The Lost Island

The Lost Island

by Eilis Dillon, Richard Kennedy
     
 

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Folks in young Michael Farrell’s town have been speculating about the lost island of Inishmanann for generations. Some say that the island is the last stronghold of the old god of the sea; others, that no on who has gone in search of it has returned to tell the tale. But everyone agrees that for a brave and enterprising spirit the island holds out the promise

Overview

Folks in young Michael Farrell’s town have been speculating about the lost island of Inishmanann for generations. Some say that the island is the last stronghold of the old god of the sea; others, that no on who has gone in search of it has returned to tell the tale. But everyone agrees that for a brave and enterprising spirit the island holds out the promise of things “rare and valuable.”
Four years ago, Michael’s father became obsessed with tracking down the elusive island. He bought a fishing boat and set sail. No one has heard from him since. Then a shifty beggar turns up in town with a message for Michael Farrell: his father is on the island, and Michael must join him there.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Eilis Dillon, an Irish writer, has concocted an A-1 adventure story. The ingredients are familiar, but the final product has the fresh charm of a fine, spring morn in Galway.”—The New York Times

“The book…holds the reader enthralled to its conclusion.”—The Horn Book

“As original and as full of apprehensive suspense as a Graham Greene entertainment for grown-ups.”—The New Statesman

“When Miss Dillon writes of the sea, one can almost get the tang of salt and hear the waves breaking on a rocky shore.”—The Irish Independent

“Simply a good writer…. Loving and understanding people, and concerned to tell stories that are as exciting as adventure stories should be but in which the events are tied firmly to human possibility.” —The Time Literary Supplement

“Her books are remarkable for their distinctive recreation of rural Ireland; the men living close to the land or sea, as farmworkers or fishermen; the women working equally hard in their small houses, caring for their menfolk and their children; and the children themselves, seen essentially as a part of the community with their own place in it and their own chores to carry out at home, having only so much liberty to range the countryside, with its rich wildlife and its possibilities of adventure." —Winifred Whitehead

Children's Literature - Patrice Belotte
Michael Farrell's life seems to move along in an orderly pace. Each day he goes to town for his mother, works on their small farm, generally tries to stay out of mischief, and constantly awaits the day when he will see his father again. All of this changes on one ordinary evening when a message is delivered to his mother through way of a questionable old man. Carrying a knife inscribed with his father's initials, the Farrell's have no reason to doubt the man's communication. Finally, after years of secrecy, Michael's mother confides in her son the true story of his father's absence. When Michael was young, his father became obsessed with an old lore of the sea—a mysterious island off the coast of Ireland that held buried treasure. Destined to make his life better, Jim Farrell set out to find the lost island of Inishmanann. Inspired by his father's sense of adventure and ambition, Michael decides to follow the urgency of the man's message which is that his father is alive and ready to come home. Since its initial publication in 1952, Dillon's story has proved a timeless story of adventure and action. Michael's narration is filled with a sense of wise intellect, young wonder, and humorous commentary. His search to find his father leads him through an obstacle-course of characters, many that will challenge him, yet few that will aid him in his travels. When destiny is finally fulfilled and he finds his father, the treasure his father sought after is not as recognizable as a chest of gold. Reviewer: Patrice Belotte

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781590172056
Publisher:
New York Review Books
Publication date:
08/22/2006
Series:
New York Review Children's Collection Series
Pages:
208
Product dimensions:
5.75(w) x 8.76(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

EILÍS DILLON (1920—1994) wrote more than thirty books for young people, as well as fiction for adults, including the best-selling historical novel Across the Bitter Sea, about the struggle for Irish independence in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. With few exceptions, her young people’s books are set in the west of Ireland, in small communities struggling to make a living on the islands and along the Atlantic coast. As the critic Declan Kiberd wrote in Dillon’s obituary: “What Laura Ingalls Wilder did for children’s literature in the US, she achieved in Ireland, imparting a sure historical sense in books such as The Singing Cave. That interest in history was a natural expression of her curiosity of mind, and of her family inheritance.”

RICHARD KENNEDY (1910—1989) illustrated several of Eilis Dillon’s books for children. In addition to collaborating on the early design of Puffin Books, Kennedy provided illustrations for several of the press’s most celebrated writers, including J. M. Barrie (creator of Peter Pan) and Astrid Lindgren (creator of Pippi Longstocking). His illustrated memoir of working with Leonard and Virginia Woolf in the 1920s was published as A Boy at the Hogarth Press.

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