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Summary: A tidal wave wipes out an island nation, and leaves only one survivor - a boy named Mau. Soon he discovers another survivor from a passing ship - a girl named Daphne. This is the story of how the two kids deal with the aftermath of the catastrophe. Other refugees arrive by canoe, and a
new community is created. This is a story of two children who are the survivors of a (fictional) natural disaster.
Type of Reading: bedtime story, family reading, independent reading, read aloud book, remedial reader
Recommended Age: read together: 9 to 13; read yourself: 9 and up
Young Reader Reaction: This book is very interesting to read, and I would recommend it as a gift or a book to borrow from the library. This is a book for anyone who is a confident reader. This book provides an interesting view of the mix between cultures and there is an interesting trivia section in the back.
I would recommend other survival books, such as Hatchet by Gary Paulsen.
Adult Reader Reaction: I thought this book was Okay. It was very wordy, and you really had to pay attention to follow all the details. I liked the subplot that dealt with being open to others' beliefs, and also testing new ideas.
Pros: There is a lot of adventure in this book. Also, it proves that different cultures can work together and get along - using both group's traditions and rules.
Cons: The book was long, and the ending was quite weak.
Borrow or Buy: Borrow. This book was a bit wordy for my taste. I like to be able to put a book down, and not have to reread half of it to remember what's going on. I did think that the book dealt with a lot of prevalent social issues in a very positive way.
Educational Themes: The book talks of science quite a bit, but it really doesn't go down that road. One of the main morals of the story is not to look down on people because they are different from you, and I think that's a very important message. It was also interesting that the children had the highest roles in the hierarchy on the island.
Notes: Flesch Kincaid reading level 4.2 The publisher donated a copy of this book knowing it would receive an unbiased review. The book will be donated to a nonprofit working with readers in need.
Literary Categories: Fiction - adventure, Young Adult