________________ CM . . . . Volume XIII Number 18 . . . . April 27, 2007


Island, Book One: Shipwreck.

Gordon Korman. Narrated by Holter Graham.
New York, NY: Scholastic Audio Books (Distributed in Canada by Scholastic Canada), 2007.
Audio CD, 2 hrs, $24.99.
ISBN: 978-0-43992-543-3.

Grades 4-7 / Ages 9-12.

Review by Marina Cohen.

**** /4


Luke applied a hip-check to the overstuffed drawer. “Nobody showed me any brochure.”

“Really?” The boy was surprised. “How’d you end up here?”
The horrible movie replayed itself in Luke’s head as it had so many times before. The crack of the judge’s gavel; that single word: guilty; his mother’s tears. And later, in the judge’s chambers: “I’m reluctant to sentence a thirteen-year-old to Williston, especially on a first offense. There’s one other possibility. It’s a program called CNC—Charting a New Course…”

Luke cast his roommate a strange smile. “I’m a convicted felon.” He held out his hand. “Luke Haggerty.”

     Island, Book One: Shipwreck, by master of suspense, Gordon Korman, has been delighting even the most reluctant of readers since its release in 2001. Now, the edge-of-your-seat action/adventure can be enjoyed anew as an audio book. 

     When characters Luke, J.J., Will, Lyssa, Charla and Ian set sail on the Phoenix, they have no idea what is in store for them. Forced to crew the schooner as part of the CNC—Chart a New Course—program, the kids get more than they bargained for when a sudden storm hits. After losing the captain and first mate, the team works frantically to save the vessel that is now taking on water. Despite their efforts, an explosion sinks the schooner and the group must brave the dangers of the open sea in a last ditch effort to make it to dry land.

     The characters, dialogue and action of this novel are credible and engaging. This, coupled with Korman’s wonderful writing style, breathes life into this story, making readers/listeners feel like they are riding the waves, braving the storm and battling for their lives alongside the characters.

     It is worth noting that Holter Graham does an outstanding job of narrating the audio book. Graham’s pace is well suited to the target audience and his acting skills permit him to deliver an exciting and enjoyable performance.

Highly Recommended.

Marina Cohen, who has a Master’s Degree in French Literature from the University of Toronto, has been teaching in the York Region District School Board for 11 years. Her first novel, Shadow of the Moon, and its sequel, Trick of the Light, are scheduled to be released in the spring and fall of 2007.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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