by S.A. Bodeen
Feiwel and Friends
Twelve year old Sarah Robinson is not thrilled to be going on a long trip with her newfound step-family. Sarah's dad just got remarried and Sarah sees it as a betrayal of her dead mother. She doesn't like the pretty, younger lady her dad chose, and she especially does not like the fact that she now has two stepbrothers, Marco and Nacho. Her dad planned a trip to Fiji and a sailing trip for all of his new family to bond.
After a tedious plane flight, they arrive at a dumpy hotel. The next day, they go down to their "luxury" boat. The Moonflight doesn't look anything like the boat on the advertisement--it doesn't look seaworthy. The family makes the best of it, and soon their worst fears come true.
Caught in a storm at sea, they batten down the hatches and ride out the worst of it. The captain is lost at sea, but the family and boat is caught up near a "deserted" island. As they explore their surroundings, something seems a little off. There is a cabin in the jungle where it looks like its inhabitants left in a hurry.
The family builds a fire on the beach, searches for food and plans to wait for a passing ship to spot them. The first night, they barely escape monster beach crabs. Fighting against the elements and the weird island creatures bonds Sarah with her new family. Marco tells Sarah that there's something wrong with the island, and she agrees. What lies ahead for the family? Will they be discovered by a passing boat? Is anyone really searching for them?
Shipwreck Island is a quick read and should engage reluctant readers.
Recommended grade 5-up.
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