Book Review: Orphan Island

26 Jul

3How do I even begin? Every year a mysterious boat lands on the island with a young child. The young child gets off the boat, the oldest child on the island gets on the boat and disappears into the midst. The nine children on the island don’t ask questions – it’s always been done. And there’s no need to question, the island takes care of the children, protecting them for getting seriously hurt, providing food and teaching the children how to work together to survive. No one questions, until Jinny becomes the Elder and she knows that she only has a short time to teach her Care (the newest and youngest child on the island) everything she needs to know before Jinny must climb aboard the boat. And so, Jinny begins to question how and why they do things on the island, until one day she makes a decision that affects not only herself, but all the children on the island.

I really enjoyed this story – the island itself was almost like a character and was fully developed to the point where I had a map in my head and could picture each part of the island. My favorite descriptions were that of the sunrise and sunset when beautiful animations lit up the sky. And although some dislike the story as it leaves you with more questions than answers, I really enjoyed it- it leaves so much more to the reader to decide, than what the authors tells us in the text. This was a wonderfully written coming-of-age story when kids straddle the border of childhood and adulthood. It would pair fabulously with Jerry Spinelli’s Hokey Pokey where reality and fantasy combine. Do yourself a favor and definitely grab this book before summer is over (it feels like a summer book).

If you want to learn more about this book, check out Laurel Snyder’s post on the Nerdy Book Club, her interview with Corrine Allen on the Books Between podcast or check out this review by Betsy Bird on School Library Journal’s website. And if you loved The Giver by Lois Lowry, check out this tweet by Harper Childrens!

Twitter Booktalk (140 characters or less): “Nine on an island, orphans all/Any more, the sky might fall” What happens if Ginny doesn’t wan to grow up and decides to stay on the island

Title: Orphan Island
Author: Laurel Snyder
Publisher: Walden Pond Press
Publication Date: May 30, 2017
Page Number: 288 pgs.

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2 Responses to “Book Review: Orphan Island”

  1. Amy Estersohn July 26, 2017 at 2:15 pm #

    I felt that this book held promise but I didn’t feel rewarded for careful reading. This is one I would give to kids selectively, too – it’s a beautiful book but an unsettling one.

    I really need to talk this one out with book club. Maybe I missed something big.

  2. jebjork July 27, 2017 at 6:05 am #

    Sounds like a very good magical tale, thanks for sharing.

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