Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Nim's Island” as Want to Read:
Nim's Island
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Nim's Island (Nim #1)

3.83  ·  Rating Details ·  2,839 Ratings  ·  385 Reviews
A girl. An iguana. An island. And e-mail. Meet Nim–a modern-day Robinson Crusoe! She can chop down bananas with a machete, climb tall palm trees, and start a fire with a piece of glass. So she’s not afraid when her scientist dad sails off to study plankton for three days, leaving her alone on their island. Besides, it’s not as if no one’s looking after her–she’s got a sea ...more
Paperback, 128 pages
Published June 11th 2002 by Yearling (first published 1999)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Nim's Island, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Nim's Island

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Deborah Markus
Feb 28, 2015 Deborah Markus rated it really liked it
This is one of several reviews I wrote for the late Secular Homeschooling Magazine. We ran an article about homeschoolers in fiction, and I rated a lot of YA novels based on how good they were and how well they handled homeschooling. Mostly, homeschoolers were hauled out as the reliable weirdos in story after story; but it was still fun to do lots of reading and call it my job.

So: Nim's Island.

Category: Oceanic-adventure unschooling.

Summary: Nim Rusoe lives with her scientist father Jack on a se
Omg I loved this! This is what I wanted Pippi Longstocking to be but it wasn't. Can't wait to read it in a couple of years with the munchkin.
May 20, 2008 Erin rated it liked it
Shelves: childrens
I read this book to my second graders and we all enjoyed it. Even the boys liked it, which was a concern when I first pulled it out and overheard comments from some of them about it being a "girl's book." I guess anything with a girl as the main character qualifies as a girl's book. The fact that she had a machete early on in the book seemed to help tremendously.
In my children's lit class a few years back, we discussed the fact that many beloved children's novels center around characters who ha
Rebecca McNutt
Jun 01, 2015 Rebecca McNutt rated it it was ok
I loved the story and Nim as a character, she reminded me of Grace from The Fossil Hunter of Sydney Mines. But I found the constant e-mails and cell phones mentioned to be very annoying, I hate cell phones and in a story that doesn't really need all that stuff, it seems out of place.
I read this book to my students. Many of them were excited about the movie. I tried to convince them that the movie we create in our heads when we read is better than the one we see when someone else creates it. They loved it!
Mar 09, 2008 Bianca rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Jeana
I would give this book a hundred stars if I could. I liked it because I am a girl who likes adventure, and it was about adventure.
May 19, 2015 Ashley rated it really liked it
Shelves: kid-stuff
Just as fun the second time around.
Isabelle Miles
Aug 06, 2012 Isabelle Miles rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Girls who love adventure
Recommended to Isabelle by: I saw the movie
I read a book called Nim's Island by one of my new favorite authors named Wendy Orr. It's about a girl named Nim. Her mom and dad are scientists, and when Nim was 1 her mom went to study a whale's stomach. Nim's mom was swallowed by the whale and never seen again. Nim's dad decided to sail the ocean to look for the whale that swallowed his wife. They sailed the ocean for 3 years, and then Nim's dad decided that Nim was ready to explore more than just the small sailboat. They stopped on a beautif ...more
Annmarie Hernandez
Oct 27, 2015 Annmarie Hernandez rated it really liked it
Nim's Island was a phenomenal,adventurous,and suspenseful book. The amazing adventures Nim went through were scary and risky to Nim's life. Throughout the story I felt as if I was climbing cliffs with her and going on great adventures with her. I recommend this book to people who like suspenseful,adventurous, and books that keep you on the edge of your seat.I believe you should read this book mostly because the way Nim reacts to problems makes you wish you were there to experience the adventure ...more
Kathy Talbot
Jun 03, 2016 Kathy Talbot rated it really liked it
I listened to this audio book with you girls and we thoroughly enjoyed it. A great adventure story of an independent girl and her animal friends. Book much better than the movie!
Oct 21, 2015 Sarah rated it really liked it
I read this to my third graders. Really perfect for their age group. High vocabulary but not unreachable. Very engaging story with plenty of female heroes!
Allison Brewer
Jun 20, 2016 Allison Brewer rated it really liked it
I read this with my kids for their summer book club. It is a very cute story.
This is a great kids book, and I'm sure I would have enjoyed it when I was young. The Bolinda narrator was excellent, however there were some audio issues in one of the later chapters.
Got My Book
Oct 29, 2016 Got My Book rated it really liked it
Also posted on my blog Got My Book.

An enchanting MG Contemporary Fantasy

Nim's Island by Wendy Orr, read by Kate Reading, published by Blackstone Audio (2008) / Length: 2 hrs 25 min

This is Book #1 of 3 in the Nim series. It is the only one available on audio.

It could be argued that this book is not really fantasy, it is just a book about a very imaginative little girl who is good with animals. That's probably true; but it reads more like a fantasy than a straig
Aug 01, 2012 Amy rated it really liked it
This is a very sweet story of a simple girl called Nim. She and her father live on an uncharted island and Nim helps her father Jack with his science experiments and research. With Selkie and Fred tagging along for the fun.

Orr has written this in such a beautiful way. There are no sweeping descriptions of the island and panoramic like explanations. They are detailed but short enough that do their job to create the perfect image. In addition, the narration from each characters point of view keeps
Reading is my Escape
Delightfully fun adventure story
In a palm tree, on an island, in the middle of the wide blue sea, was a girl.
-first sentence
That was what Nim called it, because soccer was the only ball game she'd ever seen a picture of -- and because nobody else has ever thought of a name for a game with a girl, a sea lion, a turtle, and an iguana all trying to be the first to get a floating coconut to shore.
-Chapter 6
Nim loved the ocean because it was always there, wherever she looked and as far as she cou
Nov 17, 2014 Amanda rated it really liked it
My 7 year old is obsessed with this book and its sequel. I found it on a random booklist for 2nd graders and checked it out from the library. Spot on. Family friendly and age appropriate. The movie cover version of this book didn't interest her (that whole book/cover judging thing) but she did pick it up and MAN is it right up her alley so-to-speak. She blew through it and read it over many times in the next couple of weeks while we waited for Nim at Sea to transfer to our library. We watched th ...more
Jul 19, 2008 katie rated it really liked it
I picked this up mostly because I knew Wendy Orr lived in Australia, and I wanted to study some Australian voices. It turned out to be the kind of book I love: the kind that opens up a whole, vivid world inside your head, with relatively few words. I kind of feel about the island like I feel about Narnia, and I'm now actively avoiding the movie so as not to spoil that feeling.

Nim's a wonderful heroine. Her favourite tool is a machete, her best friends are a sea lion and an iguana, and she's a c
Aug 21, 2011 Maribeth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have a 6 year old son. Every night, we read 3 stories to him. For the last several years, one of those stories has been a chapter out of a chapter book. So far, out of the chapter books we've read, this one is our favorite. It's exciting and adventurous, managing to keep the attention of both my kiddo AND me.

Nim and her father, Jack, live alone on a beautiful, tropical island, but for the length of the book, Jack is stuck out at sea. The story is Nim's adventure on the island while Jack strug
Feb 18, 2013 Gina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My 3rd grader absolutely loved this book and her teacher gave her the opportunity to take the movie home to watch as a family this weekend. It was really cool to see her be able to explain what was happening in the story and then watch her annoyance grow as the last third of the movie did not stay true to the book. I told her it was the first of many experiences she'd have in which the book is always better than the movie! I promised I'd read the book as well though so I could be involved in her ...more
Apr 10, 2014 Nim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Any daydreamers or wannabe adventurers
The fact that the heroine of this story has the same name as me kind of meant that I HAD to read it. Don't be put off by the younger kids tag. It made me laugh and hold my breath so many times that I couldn't put it down for two days! I found myself imagining that I was the one climbing volcanoes, eating freshly picked coconuts for breakfast, and rescuing world famous authors from the ocean.
If you've seen the film, you MUST read the book. Even more so if you haven't. It has wit, creativity, and
Jan 29, 2009 Andrea rated it liked it
A fun read, with a heroine who is not only brave and resourceful, but helps a shy woman to develop her own inner resources. It is entertaining and touching in parts, especially for girls and mothers, but I think plot relies heavily on technology which may eventually date the text. Also, while it's good to see a girl who is an active hero in a story, the plot resolution really relied on underlying gender stereotypes. This bothered me particularly as it was subtle and aimed at children.
LaRae Williams
Jan 26, 2015 LaRae Williams rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens-books
This book is delightful. My ten-year-old daughter and I read it together, and it led us to explore coral reefs, frigate birds, green sea turtles, seaweed and kelp, and seahorses, leafy sea dragons, weedy sea dragons, and pipefish (all members of the genus Hippocampus, which is the only genus where the male gives birth instead of the female.) It was a perfect book for a kiddo who is currently crazy about marine life. It is a clever, exciting adventure with a happy ending.

[Mom note - I really wish this had been better written. The setting and the story line are fun and exciting. The author has nice craft and can put together an excellent description, but on the whole it seemed like this story was phoned in and slapped together as quickly as possible.:]
David Seow
Jul 05, 2010 David Seow rated it it was amazing
Wendy Orr is one of my favorite Children's authorsl.What can one say about Nim's Island, it's an engaging read, fun, exciting and a timeless classic.
Sep 14, 2016 Alexa rated it really liked it
Very obviously a children's book but quite enjoyable.
Jan 21, 2017 Heather rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Confession: We came across the movie and it captivated my 8 year old son.

I decided we should read the book together. I'm so glad we did! We both enjoyed the adventure and suspense Orr offers within these pages.
Feb 08, 2017 Heidi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was great fun, an adventure story that left me itching to visit the island myself. Definitely one I'll add to my read-to-the-kids list
Jan 24, 2017 Susan rated it liked it
Shelves: slmta
Interesting adventure for the animal lover.
Jan 09, 2017 Katie rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017
Very fun read aloud with the kiddos.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Water Horse
  • Castle for Rent (Castle Perilous, #2)
  • Thuggin In Miami (The Family Is Made : Part 1)
  • Hooray for Anna Hibiscus! (Anna Hibiscus, #2)
  • Dear Max
  • The Talented Clementine (Clementine, #2)
  • The Canning Season (National Book Award for Young People's Literature (Awards))
  • The Traveling Restaurant: Jasper's Voyage in Three Parts (A Tale of Fontania #1)
  • Ida Early Comes over the Mountain
  • Angus and Sadie (Davis Farm, #1)
  • The Runaway Dragon (Runaway Princess, #2)
  • Welcome to the Bed and Biscuit
  • Jess
  • Down Comes the Rain: Let's Read and Find out Science - 2
  • Super Fast, Out of Control!
  • The 26-Storey Treehouse
  • The Get Rich Quick Club
  • Women Crime Writers: Four Suspense Novels of the 1940s: Laura / The Horizontal Man / In a Lonely Place / The Blank Wall
I’m an author, but I could never have started writing books if I hadn’t loved reading them first. Reading isn’t just one of my favourite things to do; it’s one of the most important things in my life. I can’t imagine a world in which I couldn’t read, every day. That’s why I always read to my children every day, just as my parents used to read to me. Stories can be exciting, sad, funny, scary or co ...more
More about Wendy Orr...

Other Books in the Series

Nim (3 books)
  • Nim at Sea
  • Rescue on Nim's Island

Share This Book

“She felt like a tiger in a cage, trying to burst free.” 0 likes
More quotes…