ABOUT Stephen Graff

Stephen Graff
I am a a full-time elementary school teacher and writer living with my wife and daughter in Southern New Jersey.  I started out as a playwright with a number of productions in the Philadelphia region. I have written articles about the natural landscapes, folklore, and history of New Jerse More...



A future world after a deluge. A savage landscape of forest, black water, and scattered villages. River dwellers struggle to survive and despots roam the flood plain looking for followers to brainwash and fighters to kill.  They are hunting a mysterious teenage boy.  Alice Page is on a harrowing downriver journey with her scientist father and family. Her father is oblivious to the dangers that surround them.  But she can see through the veil of darkness. One morning, Alice and her father rescue a boy, left for dead on a wooden barge. Now, as killers close in, she must find a way to keep herself and her family alive.  RIVER DAWN is a dystopian thriller for young adults and general readers

Stephen Graff is a master in creating mood and the sensory details of setting. His prose in River Dawn is reminiscent of Denis Johnson's Jesus' Son, in its spare yet lyrical, uplifting yet dark style. The novel is divided into short, mysterious sections that are sometimes shuffled for effect. Graff gives the reader plenty of breathing space to figure out the plot and subtext, which I like. He doesn't over-tell or overwrite, but lays down the pieces on a need-to-know basis. --C.M. Stine