Friday, May 19, 2017

All About Middle Grade Review [Blog Tour]: Orphan Island


This week, I am very excited to be talking about Laurel Snyder's newest middle grade book Orphan Island!! Continue reading to see my thoughts on her new book!!


Orphan Island by Laurel Snyder, May 30, 2017. 288 pages. Published by Walden Pond Press. Source: Publisher.
From acclaimed author Laurel Snyder 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?

First Sentence
Jinny heard the bell.



Lucky me, thanks to Walden Pond Press I was lucky enough to get to read Orphan Island by Laurel Snyder. I was really excited about getting the chance to read it because the last book I read by her was so good.

  • I have been attempting to write down my thoughts on Orphan Island for, well, a couple weeks now. Alas, the words have been playing coy, but I'll endeavor to get them out (without rambling too much, I hope). There were many, many things to like about this book; mainly the writing and character growth. While at times Jinny annoyed me, there was something about how she had to grow up and learn to let go that really resonated with me. Why, because there comes a point when you have to leave your comfort zone; that and I really enjoyed the way Laurel Snyder brought that struggle to life.
  • Even though I quite enjoyed the entire book, I am still left with  a ton of questions. Questions like why were they on the Island, what happened when they left, and just more questions about the island itself as it was kind of unique. Although I still have all these questions, I really enjoyed all the little details that she included with the island; like how the eldest would look after the newest arrival. 
  • Writing, writing, writing! I'll be honest here, it started off kind of slow...YET, yet I really enjoyed Laurel Snyder's writing and how she crafted the characters (characters who were far from perfect...which is a-ok) and their world, that of the island. One of the biggest themes throughout the book is hanging on and letting go. A lesson that everyone learns at one point or another. I said this early, but the way that struggle was written was so well done that my heart ached for Jinny as she fought to change the inevitable. Start to finish, this is a beautifully written book.
Final Verdict: Orphan Island

About the Author:
Laurel Snyder is a poet, essayist, and author of picture books and novels for children, including Orphan Island, Charlie and Mouse, Bigger than a Bread Box, and Swan, the Life and Dance of Anna Pavlova. She is also a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and a faculty member of Hamline University's MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults. She lives in Atlanta with her family and can be found online at www.laurelsnyder.com.

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