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Abel's Island

3.88  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,035 Ratings  ·  283 Reviews
Abel's place in his familiar, mouse world has always been secure; he had an allowance from his mother, a comfortable home, and a lovely wife, Amanda. But one stormy August day, furious flood water carry him off and dump him on an uninhabited island. Despite his determination and stubborn resourcefulness—he tried crossing the river with boats and ropes and even on stepping- ...more
Paperback, 128 pages
Published October 2nd 2007 by Square Fish (first published May 1976)
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Feb 23, 2016 Amber rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: librarybooks
Abel is a happily married mouse. When a Picnic lunch that he and his wife Amanda have become rained out, they quickly seek for shelter. Before Abel can retrieve his wife's scarf, he is quickly swept away by a raging river which sends him toward an island. Abel is determined to get home and back to his wife but will he succeed? Read and find out for yourself.

This was a pretty good animal fantasy and survival story. I loved the illustrations in this too. If you like these types of stories, then de
Jul 29, 2014 Celia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
William Steig is a wonderful writer. Really, he's got a way with words. This book was recommended to me by my mom and brother. Who read it together and have continued to read most of Steig's books and altogether fallen in love with his peaceful, clean writing style and lovely stories.

This book follows Abel, a grown mouse who while picnicking with his wife, is attacked by a ferocious storm causing his wife and him to venture into a cave. His wife, who's name is Amanda, accidentally drops her scar
Steven Peck
Sep 11, 2008 Steven Peck rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is my favoriate book of all time. Favorite. Number 1. Should be scripture. Review
One summer day, newlywed mice Abel and Amanda are out for a picnic in the woods when they are caught in a sudden storm--a "full-fledged, screaming hurricane" to be precise. As they take refuge in a cave, a wind scoops up Amanda's scarf, and Abel foolishly lunges from safety to retrieve it. So begins William Steig's Newbery Honor Book Abel's Island, the ensuing adventures of this rather foppish mouse
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
I loved this story. It reminded me of Russell Hoban's The Mouse and His Child. When Abel the mouse finds himself washed down the stream from his house and marooned on an island, he is forced to use all his resources to find food and shelter to survive. The isolation also gives him time to reflect upon life, which, for me, was the most interesting part of the book. Like Hoban's book, Abel's Island is for thoughtful readers who want more than just an adventure story. Highly recommended!
Dec 07, 2009 Carin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens
Oh how I loved this book! The surprising thing isn't that it got a Newberry Honor Medla, but that it didn't win! Abel is a charming young mouse, a bit of a fop and a dandy, who is on a picnic with his lovely new wife when a storm kicks up, it becomes more like a hurricane, and Abel is separated from his wife, and eventually blown into a river and carried downstream. He washes up on an island. He has several excellent ideas about how to try to get off the island which he implements immediately, n ...more
A simple picnic with his wife turns badly when they find themselves caught in a rainstorm! Leaving his wife Amanda to find her scarf Abel is swept away to an island and marooned! Now this socialite mouse must find a way back to the mainland and his beloved Amanda.

First the task of getting through the night! Abel builds shelter, finds food, investigates his surroundings, and tries to find a way to get back.

A simple kids book, this was my favorite story growing up. Follow Abel as he learns to li
Jun 10, 2015 Lorna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a lovely read to foster thinking about adversity. Abel, lost in a storm, finds himself far from family and friends on a deserted island with little resources. I continued to admire his positive attitude and perseverance despite the steep odds thrown at him. I think this would make a good read-aloud, but heads up about one scene where Abel gets drunk on wine (!!??) and another where he "defecates". Not a problem in my head, but I'd always like to know those things ahead of time before readin ...more
Mar 08, 2016 Missy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens-books
I love William Steig! This book is another good one for reading aloud to kids. Its a chapter book with short chapters and plenty of illustrations. The pages are filled with lots of action to hold interest (it's a story of a mouse who gets marooned on a deserted island), but it's written with excellent language and vocabulary. It was rare that my son didn't ask me to read "JUST ONE MORE CHAPTER!" while we went through this book together.
May 23, 2016 Tarma rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Okay, so this is one of those books that is a huge quandary - rate low so I don't get suggestions but the rating is unfair, or rate high and end up with a bunch of books WAY outside my age range clogging up my recommendations? (Edit: oh look, turns out Goodreads recommends books to me based on it even with no rating. GDI, Goodreads...)

So to begin: Abel's Island is absolutely, for its demographic (grades 3-5 according to Scholastic), a 5/5 book. It is an excellent story, written for its age group
May 06, 2016 Shun-Sho rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: youth-fiction
How does one honestly review a Newbery Awarded book without feeling pushed into making claims that it's a book that is one of the absolute best? And yet, here is my attempt.

As you can see from my stars, I really liked the book. This Robinson Crusoe-esque mouse tale addresses issues far deeper than most young readers would be able to fully comprehend, although they would understand the general meaning and emotions. In fact, I'm unsure of the interest level a young person would have in reading thi
Owen Curtsinger
Dec 24, 2010 Owen Curtsinger rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
just the bee's knees
Mirka Breen
Apr 21, 2016 Mirka Breen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's been a while since I read a contemplative book meant for all ages. Sad that I had to dig so far back, to one published in 1976. I wish more of this kind, not hung up on swift dialogue and never ending outrageous deeds. This is a mediation on inner-strength that is served as a tale of survival, but in a rather quiet way. {I deliberately used "rather," as the voice is refined and civilized in that elegant way we associate with old fashioned, and British, narration.}
A lovely picnic turns wet
Jul 13, 2015 Mimi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“Abel's Island” is a heartwarming, delightful story. Abel is the Robinson Crusoe of the mouse set! This novel is the tale of how Abel is able to survive alone on a deserted island using his wits, his instincts, creative thinking, and information gained from books he’s read. What I liked is that no matter what obstacles he faced, Abel never gives up trying to get off the island and to get back to his wife. Mr. Steig’s illustrations are an added bonus; they give the reader a clear visualization of ...more
Jun 29, 2015 Mali rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I had forgotten this book existed until I stumbled across it at the library (looking for a Rebecca Stead book in Children's instead of Teen/YA). But as soon as I saw the cover, it all came back to me: I loved this story of a mouse lost and stranded on a small island; I loved pouring over the pictures. The cover art showing Abel perched in his birch captures the mood of peace and longing that runs through the book. It's even more magical once you read the book and know that he is talking to his o ...more
The main characters in this book are Abel and Amanda. Abel and Amanda went out for a picnic out in the woods. It started to get a little cloudy,but Abel didn't think It would rain. Later on that day it started to rain. It started to rain really hard so they went to find shelter. Luckly Abel and Amanda found a cave that they could stay in till the rain stopped. Amanda’s scarf flew away because of the wind. So Abel went to go chase it, Abel got caught in the wind and never came back.So in this boo ...more
Laura Verret
Abelard Hassam di Chirico Flint, of the Mossville Flints is out for a picnic with his lovely wife, Amanda, when a flash flood forces both of them to head for higher ground. They reach safety and are rejoicing together at their narrow escape when Amanda’s prized scarf is blown off. Abelard instantly plunges after it but, while recovering it, is swept along in a gully until he finds himself marooned on an uninhabited island.

Will Abel ever return to his beloved Amanda’s arms? Or is he stuck on this
Havebooks Willread
This adventurous tale of a dandy mouse who was swept off to an island during a big storm is filled with description, delightful vocabulary (somnolent! seriously--what other children's book uses that word?!), and examples of perseverance and diligence. The children loved his many ideas and attempts to escape the island and get back to his beloved wife and I loved his ingenuity and can-do spirit. I also appreciated his resourcefulness in scavenging food sources due to his former reading experience ...more
Dec 29, 2011 Patrick rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really fun book about a mouse who finds himself trapped on an island and forced to fend for himself after living a privileged life. I think my favorite parts are the exceeding pride that Abel has in any of his accomplishments. No matter how huge, or how small. I also thought it was really cute, and fun that he was able to figure out a trade for himself while stranded on the island.

As fun as the book was the longer poor Abel was stuck on the island the worse I felt for him. Will he ever get off
Dec 07, 2015 Katy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As a child, I LOVED survival stories. This is one of those. Abel is a wealthy, dependent mouse until he gets washed up on an island and has to fend for himself. I really enjoyed reading his story of survival, which, since it's a children's book, is never too frightening or horrifying, but still carries tension. I also enjoyed seeing Abel change from a helpless high-society mouse to someone who knows what he wants from life and who can do hard work. I felt the ending was a tad bit anticlimactic, ...more
alicia ...
Jan 06, 2015 alicia ... rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a lovely story that I will be glad to read again. Short and sweet, and just the kind of children's book I like; lyrical writing, a whimsical, charming story, and an overall lighthearted (though it was at times thought provoking) feel. Abel's character development was quick (it had to be, considering the book's size), but I soon came to love him, even though in the beginning I was a bit wary.
And, since this book is about talking, human-like mice, of course I liked it. I have a thing for
Catherine Gillespie
Abel’s Island was a fantastic family read-aloud. Written and illustrated by William Steig (who wrote some of our favorite picture books like Sylvester and the Magic Pebble, Brave Irene, etc), this short chapter book would be a great choice if you’re just easing in to reading longer books aloud. The story follows a spoiled young mouse who is swept away to a remote island during a storm. While on the island, Abel learns to take care of himself, finds out what his professional calling is, and figur ...more
Judi Paradis
This is like a weirdly civilized mouse version of Hatchet. Abel is a very fancy mouse who chases his wife's scarf when it blows into a river while they are picnicking. Abel falls into the river and is carried downstream in the fast current to an island, where he is trapped for more than a year. Abel quickly learns how to utilize the resources on his island to get food and shelter and to protect himself from a rather scary owl. He is almost rescued when a kindly frog visits for a bit, but he neve ...more
Jul 10, 2015 Nicole rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was so great to pick this book up again! I read this when I was in third grade, and it was fun to take a trip down memory lane. Abel really learned a lot about himself while he was stuck on the island. I think this was a cute story, and the writing was very well done!
Mrs. Carbonneau's Class
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 10, 2016 Shannon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
We could hardly put this one down at night. My son and I absolutely loved the story and the ending. William Steig at his very best. I would have to rate this as one of the best read-a-louds we have come across.
Monica Fastenau
Read the full review on my blog:

This story is about a mouse named Abel who gets separated from his wife Amanda during a summer storm and becomes trapped on an island for a year. He learns to fend for himself, and it’s all very Robinson Crusoe. Abel is foppish, a trust fund baby who has never worked a day in his life, so his ingenuity and perseverance when it becomes clear that he will not escape the island immediately is impressive. There are also adorabl
Jan 18, 2016 DilanAc rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a delightful story - incredibly well written. Every moment of this lost mouse's life is described in full detail - his food, his inventions, his thoughts, his feelings.
It's about loneliness and solitude and longing and love. And it is an adventure story as well - raging storms and deadly owls.
I think that perhaps it's all too much for the age group for which it is intended and maybe that's why it's not more popular.
This is a book really worth seeking out and the drawings are delightful a
Chen Wei
Dec 07, 2014 Chen Wei rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I saw the cover of this was a mouse, I think this book is very interesting. When I read summary of this book. This story mention about a small mouse named Abel, he was trying to save a scarf for his new wife in a hurricane, unluckily, the hurricane dragged him to a piece of wood dragged him off to a river. He fell down the waterfall he fell asleep, then when he wakes up Abel finds himself on a mysterious island. This story makes me very curious so I want to Know how can he survive alone and how ...more
Jun 21, 2007 Sharon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens
Abel's Island was one of my favorite books as a kid, and one of the few that I actually managed to keep my copy of into adulthood. I just finished reading it with my 7 year old daughter and found it every bit as delightful as I remembered. Abel is charming. His exploits during his year stranded on the island are compelling and serve as good lessons in perserverance, inner strength, and the importance of following your heart. Not to mention, this book is an excellent vocabulary-builder!
Douglas Dalrymple
Not funny enough for my eight-year-old son (who requires a good belly laugh every five pages or so), but I loved it. Essentially, it’s Robinson Crusoe if Crusoe were a gentleman mouse who’d been raised with a trust fund and never had to work a day in his life.
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William Steig was born in New York City in 1907. In a family where every member was involved in the arts, it was not surprising that Steig became an artist.

He published his first children's book, Roland the Minstrel Pig, in 1968, embarking on a new and very different career.

Steig's books reflect his conviction that children want the security of a devoted family and friends. When Sylvester, Farmer
More about William Steig...

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“How deeply one felt when alone.” 10 likes
“Abel also kept busy taking it easy. Only when taking it easy, he'd learned, could one properly do one's wondering.” 3 likes
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