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"A wondrous book, wise and wild and deeply true." —Kelly Barnhill, Newbery Medal-winning author of The Girl Who Drank the Moon
"This is one of those books that haunts you long after you read it. Thought-provoking and magical." —Rick Riordan, #1 New York Times bestselling author
In the tradition of modern-day classics like Sara Pennypacker's Pax and Lois Lowry's The Giver comes a deep, compelling, heartbreaking, and completely one-of-a-kind novel about nine children who live on a mysterious island.
On the island, everything is perfect. The sun rises in a sky filled with dancing shapes; the wind, water, and trees shelter and protect those who live there; when the nine children go to sleep in their cabins, it is with full stomachs and joy in their hearts. And only one thing ever changes: on that day, each year, when a boat appears from the mist upon the ocean carrying one young child to join them—and taking the eldest one away, never to be seen again.
Today’s Changing is no different. The boat arrives, taking away Jinny’s best friend, Deen, replacing him with a new little girl named Ess, and leaving Jinny as the new Elder. Jinny knows her responsibility now—to teach Ess everything she needs to know about the island, to keep things as they’ve always been. But will she be ready for the inevitable day when the boat will come back—and take her away forever from the only home she’s known?
|Product dimensions:||5.70(w) x 7.70(h) x 1.30(d)|
|Lexile:||650L (what's this?)|
|Age Range:||8 - 12 Years|
About the Author
Laurel Snyder is a poet, essayist, and author of picture books and novels for children, including Orphan Island, The Longest Night, Bigger than a Bread Box, and Seven Stories Up. She is also the editor of the nonfiction anthology Half/Life: Jew-ish Tales from Interfaith Homes, a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and a commentator for NPR’s All Things Considered. She lives in Atlanta with her family and can be found online at www.laurelsnyder.com.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4.5 stars The boat would come view, the horn would blow and the children would line up on the beach just waiting for the boat to come ashore. It happened every year, or so they thought. They didn’t know it if was exactly a year, they didn’t count the days but they figured it was a year. A male or female child would be the sole occupant on the boat and they would gently lift them out and the child would join the others on the island while the Elder from the island would take the spot in the boat. After saying good-bye to everyone on shore, then they would quickly be pulled out to sea, never to be seen again. Why? Because this was the rules and they obeyed the rules. The Elder of the children who was now left on the island would be charge of the new child who had just arrived. They would teach this new child the way of the island. Why? Because this was the rules and they obeyed the rules. The island is made up of rules, rules that the children follow and have been following for years. So, what would happen if one of them decides not to follow one of the rules? Could not following one rule really do any harm? No one had really explained the rules to these children, they have just been following them because that was the way they had been taught so they knew of no consequences. So, what could happen if Jinny says no and doesn’t follow one of the rules? What a great novel. I loved the island characters and their relationships with each other. I liked how they relied on one another and accepted one another. Trust, values and honesty played a big role in this novel. I felt there was a lot of unanswered questions in this novel, which I didn’t feel take away from the novel but could be used as conversation tools for children as they read this.
Orphan Island by Laurel Snyder is a middle-grade stand alone novel that can be read very well by adults. Orphan Island takes place on an unknown island, where there are children who live alone. The island itself is kind of perfect; beautiful landscape, skies, cabins to live in, and plenty of food to gather. Each child will have their chores to help each other; such as cleaning, hunting for clams or fishing, cooking, teaching the younger children, as well as having fun. Every year, a boat comes bringing in a young child, and at the same time the Elder (oldest ) leaves on the boat, always keeping the count at 9. This is a rule that must be followed, or the perfect protected island could fall apart. We meet Jinny, who has to say goodbye to her friend Deen, her best friend and the current Elder who must leave. Jinny is sad, but she is now the Elder, and it becomes her responsibility to take “Care” of the child who has arrived, Ess. We get to meet the other children, and watch how they learn to live very well on the island, including the differences of each, as well as their learned specialties. Jinny keeps Ess close to her at all times, taking her on trips to see the wonders and to teach her to swim. Because of her worry about Ess, she begins to wonder what happens to those who leave, and when the boat arrives again, Jinny refuses to leave. She feels it is her place to stay and watch over Ess, as well as the new child who comes. When normal things such as the beautiful sky, controlled winds change, sparseness of food, and an accident occurs, Jinny must question her decision and the consequences she has caused. This was a different type of story line. There are no paranormal or dystopian elements, no excitement, but a simple well written story revolving around children learning to live together on an abandoned island. Though it is a good story, I did not really like the ending, which left you to your imagination on what happens. I would have wanted to learn more about why the children are sent to the island, what was the purpose of this, and what happens to those who leave? I do recommend Orphan Island for Young Adults, as well as adults who enjoy a story line about children surviving on their own.