Sunday, April 6, 2014

Shipwreck Island, by S.A. Bodeen

One of the neat things about adventure stories is that a lot of them involve the same basic plot, at least at the beginning.  From “Robinson Crusoe” to “The Swiss Family Robinson” to the television show “Gilligan’s Island” and the movie “Castaway”, fictional characters have been getting stranded on deserted islands for literally hundreds of years.  While the basic premise might be the same, each character’s circumstances are slightly different, which can make each story awesome in its own way.  The latest stranded-on-a-desert-island epic comes from award-winning author S.A. Bodeen, and she does a great job of continuing this tradition of adventure.

Sarah Robinson has enough to deal with when her widower father, John, decides to get married again.  His new wife Yvonna moves in with her two sons, Marco and Nacho, and the kids have a difficult time getting used to one another.  In an attempt to bring all the kids together, John and Yvonna decide to take them along on their vacation to Tahiti.  It’s a great idea, but the plan quickly falls apart when their “luxury cruise liner” turns out to be a rickety old boat.  To make matters worse, the Robinson family is sailing into a monster storm.  You can pretty much guess what happens next…but you’ll have no idea what’s waiting for the Robinson family when they become stranded!  

I don’t want to give away too much of the plot, but this adventure story quickly turns into a mystery with a lot of suspense.  My impression is that “Shipwreck Island” is going to turn into a series of adventure novels, so here’s your chance to get in on the ground floor by reading the first book when it comes out this month.  On another note, I really appreciated the way that the author chose to write her story about a blended family with kids from different parents.  But even though the author is portraying a “modern” family, I thought it was so cool that she followed in Johann David Wyss’ footsteps by giving her family the last name of Robinson!  Way to go, Ms. Bodeen!    

One last thing I feel I should mention:  a lot of people might question why I chose to review this book when the character who gets the most attention is actually a girl!  Please try to remember that this project wasn’t necessarily designed to highlight books about boys, but to find books that boys like.  If you keep an open mind going into this one, I guarantee you’ll agree with me that Sarah Robinson would be a pretty awesome friend to be stranded with…even if she is a girl!

For more information on S.A. Bodeen’s other books, be sure to check out her website.

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