Because Jonathan has done something terrible. And he's willing to accept whatever punishment he has coming.
Just as he's getting used to his new situation, however, a freak accident leaves the troubled boys of Slabhenge without any adult supervision. Suddenly the kids are free, with an entire island to themselves. But freedom brings unexpected danger. And if Jonathan can't come to terms with the sins of his past and lead his new friends to safety... then every boy on the island is doomed.
With nods to both Lord of the Flies and Animal Farm, this is a fast-paced adventure for readers who want to envision a world where children who are mistreated are able to turn the tables. The encroaching storm adds an element of survival to this, and there is also a bit of a mystery concerning Jonathan's placement in the institution.
While this was not a book that I personally enjoyed, I can see it appealing to a lot of readers in the target demographic. It is unlike most of the middle grade books I've come across, although it does have some elements of sadness, and yet shows a tremendous understanding of what tweens want to read. Hand this to reluctant readers who like survival, adventure, or books that show children overcoming adversity.