The Lost Island of Tamarind
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The Lost Island of Tamarind (Tamarind #1)

4.01 of 5 stars 4.01  ·  rating details  ·  541 ratings  ·  98 reviews
Maya Nelson isn’t your typical thirteen-year-old. She’s spent her whole life living on the sea with her marine biologist parents, her younger brother, Simon, and baby sister, Penny. Maya used to love living on a sailboat, but lately, everything feels terribly claustrophobic. Maya longs to go to school on land. To make friends. To lead a normal life. But when a violent stor...more
Hardcover, 438 pages
Published September 30th 2008 by Feiwel & Friends
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I picked up this book at the library on a whim because I thought the cover art was pretty. As it turned out, "The Lost Island of Tamarind" was a rare gem of a book that I only rarely find.

With an appealing Treasure Island flavor sprinkled throughout its pages, this book was great fun to read. I was surprised at how well Nadia Aguiar writes, since I found this book in the children's section. It could easily fit into the Young Adult shelves of any library. The adventure was well paced and the vivi...more
It was awesome.
Lianne Burwell
Maya is the oldest of three children who live with their parents on the ship the Pamela Jane, but has reached the age where she desperately wants a normal life on shore, maybe living with her Grandmother in Bermuda. In a storm, their parents are washed overboard, the the ship comes across a mysterious island that appears on no maps, and which matches tales their father has told them over the years.

Maya, Simon and Penny go ashore to search for their missing parents. With the help of Helix, a boy...more
Mahum *It's Summer!!!!*

I loved this book. It is about a girl Maya, and her two younger siblings called Simon and Penny. She lives on a boat with them and her parents. A storm washes them overboard and they find themselves on an amazing island called Tamarind, which is in the middle of a civil war. Maya and her siblings have one main goal: Find their Parents. But tamarind is a big place, and dangerous for many reasons: Pirates, Soldiers, A child-napper who rides a jaguar, and many other dangers. The book is about Maya,...more
I found this adventure a very pleasant viney green escape from the fierce winter weather outside.
There were some gaps in description and faint plot points which needled me a bit or broke my suspension of disbelief (the main character's blisters are pointed out often, but I had no picture of what kind of shoes or socks she is even wearing, if any...and where was her backpack all this time? Why the pan?...) but I found the overall story is imaginative and satisfyingly rich in adventure.
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Allison Fraclose for

Thirteen-year-old Maya Nelson would like nothing more than to live on land, go to school, and sit at an actual table to eat a meal once in a while. Her outgoing younger brother, Simon, may be fine with living on a boat and traveling the world with their marine biologist parents, but lately, Maya's grown tired of having no privacy and none of the normal things kids should have.

Her situation has only gotten worse since Penny was born, making the sma...more
Posted to my Livejournal in October 2008:

Equal parts adventure, mystery, fantasy, and survival story, this first novel is quite accomplished. Maya, 13 years old, has lived her entire life on the Pamela Jane with her marine biologist parents and two siblings. After a violent storm, the parents go missing, and the kids manage to steer the boat to an unknown island. It turns out to be Tamarind, a place that features heavily in their father's stories (which they thought he was making up), and while...more
Aug 23, 2013 Nix rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: fantasy
As I read through this book, I made notes in a notebook. I uploaded a few of them as statuses, and I'm sure you can judge from that what I thought about this book.

First point that gets repeated over and over and over in my notes--Maya, you're an idiot. Everything screams for you to trust Helix, and you don't trust him. Everything screams for you not to trust the guy with the skulls in a bag (especially the fact that he carries around skulls in a bag) and you take the path he points out. What is...more
Jamie Brooks
Wow. I have to say that I can't believe I stumbled upon this book in the young adult section. This was one of the most well written, original and interesting stories I have ever read. It seems like a lot of fantasy books remind me of other fantasy books I have read in the past, however with this book it was not the case. I was interested the entire time and read until my eyes were droopy.Ofcourse this may not be the case with others who read this book, but I am really glad I picked up this book...more
Maya, Simon and Penny live on a boat with their parents who are Marine biologists. Their parents get thrown overboard in a storm and the children find the magical island of Tamarind where a lifetime worth of adventures take place in what? A month or two. They search for their parents but this island can't really help them. They have to help themselves.

My favourite bit is in the cloud forest village, some of the incidents made my heart pound and I'd just love to meet Netti and Bongo. This book is...more
Apr 07, 2014 Emily rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone
Shelves: adventure, summer
This book gave my summer a more colourful, brighter exotic feel. The Lost Island of Tamarind deserves to be a lot more famous than it is.

Maya (13), Simon (9) and Penny (10 months) live on a boat with their parents who are marine biologists. The children's parents are currently contributing to the Red Coral project which the children are allowed to know little about. When their parents get thrown overboard in a storm, the children try to find land but instead come across the magical island of Tam...more
This book was absolutly fantastic.It definatly satisfied my thirst for descriptive writing.The way the whole mystical island was described was perfect for creating beautiful visions of paradise. Although i cannot help to wonder if there is a 2nd book because it seems unfinished ..if any knows of a second book please message me . It would be a great help !
In stark contrast to Tried by War, which I read simultaneously, this book is a light and fun read. It's a book that I would have loved in 6th grade. Lots of action, a wonderful story, and an entire new world created around a lost island in Bermuda. I liked it. And would recommend it to anyone who wants to read another "Harry Potter" type book.
Cass Oursecretlab
It's not that this is an utterly dreadful book by any means, it's just that any characterisation, narrative and innovation as concerns location are completely wiped out by crazy leaps of logic that defy reality (and not in a cool way).

As highlighted by many the main 'hero' is highly annoying and engenders almost no sympathy from the reader. She's obstinate, self-absorbed (despite her obvious and signposted affection for her siblings), and simply not particularly likeable.

It's a shame really, bec...more
I really loved this book. It had a wonderful setting, complex characters, and I story I will remember for a long time. It was also very fun to read! It was a mixture between Swiss Family Robinson and Indiana Jones.
Maya isn't a typical thirteen-year-old? She sure acts like one.
She is stupidly annoying from the first few pages until the very end.
This whole book was ruined with her as a protagonist. I kept expecting her to change, but she did not.
She mistrusted Helix for no good reason, jumped to the illogical conclusion that he had betrayed her, and then disobeyed him and ignored his suggestions. REALLY, HOW ANNOYING CAN A CHARACTER GET?
Much more, apparently, because I now loathe Maya instead of just hating...more
Christine Woo
Even after two years since reading this book I can still remember a bunch of stuff! This book is one of my absolute favorites, mainly because of the boy with the staff crouching on the cover. I wish I could remember what happens in the end or what the boy crouching on the cover's name is, but I don't. I gotta say though this was really a very good book. I actually read it more than once and each time was like bursting into a cloud of butterflies. The adventure and mystery got me every time and a...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
The Lost Island of Tamarind by Nadia Aguiar is a story about three siblings whose marine biologist parents get washed overboard in a storm and land on a deserted island. Their names are Maya, Simon, and Penny, their baby sister. Maya, being the eldest must to take responsibility and control over the situation. They steer to the direction of land and find the Island of Tamarind. There, they meet a boy named Helix, who lives in the jungle. He helps to guide them through carnivore vines, jaguars,...more
Crysta DenOuden
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
A student recommended this book to me, and I am glad she did! The book has an old fashioned quality to it where the author really describes the setting in detail. It is nice that there is a sister and brother main character so it grabs both a boy and girl audience. It was a truly beautiful book, yet has an eerie quality at the same time. It felt like I was reading a kid version of the show Lost where everything goes wrong!

Favorite quote from the book: "'Life should be an adventure. . . When it...more
Eva Mitnick
Books about mysterious islands are captivating - Treasure Island, Swiss Family Robinson, Robinson Crusoe - and this one is no exception. Maya's struggles to survive and find her parents against all odds while protecting her younger siblings are enthralling most of the way through. Only a few things caused my willing suspension of disbelief to falter. If this island is so remote and unknown to the outside world, how did cars get on it - is there a factory?? And what about the strange profusion of...more
It redeemed itself in the end but the first half of the book I wasn't really feeling bad for maya and she annoyed me mostly because I thought(and maybe still do) that her younger brother was ever so much less whinny and actually got them out of their problems. However by the end I liked maya better and I'm excited for the sequel. Overall a good, fun book for middle schoolers
I look forward to the sequel.

At first, I didn't like Maya --- I still don't, come to think of it. But the adventures quickly overtook her weaknesses and I became interested in the story for the story's sake.

The book is large, and often I feel like books this large are simply too long, but the Lost Island wasn't too long at all. I did pick up some rookie mistakes, such as changing perspectives (although who made that rule?!), but overall this is a well written, entertaining book.
Feb 28, 2012 Isabelle rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Children from ages 10 to 13
Recommended to Isabelle by: Nobody
Shelves: favorites
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I good book! filled with mystery and suspense it really drew me in. I had to read this book for my English class and I enjoyed it more than I thought I would! 7/10 and 4 stars!
Katherine Charles
The lost island of Tamarind was a book my friend recommended to me, she was full of praise but I have to admit that I don’t really see the attraction. This may be because I was a few years above the target audience age.
I found it tedious and so cliché it was unbelievable. I was asking myself when it would end.
A group of siblings find themselves on an island that’s not on any map; they meet many people on their travels. Sound familiar? Ever heard of Narnia!
To be fair to this book, I suppose you c...more
Stephanie Elmas
I read this with my nine and six year old daughters and can honestly say it was one of the best books I've ever read. My children are so addicted to it that we're now reading the sequel. The depth of description that Aguiar goes into about the extraordinary Tamarind is staggering. Highlights for us were the Cloud Forest Village up in the trees and the character Helix - a wild boy who helps the lost children find their parents on the beautiful but war-torn tropical island. I love the inspired ima...more
Sara Westhead
Really enjoyed it - looking forward to the other books in the series.
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NADIA AGUIAR received a BA from McMaster University in Canada and an MFA in Creative Writing from Columbia. She currently lives in Bermuda, where she was born and raised.
More about Nadia Aguiar...
Secrets of Tamarind Half-Minute Horrors

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