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Abel's Island (Newbery Award & Honor Books (Paperback))

3.9  ·  Rating details ·  3,755 Ratings  ·  342 Reviews
Abel's Island (Newbery Award
Paperback, 128 pages
Published October 2nd 2007 by Square Fish (first published May 1976)
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Feb 19, 2016 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
Steven Peck
Sep 09, 2008 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
Jul 29, 2014 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
Phil Jensen
I was afraid this book would be about a mouse on an island.
I was amazed that this book is about a mouse on an island. And it's great.

Sometimes, a story is so beautiful that it becomes mythic. The Old Man and the Sea is about more than fishing. The Stranger is about more than bad funeral etiquette. And Abel's Island is about more than a foppish mouse who gets stuck on an island. It's about inner strength. It's about persistence and determination. It's about finding joy in hard times. Most of all,
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!
This was not a book I was familiar with and strangely enough it came to my attention because a character in a TV series was reading aloud from it. After googling the quote I requested a copy from my library and thoroughly enjoyed this unique story of Abel, a gentleman mouse, who spends a year stranded on an island. Lovely writing and charming illustrations.
Owen Curtsinger
Dec 24, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
just the bee's knees
Jan 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“How deeply one felt when alone,” wrote William Steig of his protagonist, Abelard Hassam di Chirico Flint, from the Newberry Honors book Abel’s Island. I had grown up loving Steig’s books (everything from Sylvester and the Magic Pebble to Dr. DeSoto to Pete’s A Pizza, this was my older son’s favorite and we had to make him into a pizza just the way Pete’s parents did).

Somehow, despite my admiration and love for his work, I never read Abel’s Island. Since it was a dreary, rainy Sunday afternoon y
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
Dec 01, 2009 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
Aug 31, 2011 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
Jun 21, 2007 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!
Mar 03, 2016 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.
Raevyn Oswald
OK, but not really my type of book. Had a lot of advanced vocabulary for a children's novel.
Apr 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My daughter just got done reading this on Monday, and she said, "oh mom, you have to read it!" So last night, I put aside the mountain of books that I am currently tried to read through and dived in. Honestly, I realized I need to do this a lot more often. It is a delight to read through, even as an adult. I loved the pictures- adult books never have pictures. :)
So, fellow adults, let's read some children's books sometimes- just for fun!
Remembering how much I adored this book in about the 5th grade.
Jun 22, 2015 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
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
May 04, 2016 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
Jul 13, 2015 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
Jan 02, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017reviews
First sentence: Early in August 1907, the first year of their marriage, Abel and Amanda went to picnic in the woods some distance from the town where they lived.

Premise/plot: Abel is separated from Amanda as a result of a sudden storm. Both seek shelter, of course, but Abel finds himself situated far from home (from a mouse's perspective) and on an island. Cut off by nature from the home he loves, Abel's challenged in more ways than one. He has to learn how to physically survive in a strange-to
Mirka Breen
Apr 21, 2016 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
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
Dec 07, 2015 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
Dec 29, 2011 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
alicia ...
Jan 06, 2015 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
May 22, 2016 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
Mrs. Carbonneau's Class
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
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What's the Name o...: SOLVED. Children's- Civilized Mouse Goes Native [s] 6 25 Nov 15, 2016 02:41PM  
2nd reading log 3 7 Dec 15, 2011 06:30PM  
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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
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“How deeply one felt when alone.” 11 likes
“Abel also kept busy taking it easy. Only when taking it easy, he'd learned, could one properly do one's wondering.” 4 likes
More quotes…