaning and different characteristics. Plot The plot is about a heartbroken and damaged family surviving in an apocalypse. They work in a bee factory that’s hellbent on them not escaping. They keep them in there by making them have short distance vision, the company produces honey because in the future there… Read more »

Ashley Great Baddow High School

River Runs Gold I think it is a remarkable book about a wasteland that has formed from Global Warming. The book has the apocalypse Because of pollution. The book has some emotional parts and suspense, mixed in with some surprising parts. In the wasteland is a heartbroken poor family trying to survive the apocalypse. The family get a note saying their kids can work at a bee factory for money. Because of Global warming and pollution, the bees are no longer alive. so they use humans to do the jobs. Shifa, who is eleven years old, and Themba are taken… Read more »


The main character Shifa was clearly the leader out of her Themba and Luca because she was courageous and even when she had her doubts, she fought to get her and her friends to happiness. She was dedicated to the idea of getting home to Nabil and her cat Daisy. This shows that she was caring enough to take her brother with her, and she was outgoing enough to escape from the farms while passing water traps, sneaking past the workers and much more. Themba (Shifa’s brother) was the sensitive one. I could tell this because when Luca went missing… Read more »

Sophie/ GBHS

Where the River Runs Gold… This book is set in the future, where humans have ruined the world and technology is everywhere, so children are sent to a so-called oasis to help bring nature back into the bleak Kairos city. When Shifa and Themba Aziz are brought to this mysterious land they find out secrets that are not on the lively adverts. Themba is losing patience Shifa must be quick but how? Climate change is very important in this book and part of it is for Shifa and her brother to bring life back. In Nibil’s time bees were flying… Read more »


I feel as if this book had a slow start and that is a shame because this genre holds a lot of mystery especially in this dystopian super city/ hunger games spin-off as the writer chose a world where children are put into labour to feed the rich and the rest are considered outcasts to society, which is common for this genre because almost anything can happen. I feel as if she chose this genre on purpose for us to sympathise Themba and Shifas lives. As the story progresses it builds up to something to us that might not seem… Read more »

Esme - Hockerill Anglo-European College

The book has lots of descriptive words and it is very easy to understand. It is a good book because it helps you to understand the importance of anything and everything! You should read it to find out more.

Steve birchwood

I feel as if this book provoked climate change and its impacts throughout the story and what the our consequences could lead to this story compelled the value of equality and gripped us as the book meanders into a stunning novel. The River Runs Gold 👍 gets my approval and anyone willing for a tale you cant stop following

Yingzhi, Helena Romanes

Where the river runs gold
Helena Romanes
Where the river runs gold is about a pair of twins who are sent to Freedom Fields to pollinate crops. They are separated and Shifa’s brother (Themba) wants to run away. They are helped by another worker (Luca) and they try to find a better life.

Samuel KEGS

Where The River Runs Gold is an ok book.It is sometimes funny but I found it a bit boring. The plot was a bit confusing.

Natalie,Sweyne Park School

I enjoyed this book because it was adventurous and full of surprises. When I started reading this book I wasn’t sure about it but as I read it, it just got better and better. The characters Shifa and Themba were twins and are inseparable , then they were sent off to Freedom Fields. Freedom Fields is a pollinating farm where children work all day and night. To escape horrors they would have to go through obstacles to get to where they belong . I was eager to read on chapter by chapter,the text was easy to read . I definitely… Read more »

James KEGS

Overall, I found this book a reasonable read. The pace and drama of the opening chapter describing the apocalyptic hurricane drew me in as, ‘a shower of powdered masonry crumbled over his [Nabil’s] skin’ and, ‘the wind howled through the wide, empty [window] frames’. Unfortunately subsequent chapters did not live up to the book’s strong opening: the pace slackens and most of the action only happens in the final third of the book which feels very rushed and hard to follow. Also, many of the characters don’t seem very ‘real’. Jermaine and Jax seem to undergo constant swings moving between… Read more »

Olivia R - Hockerill Anglo-European College

An adventure story based in a futuristic setting. This book is very well written and has a powerful meaning behind it. At Freedom Fields the bees are long gone and children are sent to pollinate crops by hand. This topic is very relevant to today’s situations. I enjoyed this book and would recommend it to a friend.

Liana - Hockerill Anglo-European College

This is an adventure and action book about two young siblings, set in a cool dystopian setting where bees are extinct so children have to pollinate crops. But the siblings plant small trees along the way and try to escape their pollination farm. The story begins quite vague, but then gets more exciting, and later reveals a sinister plot full of so many twists and turns. This story explains the dangers of climate change in a real life context. Overall, this is a great book for people who love adventure.

Isobel - Hockerill Anglo-European College

The bees have long disappeared, so instead, children must work on farms pollinating crops by hand, so that the nation can eat. The farm Shifa and Themba are sent to is cruel, and Themba won’t survive there, but Shifa comes up with a plan to get them out.
I think it’s really important to read about the environment because it helps people be aware about what’s going on in the world. I would recommend this book to 13+ as it is quite hard to get into.

Zara - Hockerill Anglo-European College

At the beginning, I found the book quite hard to understand, but it soon got interesting. It is about a young girl named Shifa who lives in a futeristic world and has to go and pollinate a farm. My favourite moment is when Shifa finds out that she doesn’t know her real parents.
I would recommend this book to ages 12 and over. It is important to read books like this to learn how important it is to look after the environment

Precious - Hockerill Anglo-European College

The story is about children being sent to pollination camps because the bees are long gone and children are sent to pollinate crops by hand, for the good of the nation. This book begins in a mysterious way. An inspiring book based in the future! I enjoyed this book because it was very adventurous with a positive, important message. The language and the concept of the book is very emotive and talks about how need to be aware of the world around us, and the consequences of our actions, in the near future.