Publishers Weekly - Publisher's WeeklyIn this debut novel, 12-year-old Sally and her two younger brothers uncover mystery in the Caribbean. The three children are sailing around the world with their father, but while he is away at a medical convention, they are camping on Crab Island, near the British Virgin Islands. First they discover a wounded dolphin, then encounter unfriendly local children and then watch a cigarette boat crash on the reef. In spite of these dramatically promising elements, Vigor's writing offers no surprises--the children rescue the dolphin, make friends with the locals and uncover a drug-smuggling operation. While K. M. Peyton's novels of the sea offer a better sense of the beauty of sailing and a closer look at human motives and grief, Vigor's story provides low-key entertainment for the middle-grade mystery set. Ages 8-12. (Apr.)
School Library JournalGr 4-6-- Let go of the rules of logic and reality (as readers do for the Boxcar Children and Pippi Longstocking), accept the fact that a single father of means would leave his three children ages 8 to 12 camping on a virtually deserted tropical island, and enjoy this rollicking adventure. Sally is a strong female lead, in charge of her two younger brothers. While their father is away at a conference, these three must cope with a threatening set of twins on a catamaran who claim ownership of the campsite. The intrigue deepens when a seriously wounded pregnant dolphin is stranded at their beach; with Pippi-esque creativity, Sally patches her up, tows her to a hospital, and enlists the help of a doctor, free of charge. The people who injured the dolphin are drug runners and they've left their cache behind in a boat fender (this pivotal object in the mystery is never clearly defined). The kids are in for more excitement, including the birth of a dolphin, the sinking of a boat, a double kidnapping, and a daring rescue. Information about sailing and animals is accurate and interesting, and the drama is high as each chapter ends in a cliffhanger. Chalk up the flaws to poetic license and let readers have fun with three more kids home alone! --Susan Oliver, Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library System
Chris ShermanWhen 12-year-old Sally Grant and her younger brothers Peter and Andy rescue a wounded dolphin near their campsite on Crab Island in the British Virgin Islands, they cannot imagine the adventures that will soon follow. They are more concerned with avoiding hostile island children Jan and Jon, whose special territory they have unknowingly invaded. But Sally soon finds herself reluctantly joining forces with Jan and Jon in order to rescue her kidnapped brothers and foil a gang of drug smugglers. An avid sailor, Vigor includes lots of sailing action in his action-packed story, which also boasts an exotic setting, plenty of danger, and a cast of spunky, realistically portrayed characters deliciously free of adult interference. All that should make the book very popular with preteens, though it will need to be booktalked because its rather tame dust jacket gives no hint of the adventures inside.
Write a Review
and post it to your social network
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews >