X-Isle

X-Isle

3.4 11
by Steve Augarde
     
 

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Ever since the floods came and washed the world away, survivors have been desperate to win a place on X-Isle, the island where life is rumored to be easier than on what's left of the mainland. Only young boys stand a chance of getting in, the smaller and lighter the better. Baz and Ray are two of the lucky few to be chosen, but they soon discover that X-Isle is a

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Overview

Ever since the floods came and washed the world away, survivors have been desperate to win a place on X-Isle, the island where life is rumored to be easier than on what's left of the mainland. Only young boys stand a chance of getting in, the smaller and lighter the better. Baz and Ray are two of the lucky few to be chosen, but they soon discover that X-Isle is a far cry from paradise. Ruled by Preacher John, a dangerous religious fanatic, it's a violent, unpredictable place, where terrible things can happen at any moment. The boys hatch an extraordinary plan in order to protect themselves-the construction of a mighty weapon of defense. But can they complete this weapon in time, and are they really prepared to use it to secure their freedom?

Powerful and compelling, X-Isle is a fast-moving thriller and a great read for boys. Filled with suspense, fights, adventure, and mystery, this is a book that will keep you guessing right to the very end.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Two years after floods have drowned most of the world, Baz's best hope for survival is to bargain for passage to Eck's Isle--nicknamed X Isle--a former school where it's rumored boys get three meals a day and a safe bed in exchange for work. But in reality, the boys are forced to compete for food, the "capos" supervising them are brutal, the Eck brothers tyrannical, and the leader, Preacher John, a madman. When boys start dying, the survivors realize they must make terrible choices--and take even worse risks--to have any chance of surviving long enough to regain their freedom. Augarde's near-future apocalyptic world is gruesomely hardscrabble without being overly graphic. It edges to the brink of Lord of the Flies territory but Augarde (the Touchstone Trilogy) never fails to display the boys' humanity, even during the most inhuman of moments. The story turns nerve-wracking when the boys set their freedom plan in motion, and it doesn't duck the moral consequences of their actions. A gripping tale of fighting for the slenderest chance of hope. Ages 12-up. (July)
Children's Literature - Paula Rohrlick
The great floods have come and gone, leaving cities underwater and desperate, starving survivors in their wake. Young boys vie to be chosen to go to X-Isle, where life is supposed to be better than on the mainland. Baz and Ray are among the lucky ones selected, but what they find on X-Isle is anything but a refuge. It turns out to be a brutal work camp, ruled over by the fearsome religious zealot Preacher John and his sons, who dive for what goods they can salvage. Preacher John believes that if he makes sacrifices to God, then he will be rewarded. But exactly what kind of sacrifices does he have in mind? Fearing for their lives, Baz, Ray and the handful of other cruelly treated boys on X-Isle manage to build a powerful weapon—based on the production of, shall we say, a very natural type of gas—to save themselves, if they can summon up the nerve to use it. This suspenseful survival tale is a riveting read, with a twist at the end relating to Ray's true identity (some readers may guess the secret early on). It succeeds brilliantly in evoking the society the boys create for themselves on X-Isle, the fear they experience, and the bleak world they inhabit. Strong characters and tense life-or-death situations will keep even reluctant readers turning the pages of this British fantasy. Reviewer: Paula Rohrlick
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up—A catastrophic flood has covered the world, leaving most of human civilization underwater. Life on the mainland is so hard that survivors compete to have their young sons taken away to an offshore island. It is rumored that on this island, used as a base for divers who scavenge underwater warehouses, the chosen boys must work for their keep but are safe and well fed. However, when Baz's father manages to win him passage with a valuable bribe, Baz finds that island conditions are much worse than he expected. He and the other boys live in a single filthy room. They are worked to the point of exhaustion, barely fed, and sometimes tortured. Preacher John, the island's leader and a self-appointed prophet, begins to use his Sunday sermons to suggest that God demands human sacrifice to make the flood waters recede. The boys' lives may be in danger, and they slowly begin to formulate a plan to turn the tables on their oppressors. A last-minute plot twist, though heavily foreshadowed, isn't quite worked through. But readers looking for grit, suspense, and a good underdog story will find much here to enjoy.—Hayden Bass, Seattle Public Library, WA

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780385752299
Publisher:
Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
11/08/2011
Pages:
480
Sales rank:
902,148
Product dimensions:
5.56(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.04(d)
Age Range:
12 Years

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