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Neptune's Children

Neptune's Children

4.6 10
by Bonnie Dobkin

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A day at the fabled amusement park Isles of Wonder turns deadly when a world-wide biological attack kills every adult, leaving behind only the kids to fend for themselves. Isolated from the world, unsure of what lies ahead, the young survivors assemble under the statue of King Neptune, the mythical ruler of the Isles, to form a new society. Led by the children of


A day at the fabled amusement park Isles of Wonder turns deadly when a world-wide biological attack kills every adult, leaving behind only the kids to fend for themselves. Isolated from the world, unsure of what lies ahead, the young survivors assemble under the statue of King Neptune, the mythical ruler of the Isles, to form a new society. Led by the children of the park workers, they choose to remain closed off from the outside world living relatively comfortably inside the self-contained park. But when violence from the infested outside world appears to infiltrate their safe zone, one small group discovers a secret society and a hidden system of underground tunnels, and the stage is set for a war that will determine the future of everyone on the Isles.

As alliances are formed and broken, readers will find themselves taking sides in this suspenseful adventure story that addresses the duality of human nature.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Wendy M. Smith-D'Arezzo
What would happen if all the adults in the world were to die simultaneously? Dobkin sets up the premise of her story: terrorists inoculate themselves, then release a virus designed to kill on contact, enabling them to sit back to rule the world. Two things the killers did not foresee: the virus mutated so quickly that the vaccines were useless, and the virus did not kill children. In the amusement park Isles of Wonder, thousands of children were stranded, Milo quickly saw that someone had to take charge. Children naturally formed into small families and larger social groups. Milo and his loyal followers oversaw chores, food distribution, and mitigated small problems. As some of the children began to realize that Milo's power was absolute, conflict was inevitable. The characters are well-developed and the story is fast paced and well situated within the premise, although the ending is somewhat simplistic, and the emphasis on diversity is rather heavy-handed. This might be an interesting book to pair with watching Kid Nation, the reality TV show featuring kids ruling their own world. Reviewer: Wendy M. Smith-D'Arezzo
School Library Journal

Gr 7-10

Terrorists design a virus to take over the world, but something goes wrong. On a vacation at the Isles of Wonder, a theme park similar to Disney World, Josh and his little sister watch as all of the adults die around them, leaving them and thousands of others under age 13 to fend for themselves. With no other choice, the youngsters start working to create their own society, barricading themselves from the outside world and its dangers. Led by the charismatic Milo, a group of the older children become the central government, the Core. Eventually, barricades will not be enough to keep danger out of their utopian world and the community will be threatened in unexpected ways. This thriller has gripping writing that makes it hard to put down. The characterizations of the older children are well done, especially the main protagonists. The details of the society that the children create are nicely crafted, as is the setting of the theme park. As the book's pacing picks up toward the end, the darkness, uncertainty, and violence are well handled. The themes of safety and danger speak to our larger society as well. Even with the large number of survival stories on the market, this is one worth adding to your collection.-Tasha Saecker, Menasha Public Library, WI

Product Details

Walker & Company
Publication date:
Edition description:
First Edition
Product dimensions:
6.12(w) x 8.21(h) x 1.02(d)
HL740L (what's this?)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Bonnie Dobkin is the author of Dreamspinner a 2006 Book Sense Pick. She is an language arts textbook editor and lives outside Chicago with her husband and three sons.

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Neptune's Children 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Moonfeather More than 1 year ago
After a biological plague that kills off all older teens and adults, the surviving children in the amusement park Isle's of Wonder must learn to survive alone. They have many resources within the park ... More as well as people with the knowledge and abilities to maintain their new world and keep order. But when the desire for control poisons the heart of their society and unexpected horrors occurs, the few children who know the truth behind these events must try to convince others and survive the madness that the desire to live can cause. Neptune's Children is an amazing work that will have readers unable to stop until they reach the end.
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
Nothing is more perfect than a family trip to an amusement park. Josh and his family find themselves at Isles of Wonder. They are celebrating the remission of his younger sister Maddie's cancer. When asked how she wants to celebrate, she answers how most kids would respond: "I want to go to Isles of Wonder!" Off they go.

Unbeknownst to Josh's family and the rest of the world, a plague has been created by an unknown group. The virus was released from thousands of locations simultaneously around the globe. Though the creators had inoculated themselves from the virus, the virus spontaneously mutates and annihilates all the adults in the world. The virus seems to have spared anyone under about the age of fourteen.

As the adults around the world start dropping, the children at Isles of Wonder are alone and unprepared. The single voice of King Neptune bellows through the PA system in the park. "Everyone on the islands. If you can hear me, come to the palace." Slowly, all the children band together at the center of the amusement park. Milo, the voice behind King Neptune, appears, and starts creating a new society based on survival. Many of the children in the park had parents that worked for Isles of Wonder. All the knowledge that each has is shared and a community is formed with jobs and responsibilities.

In time, some members of the community are unsatisfied. Lights have been spotted outside in the distance and it is time to venture beyond their safe haven. But Milo has other plans, and those with doubts are soon considered rebels and forced to hide.

Eventually a confrontation must occur, with one side being victorious. Unexpected alliances develop and strategies are formed. Who will be supreme in the end?

Ms. Dobkin's NEPTUNE'S CHILDREN brings to mind the classic ANIMAL FARM by George Orwell. A new society forms with all the best intentions of things being perfect. But, as we all know, there is no perfect society and humanity will take over. NEPTUNE'S CHILDREN is a fascinating look at how the best intentions soon turn bad, and those fighting for good must prevail.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I really liked this book. When I received it I was pleased to find that it expressed a vivid and rich storyline. The book effectively creates a new world that pulls readers in, it easily manages to attain the ¿you¿ll never want to put it down¿ label. The storyline speaks to the age level it targets, and contains a strong moral of the responsibility that comes with power. The subject incorporates teamwork, family, sensitivity, and cunning. This work of literature is rich and truly original. I have great reason to believe it will make a large impact on the young-adult genre. I strongly recommend this wonderful story. -
Guest More than 1 year ago
On Friday evening Bonnie Dobkin had her first book signing for her new Young Adult book ¿Neptune's Children - No parents. No rules. No way out¿ at the Vernon Hills Barnes and Noble. She¿d invited me to stop by so I did and got a copy of her book for my 12 year old. I gave it to him that night and by the next morning he came to me having been unable to put the book down and said ¿This is the best book ever!¿ He reads a lot, usually well above his grade level, and is pretty critical of his reading, so his enthusiasm means Bonnie¿s book really must be very enjoyable. Way to go Bonnie!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the second young adult book by Bonnie Dobkin, and as great as Dream Spinner is, Neptune's Children is even more incredible. The author has really started to flex her writing muscles with this one and it shows! IT kept me entertained the entire time, I even got yelled at at work for reading during the day! I found myself caring for the characters, the development of them made me feel like they were real people. I yelled at them when they did something dumb, and I was really afraid at some parts of the book. If you don't read this, you will never know how much you will love it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The speed at which society is rebuilt seems unrealistic, and all the characters on one side seem to have the exact same voice. Read Michael Grant's Gone series instead; the premise is more sci-fi laden, but the characters and plot seem almost alive.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Best book ever!!! S. M.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Best book ever
Anonymous More than 1 year ago