Monday, October 17, 2016


A review by Theresa:

In Elizabeth’ Atkinson’s THE ISLAND OF BEYOND the reader learns immediately how big a disappointment  11-year old Martin is to his father.  So much so that Dad has decided to send Martin off for a month of his summer vacation to visit his, never met before,  great-aunt Lenore who lives on a tiny island in the middle of a remote lake in Maine to do some “boy stuff” and toughen him up.  To say that Martin hates everything about the island and the creepy house would be an understatement. There is no cell reception, no video games and no food he likes. Lacking self- confidence Martin is afraid of everything he encounters, the creaks the house makes, the rustling of the bushes, his great-aunt and most of all the lake. Eventually he meets Solo, a wild child who appears to do as he pleases with no parental supervision. Warned by the aunt’s caregiver to stay away from this boy, Martin admires his new friend’s abilities and is drawn to him even though there are trust issues. Solo does become his guide though and encourages him to try new things which Martin does hesitantly.  

For Martin, this becomes a summer of meeting challenges and self-discovery. Things on the island are not always as they seem, neither is the reason for his being sent to the island. This title is part adventure, a little mystery and a coming of age story all in one. Gary Paulsen’s fans will find much to like here. 

For grades 5-8

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