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

Will Poole's Island

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  98 ratings  ·  45 reviews
New England, 1643. A meeting in the forest between a rebellious young Englishman and a visionary Wampanoag leads to a dangerous collision of societies, an epic sea journey, and the making of an unforgettable friendship.

“Immersive . . . This riveting portrayal of early Colonial New England shines a speculative but compelling light on the time and place.” — Kirkus Reviews

Paperback, 177 pages
Published August 15th 2014 by Namelos (first published July 1st 2014)
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 Will Poole's Island, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.12  · 
Rating details
 ·  98 ratings  ·  45 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Will Poole's Island
David Stone
May 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Reading this novel while on vacation in Nantucket added a certain "realness" to the narrative. And since they roll up the streets on the Fog Island around 7:00 pm in the springtime I had ample time to devote to Will Poole and his clash with the Puritan establishment of 17th Century New England.

Incidentally, I bought the book at Mitchell's Book Corner in Nantucket. The title was instantly recognized by the booksellers there who stayed after closing time (6 p.m.) to look for a copy for this trave
Richard Abbott
Mar 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
Reviewed for the Historical Novel Association Indie Reviews

Will Poole’s Island explores an unusual portion of American history – the early colonial days of the seventeenth century. At this time, tiny isolated compounds on or near the coast were protected from the wilderness outside by a powerful mixture of wooden stockades, dogmatic authority, and superstition. Will Poole rebels against these strictures, first by solitary hunting trips, and then by befriending a Native American man. This in turn
Troy Shaheen
Aug 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Great read. What starts out as a classic coming of age tale unfolds into a meditation on culture clashes, spirituality, freedom, and trust. This book will leave you enchanted by North American heritage and hungry for the outdoors.
Sep 12, 2018 added it
In "Will Poole's Island" Tim Weed takes the reader to places and times never before known outside the hero's imagination, which is found a little high on the nearby seashore's fog and mist. Will Poole's world is not the world as it really is. It is, in part, a creation of his own mind, a place in constant motion where things and people come and go, turn up out of nowhere as mysteriously as his own destiny turns out to be, but not in the end. The year is 1643, the place is the Colony of Connectic ...more
Rick Cochran
Feb 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Will Poole's Island is considered YA, but I didn't even realize that until after I read it. Tim Weed weaves a masterful tale of the clash of civilizations as represented by three strong characters. There are elements of a coming of age story with protagonist, Will Poole. Will is a teenage colonial boy who doesn't fit in the repressive society. He longs to be outside in nature, defying the mandates of his guardian and the governor of the colony. He meets a mysterious native magician who inserts h ...more
Mary Ann
Jun 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Will Poole's Island is an enthralling adventure in a kind of North American magical realism that I haven't encountered anywhere else. The book reminds me of Ursula K. Le Guin's A Wizard of Earthsea: a quietly compelling story in which young Will Poole comes of age through hardship and the teachings of a mentor with uncanny gifts. It feels completely authentic in its details of life at the coastal settlements of Puritans and Native Americans in the very early days of European occupation. Give thi ...more
Jun 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle-edition
I loved this. The mysticism, the time period, the characters. So well written, beautiful language, lyrical.
Bob Schueler
May 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
Shelves: literary
This interesting, short novel is set in very early colonial New England, is the intimate story of an adolescent boy's trails and adventures. It includes insights on Native American as well as early colonial culture, and describes its world vividly. The language is spare but elegant, and the author does a great job of placing the reader in a world world with different rules and challenges than our own. The book deals with moral issues without moralizing or offering easy, simple answers to importa ...more
Nov 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
New England, 1643. A meeting in the forest between a rebellious young Englishman and a visionary Wampanoag leads to a dangerous collision of societies, an epic sea journey, and the making of an unforgettable friendship.

Follow the booktrail here: Will Pooles island booktrail

Story in a nutshell

Set in 17th Century New England at the time when the fledging colonies had a difficult relationship with the Native Americans, Will Poole is 17 and is living in the Puritan New Meadow Plantation. when he me
Joe Klemczewski
Jun 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Tim Weed did in Will Poole’s Island what he does best—he crafted prose that buoys you from one striking sentence to another, wishing your parents had forced you to play chess, master classical piano, or at least had parked your bouncy seat in front of Baby Einstein videos.

"The drummer pounded out a low tattoo. Captain Hooker pulled a black executioner’s hood over his thick head, and an assistant handed Hooker a double-bladed woodman’s axe. A rippling silence fell across the crowd. A flock of rav
Dec 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
**I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review**

Will Poole's Island by Tim Weed is a descriptive adventurous tale of growth, friendship, and freedom. A fellow Goodreads user named Troy said "What starts out as a classic coming of age tale unfolds into a meditation on culture clashes, spirituality, freedom, and trust." I completely agree and I could not have said it better myself. The reader gets to go on an adventure with a 17 year old Will and his mentor/friend Squamiset, a Native Am
Jun 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book takes place in the sixteenth century, We meet Will Poole, who we learn is an orphan, his parents are dead and he is in the custody of a former servant of the Poole's. Apparently, James overlocke will be in charge of will's inheritance until he is of age, but we quickly learn that Overlocke is not looking out for the best interest of will but his own. I think for me Overlocke was the worse of villains in this story. Will belongs to this Puritan community, but he has never felt like he h ...more
Kristin Gleeson
Jun 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Set in 17th Century New England when the fledging colonies had a complicated and often combative interaction with the Native Americans, Will Poole’s Island gives a sympathetic and poignant insight into the nature of that relationship. Will Poole is a seventeen year old boy living in the strictly governed Puritan New Meadow Plantation. He encounters an elderly, English speaking Native American, Squamiset and forms a friendship against the wishes of the colony and its formidable governor. A series ...more
Oct 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I thoroughly enjoyed Tim Weed’s excellently wordsmithed WILL POOLE’S ISLAND. With a strong sense of history, it provides a sense of the Puritan religion countered by Native American spirituality and mythic ethos.

Will’s evolving sense of independence and rebellion against the deleterious narrow parameters of his own Puritan community lead him to a mind-broadening education and increasing respect and admiration for Mother Nature via his evolving relationship with his wise Wampanoag mentor, Squamis
Aug 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
As an American history major, I felt that I was given too many facts about 17th century colonial America. I wanted flesh-and-blood. Weed has done this and more. Readers of YA will be pulled in by the adventures winding though the chapters. While they're gasping and listening to their hearts pound, they'll get a good amount of the context on both the English and Indian sides of the events. All of the writing is vivid. Even the mythological elements seem real. The epilogue and Author's Note offer ...more
Aug 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads, review
In "Will Poole's Island," Tim Weed weaves a historical tale of intrigue, betrayal, and unlikely friendship. While providing a glimpse into Puritan life and superstitions, this short novel also includes elements of magical realism that make the reader question the line between fantasy and reality. By turns compelling and heartbreaking, this story is an interesting addition to the genre of historical fiction.
Nov 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book! This is historical fiction for young adults but, a great book for adults too. Takes place in the 17th century and gives you a good understanding of the native Americans and the British settlers. I did question some of the supernatural features but, it added another feature to the story.
Mar 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic piece. The imagery created by Tim Weed is amazing. The story is believable and the characters very well developed. The descriptions of places and people are so poetically delivered that I found myself lost in them. The mystical elements woven into the story enhance this tale of a young man's life journey, and the life journey of his spiritual guide.
Connie Mayo
Feb 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
A novella-length, meticulously researched, beautifully written story of an orphaned boy in Colonial New England. The historical detail here is top notch - clothing, boats, everything Native American. I'd read whatever Tim Weed writes next.
Apr 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I'm not normally a historical fiction fan but I really enjoyed this book and got pulled in instantly. Looked three weaving of adventure, history and native spirituality. I look forward to Tim's next novel!
Jul 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. It is so richly and vividly written. I was hooked immediately. Superb, Tim Weed, really exceptional.
Maria Ogden
Nov 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Well-written and page-turning historical fiction. A gem of a read!
Nov 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful novella. Lots of historical detail, which I love. Beautiful story. Definitely recommend.
Dec 25, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Colonial America and Indians
Recommended to Lynne by: Goodreads Giveaway
Set in 1643 colonial New England, Will Poole was born a gentlemen’s son, but his parents are dead, and his brother is a trader out on the seas. He finds himself suffocating in the strict Puritan way of life in the New Meadow settlement and quite under the thumb of his guardian Overlock. Will finds release spending time in the wilderness outside the palisade enclosure, where he meets and befriends an Indian called Squamiset. They find themselves on the run and their adventures take them over many ...more
May 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
"Visions of the future were always conditional. Each moment had to be survived to reach the next." Exactly how life feels whether 1643 or 2020. The journey Will Poole took us on was one of being born,having bad and good things happening to you and dealing with them as you could. Sometimes alone and sometimes with help. Will's life was surrounded by land and water and his adventures came from a time when wildness was still in existance. Settlements were few and maybe not even known about. The opp ...more
Sunshine Ybarra
Aug 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
I won this book for free through Goodreads First Reads in exchange for an honest review.
Ron Samul
May 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Will Poole’s Island captures some of the best elements of historical fiction, but also delves into the world of mysticism and the native culture that existed before the colonial settlers landed in New England.

Will Poole is an adventure seeking colonial boy who sees the world beyond the strict and often confining world of early Puritan based colonial settlers of New England. He is an orphan that now lives with his guardian, Overlock, who his former servant. While Will tries to steer clear of Ove
Jul 06, 2014 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Brian Thiem
Jun 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Will Poole’s Island is a historical novel set in seventeenth century America about a young man torn between his strict Puritan community and a wise Native American with mystical powers. I was quickly struck by the historical accuracy in the book, which is reason enough to continue reading, but it was the author’s descriptions of characters and setting—the sense of place—that immediately pulled me into the story and held me captive until the end. I felt as if I were walking through the woods with ...more
D.T. Griffith
Jun 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Young adults and adults, particularly those interested in early American colonial history.
Having read a few of his short stories, author Tim Weed is an excellent wordsmith when it comes to evoking mood, scenery, and action. He uses this ability to great effect as he tells the story of a young English colonist named Will Poole who has escaped the oppressive confines of his Puritanical and fortified plantation. The settings and environments reflect the various characters' personalities and moods within a wide array of situations, whether at sea in a small dugout mishoon, daily life wit ...more
« previous 1 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
American Historic...: New articles and thoughts on the "genre" 15 28 Oct 22, 2014 11:39AM  
Is historical fiction really a "genre"? 1 2 Oct 03, 2014 07:23AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Story of Channon Rose: Lessons between the Lines
  • Simpatico
  • Studio Stories: Illuminating Our Lives through Art
  • Death at Breakfast (Maggie Detweiler and Hope Babbin #1)
  • Nana Du Ký
  • On the Backs of Waves
  • Season of Yellow Leaf
  • Warrior Woman: The Exceptional Life Story of Nonhelema, Shawnee Indian Woman Chief
  • Wolf Winter
  • The Wild Girl
  • Little, Big
  • Wrongful Death (David Sloane, #2)
  • Mountain Windsong: A Novel of the Trail of Tears
  • The Old American: A Novel
  • Indian Captive: The Story of Mary Jemison
  • Zeke and Ned
  • Highfire
  • A Beautiful Blue Death (Charles Lenox Mysteries, #1)
See similar books…
Tim Weed's first novel, Will Poole's Island, was named one of Bank Street College of Education’s Best Books of the Year. His short fiction collection, A Field Guide to Murder & Fly Fishing, made the 2018 Eric Hoffer Book Award Grand Prize Shortlist and was a finalist in the short story category for both the 2018 American Fiction Awards and the 2017 International Book Awards. Tim is the winner of a ...more

Related Articles

While dealing with her husband's illness, this debut author turned to the refuge of Jane Austen's work. That refuge turned into her highly anticipa...
88 likes · 13 comments