Scar Island

Hot
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
3718 0
Scar Island
Age Range
8+
Release Date
January 03, 2017
ISBN
9781338053845
Buy This Book
      
Jonathan Grisby is the newest arrival at the Slabhenge Reformatory School for Troubled Boys--an ancient, crumbling fortress of gray stone rising up from the ocean. It is dark, damp, and dismal. And it is just the place Jonathan figures he deserves.

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.

Editor reviews

1 reviews

Lord of the Flies meets Animal Farm... for Tweens
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A
Jonathan arrives on Slabhenge Island, where there is a windswept reform school administered by evil, grasping, gnarled men. At roll call one morning, when the fifteen boys are made to say they are present and "content and well-cared for", all of the adults on the island are electrocuted and killed in a freak lightning accident. The boys are dumbstruck, but having been treated badly, are not sad that their oppressors are gone. Headed by the oldest inmate, Sebastian, the group decides to neglect to inform the mail carrier, who is the only person to visit the island regularly, of this turn of events. Instead, the boys break into the wardens' rooms, eat their food, and generally enjoy throwing off their yokes. Of course, there are dark secrets to why the boys are there, power struggles, and changes of allegiances. Jonathan befriends Colin, as well as a librarian who never strays from the bowels of the school, and comes to terms with why he has been sent away from home. Sebastian tries to wield his power, and ends up punishing the boys for minor infractions in the same way the wardens had punished him. When a storm hits the island, the boys must band together in order to survive, and realize that being on their own might not have been the best idea.
Good Points
This has a Series of Unfortunate Events feel to it, especially at the beginning, when it is difficult to pin down the place and time of Scar Island. It has a prewar, almost British feel to it at first (all of the wardens are wearing wool, and the head warden wields a sword), but the setting is never confirmed. It doesn't really matter-- the boys are on their own with limited adult contact, but are well-provisioned with food and coal for the generator. In this way, it is very much a middle grade fantasy, although there is no magic or actual fantastical elements.

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.
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 2 2

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.
Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

How to Catch a Yeti
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
From the New York Times and USA Today bestselling team...
Along Came a Fox
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
The perfect story to encourage children to treat others as...
Rosa's Big Pizza Experiment (Rosa's Workshop)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Follow Rosa and her friends as they prepare pizzas! Each...
The Gilded Wolves (The Gilded Wolves, #1)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
*AN INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER* ...
The Silvered Serpents (The Gilded Wolves, #2)
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
Returning to the dark and glamorous 19th century world of...
Warriors of Wing and Flame (Sisters of Shadow and Light, #2)
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
In Warriors of Wing and Flame, the spellbinding sequel to...
Sisters of Shadow and Light
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)
From the acclaimed author of Defy, Sara B. Larson, Sisters...
Lightbringer (Empirium, #3)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
The incredible conclusion to the Empirium Trilogy that started...
Foreshadow: Stories to Celebrate the Magic of Reading and Writing YA
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Thirteen Short Stories from Bold New YA Voices &...
Hush (Hush, #1)
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
Graceling meets Red Queen in this exciting debut novel...
Twisted Pines
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
Where have all the children gone? At rustic summer...
Beyond the Ruby Veil (The Walls in the Ruby Sky, #1)
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
A dark, queer YA fantasy that's perfect for fans...

Latest Member Reviews

How to Catch a Yeti
 
5.0
"HOW TO CATCH A YETI is a delightful picture book about a group of children who, as the title implies,..."
Along Came a Fox
 
4.0
"ALONG CAME A FOX is the story of Bramble, who is excited to find some fireflies. Her friends tell her..."
Rosa's Big Pizza Experiment (Rosa's Workshop)
 
5.0
"ROSA'S BIG PIZZA EXPERIMENT is a cute picture book about the process to make a pizza, beginning with the flour,..."
Rosa's Big Sunflower Experiment (Rosa's Workshop)
 
4.0
"ROSA'S BIG SUNFLOWER EXPERIMENT is a cute picture book that brings science and plant facts to young children. Rosa and..."
That Dog!
 
4.5
"THAT DOG! is a silly fun picture book about animal similarities and light crime solving. Penny is a dognapper, and..."
I'm a Zcary Vampire
 
3.5
"I'M A ZCARY VAMPIRE is an overall cute picture book read that is great for the lead up to Halloween...."
Heroes Level Up (Homerooms & Hall Passes #2)
 
5.0
"Albiorix and his crew are having a great time being back in Bríandalör, successfully completing a lot of quests, but..."
Last: The Story of a White Rhino
 
4.5
"LAST: THE STORY OF A WHITE RHINO tells the story of the real rhino, Sudan, who is one of the..."
When Pumpkins Fly
 
3.5
"WHEN PUMPKINS FLY is about the arrival of pumpkins via plane that are then taken to the classroom where children..."
Owl Always Love You
 
5.0
"OWL ALWAYS LOVE YOU is a sweet board book that is made for bedtime. It is a sweet poem about..."
Twins
 
4.0
"Francine and Maureen feel differently about starting middle school; Francine is reinventing herself, going by "Fran"and rocking a hat an..."
Eleanor, Anna, and the Roosevelt Ghosts
 
5.0
"Eleanor Roosevelt has been living with her Grandmother Hall since her mother and father have both passed away. The older..."
When I Grow Up, I Want to Drive
 
4.5
"WHEN I GROW UP, I WANT TO DRIVE... is a cute lift-the-flap adventure of different work vehicles in action. On..."
Dragon Mountain
 
5.0
"Billy Chan has gotten an invitation to attend Camp Dragon, a cultural and language school in China, so his parents..."
Yara's Spring
 
5.0
"Yara and her younger brother Saad are in a refugee camp in Jordan in 2016, waiting to hear what their..."
Cherry Blossom and Paper Planes
 
5.0
"CHERRY BLOSSOM AND PAPER PLANES is a lovely picture book read about friendship that spans distance. Dina and Adin are..."
This is My Daddy!
 
4.5
"THIS IS MY DADDY! is an overall cute and simple concept that makes a great gift for fathers of young..."
Peep!
 
3.0
"PEEP! is a board book that relies on illustrations to tell a story. A duckling hatches and sees a boy..."
The Blue Giant
 
4.5
"THE BLUE GIANT is a picture book that discusses ocean pollution in easy to understand terms. Meera and her mother..."
Cleo Porter and the Body Electric
 
5.0
"It's 2096, Cleo Porter and her parents never leave their apartment. It has no doors, no windows, and only a..."