CM . . .
. Volume XXIV Number 39. . . .June 8, 2018
Adventures on Whalebone Island. (Maple Harbour Adventures).
M. A. Wilson. Illustrations by Vadym Prokhorenko.
Gibsons, BC: Rainy Bay Press (PO Box 1911, V0N 1V0), 2016.
168 pp., trade pbk., $9.95.
Grades 4-7 / Ages 9-12.
Review by Teresa Iaizzo.
Claire flung herself over the opposite side, leaning out as far as she could to bring Pegasus back to rights. The others scrambled to do the same. Slowly the boat righted itself and almost immediately the sail filled again as they were carried over the next wave.
Water was sloshing around in the bottom of the boat and Nathan began to bail frantically, but more came over the side with each new wave that struck them. Kendra and Ryan gripped the side of the boat as tightly as possible, their knuckles turning white.
Adventure on Whalebone Island is the first book in M.A. Wilson’s “Maple Harbour Adventure” series which follows the escapades of siblings Ryan and Kendra along with their cousins Claire and Nathan.
When readers are first introduced to Ryan and Kendra, they are travelling to Maple Harbour, BC, to spend two weeks of their summer vacation with their aunt and uncle. They spend most of their days learning how to sail, swimming, reading, and lazing in the sun with their cousins Nathan and Claire. However, once they hear about the mysterious disappearance of a boat called the Gypsy Moth, they set out on what is to be the first of many adventures.
Along the way, they end up on nearby Whalebone Island, and it is here that most of the central action of the novel takes place. The children, seeking more adventure, decide to camp out on the island without parental supervision. One night, Ryan wakes up and discovers that they have visitors. Without giving too much away, these visitors are up to no good, and it is thanks to Ryan, Kendra, Nathan and Claire that good is ultimately restored.
On the surface, Adventure on Whalebone Island looks like a traditional adventure book for children, but digging a little bit deeper reveals that, at its core, it is a mystery novel. Michael Wilson expertly weaves the action-packed adventure scenes with the shadowy underpinnings of the mystery genre. His clear, fast-paced writing allows the action in the novel to unfold naturally. Moreover, simple black and white illustrations are interspersed throughout and heighten the reader’s experience.
Overall, Adventure on Whalebone Island is a great read, and I cannot wait for the next book in the series.
Teresa Iaizzo is a librarian with the Toronto Public Library.
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University of Manitoba
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