Tuesday, December 19, 2017

ORPHAN ISLAND by Laurel Snyder.  New York: Walden Pond Press, 2017.  269p.  ISBN 978-006244341-0 hc. $16.99.    Gr. 5-8    J FIC

The weather is always perfect on Orphan Island.  There's always food for all nine of them, and everyone helps with the chores.  It's a microcosm of content.  But when Jinny's friend, Deen, leaves the island in the green boat that arrives once a year to collect the oldest child on the island, she's not ready to give him up and become the elder.  The boat also brings a youngster to replace the oldest, who becomes the "care" of the elder.  Ess arrived this year, and it is Jinny's job to teach her how the island works.  She also has a mystery to solve about the first person on the island who left notes in the books that are read by the campfire each night.  When the boat arrives for Jinny a year later, she's not ready to leave Ess or face the uncertainty of where the boat will take her.  However, there's a price to pay when the rules are broken.  Even though the story is filled with symbolism about how it feels to leave childhood behind, there could have bene more about "Abbie," the first girl on the island, or a continuation of Jinny's entry into adolescence (in my opinion.)  This book begs for a sequel
Lynette Suckow, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI

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