Scar Island by Dan Gemeinhart, "Suspenseful, Gritty, and Comsumingly Entertaining"

Scar Island is full of suspense and like great authors are capable of doing, Dan Gemeinhart pulled me into the story within the first few pages. I started this story as an audiobook on my commute to and from work, but in the meantime I requested the hard copy through my county library. Even though I'm enjoying the audiobook I still like to see the actual book and look at some pages, maybe read a few chapters. It's especially fun to look at the character names if they are unusual, just to see if I would've pronounced them the same had I not heard someone speak them before...this works well with last names and sometimes town names. Last night I picked up the copy of Scar Island and I am so glad I did because part of the enjoyment of reading this book is actually READING this book due to the creative elements on the pages. Every chapter begins with a black page written in white's a nice touch and gives the book some character.

books with character

And throughout the story, the main character (the protagonist), Jonathan and the other boys have to write letters home while staying on Scar Island...while I listened to the audiobook it was just a letter, but seeing it in print gives the story so much more substance. Sometimes part of the enjoyment of a book is how the book is put together, the texture of the pages, its deckled edge, the shape a weight of a book. Sometimes we connect with more than just the story.

Jonathan's Third Letter Home

Jonathan is sent to Slabhenge Reformatory for Trouble Boys for doing some terrible crime that isn't disclosed until very late in the story. Dan Gemeinhart does a fantastic job painting the chilling, dismal setting of the island and reformatory...which, by the way, used to be an asylum and is now presumably haunted by former patients. An unfortunate incident happens leaving the boys completely alone on the island with no adult supervision. Kids are really going to love this book: It has suspense, mystery, underdogs, misfits, outcasts, independent kids taking charge, conflict, resolve, some defiance, vulnerabilities. It was very entertaining and I found myself consumed by the plot and the characters and I couldn't wait to hear more and more and more. 

If you enjoy Scar Island, I mean I really can't imagine you won't, then you will most likely also enjoy Some Kind of Courage and The Big Dark.

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