The Island

The Island

3.7 18
by Gary Paulsen
     
 

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From a master storyteller comes a unique exploration into the exhilarating joys--and the inevitable dangers--of total solitude. Every day, 15yo Wil Neuton gets up, brushes his teeth, leaves the house, and rows away from shore. He's discovered the island, a place where he can go to be alone and learn to know nature--and himself. Wil's only mission is to let go of the… See more details below

Overview

From a master storyteller comes a unique exploration into the exhilarating joys--and the inevitable dangers--of total solitude. Every day, 15yo Wil Neuton gets up, brushes his teeth, leaves the house, and rows away from shore. He's discovered the island, a place where he can go to be alone and learn to know nature--and himself. Wil's only mission is to let go of the outside world. But the outside world refuses to let go of him. His family regards him as a puzzle. The town bully is determined to challenge him. And suddenly, even reporters know his name. He can confront them all, or he can embrace his solitude forever. Just one thing is certain now: Wil Neuton will no longer be relying on anybody but himself.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The island is in the middle of a small lake in northern Wisconsin. It is uninhabited until the summer Wilstet, who is 15, arrives. Wil is at first drawn by the simplicity of the place, but as his concentration sharpens the island unfolds its matrix of life and death, mirroring the unfolding layers of Wil's self-consciousness. He fills notebooks with watercolors and writes essays about what he sees, feels, remembers and observes within. He decides to stay, Thoreau-like, supported by his new friend Susan, even though the worldanxious parents, town bullies, and a curious pressoccasionally intrudes. His serenity finally becomes fascinating. This could have been another back-to-nature story, but Newbery Honor writer Paulsen tells Wil's inner journey with a confident lyricism that duplicates Wil's emotional qualities. The somewhat forced plot elements are secondary to the author's purposehis spareness, repetition and use of rhythm gives his language intensity while holding out to readers the promise of all-too-elusive clarity. Ages 11-14. (April)
School Library Journal
Gr 9-12 Fifteen-year-old Wil Neuton is forced to leave Madison for the upper reaches of Wisconsin when his ne'er-do-well father takes a position with the state highway department. Wil leaves behind the security of old friends and old crushes. In the course of adjusting to his new environment, he discovers an uninhabited island sitting in the middle of Sucker Lake. It is on this island that Wil chooses to emulate ``The Thinker'' by Rodin and learn more about himself. In this strangely different coming-of-age novel, Paulsen is not clear enough in leading readers down the path of humor. And a joke is not a successful joke if it is on the reader rather than a shared adventure. Therefore, what might have been a funny take-off on adolescent angst does not quite work. There are hints along the wayfor example, the lake's name and Emil Aucht, the tobacco-spitting handy man. But the plausible does not become implausible enough until late in the novel. By then readers have something in common with the name of the lake ``on which the island lay.'' Therese Bigelow, Hampton Public Library, Va.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780545748186
Publisher:
Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
05/27/2014
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
208
Sales rank:
183,675
File size:
13 MB
Note:
This product may take a few minutes to download.
Age Range:
12 Years

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