By: Laurel Snyder BUY BOOK HERE
Orphan Island is a wonderful "coming of age" (ages 10-16) story. You hit that point where you find yourself and your surroundings changing and you fight to hold on, while accepting the new. I wish I could be a child reading this-- I found my adult perspective interfering with the island. I also find in myself that books that end openly leave me frustrated. I get no resolution and I sit thinking about it for days. I question the characters and create multiple options of outcome. Which is exactly what I did with this one. Your child will love it. It's the perfect one to read together and discuss (a huge book club hit!).
“Dear reader who finds this, if I am gone, My name is Jinny I lived here on this island. I loved it. I stayed. I held on. Then, after a pause, Jinny added a line. She'd never be able to write it in ink, bit it was there all the same, a ghost in the letter. As she slid the piece of paper into her pocket, she whispered it aloud. I held on Too long.”
In the tradition of modern-day classics like Sara Pennypacker's Pax and Lois Lowry's The Giver comes a deep, compelling, heartbreaking, and completely one-of-a-kind novel about nine children who live on a mysterious island.
On the island, everything is perfect. The sun rises in a sky filled with dancing shapes; the wind, water, and trees shelter and protect those who live there; when the nine children go to sleep in their cabins, it is with full stomachs and joy in their hearts.
And only one thing ever changes: on that day, each year, when a boat appears from the mist upon the ocean carrying one young child to join them—and taking the eldest one away, never to be seen again.
Today’s Changing is no different. The boat arrives, taking away Jinny’s best friend, Deen, replacing him with a new little girl named Ess, and leaving Jinny as the new Elder. Jinny knows her responsibility now—to teach Ess everything she needs to know about the island, to keep things as they’ve always been.
But will she be ready for the inevitable day when the boat will come back—and take her away forever from the only home she’s known?
“Everything had its purpose. If you waited long enough, a useless thing would become useful again.”