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Orphan Island

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3.66  ·  Rating details ·  7,374 ratings  ·  1,560 reviews
On the island, everything is perfect. The sun rises in a sky filled with dancing shapes; the wind, water, and trees shelter and protect those who live there; when the nine children go to sleep in their cabins, it is with full stomachs and joy in their hearts. And only one thing ever changes: on that day, each year, when a boat appears from the mist upon the ocean carrying ...more
Kindle Edition, 288 pages
Published May 30th 2017 by Walden Pond Press
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Laurel I actually hadn't planned on a sequel, but now I find myself scribbling more. I can't quite leave the island.

If I finish it, there may be a prequel th…more
I actually hadn't planned on a sequel, but now I find myself scribbling more. I can't quite leave the island.

If I finish it, there may be a prequel that explains something of the origin... Abigail's story, from her time on the island.

So we'll see...

:)(less)
Laurel I'm actually doing some writing now, about the island before Jinny got there. I hadn't thought of Jinny as a Care, but that's a neat idea! I'll give i…moreI'm actually doing some writing now, about the island before Jinny got there. I hadn't thought of Jinny as a Care, but that's a neat idea! I'll give it some thought. Thanks to your daughter!(less)

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Average rating 3.66  · 
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 ·  7,374 ratings  ·  1,560 reviews


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Rick Riordan
Aug 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is one of those books that haunts you long after you read it. The premise is simple enough: A mysterious island with exactly nine inhabitants, all children. Every year or so, a self-piloting boat appears out of the strange fog that encircles the island. The boat drops off a new young child — so young he/she only has the vaguest idea of where he/she comes from — and the oldest child in the group gets in the boat and sails away forever, going to . . . whatever is beyond the mist. The second-o ...more
Laurel
Dec 15, 2016 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
I've spent years dreaming this book, staring at walls and ceilings and clouds, and trying to wish it into being. I've drawn it in colored pencils and painted it in watercolors. I've scribbled it on notepads and the backs of grocery lists.

It's a huge gift to see it published. I'm proud and nervous and happy. I hope you all like it.

More here, if you're interested: https://nerdybookclub.wordpress.com/2...
...more
Hannah Greendale
Nine children reside on Orphan Island. On the day of the Changing, a green boat arrives to deliver a new child and whisk the eldest child away – never to be seen again. Jinny, now the eldest after her best friend’s departure, is tasked with raising the newest delivery, known as her Care. The next time the boat arrives, Jinny will have to leave the island forever. Can she teach her Care everything she needs to know in time? And when the boat arrives, will Jinny have the courage to face the unknow ...more
emma
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Betsy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Hilary
We thought this was going to be a 5 star for us. Such a great idea for a story. Nine orphans on an island, they arrive roughly a year apart and first arrive as toddlers. When a toddler arrives in a boat the Elder gets in and the boat takes them away. Nobody remembers before or knows what happens after. Each year the oldest orphan becomes the Elder and the new arrival becomes the Care. Everything is safe on the island they have what they need, if they fall of a cliff the wind is there to blow the ...more
Cass
Mar 26, 2017 rated it it was ok
I work at Mastermind Toys in Coquitlam, BC, Canada, and my store received an advance reader's copy of this book

I can honestly say I absolutely loved the way this book was written, and the way the story unfolded. Why the 2 star review you may be asking?
The ending.
The ending of the book ruined the entire story for me and made me frustrated and ask myself repeatedly "What was the point of this book?"

Without spoiling the contents of the book, the story follows a group of 9 children on an island, wit
...more
Jenna
Feb 01, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: childrens
I read this solely because it is one of the books the kids will be reading for our library's annual Interscholastic Reading Competition, in order to write up a list of questions for the children to answer. Children's books are rarely my thing so perhaps this deserves a better rating than a 2 star. Actually, I bumped it up from a 1, which was how much I liked, or rather, disliked it.

"Orphan Island" is about a group of nine kids who live alone on an island. Each year a boat arrives bringing a todd
...more
Marie
Nov 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Upon finishing this novel with my children, I visited the author’s webpage where she had the following quote from Madeleine L’Engle prominently displayed, “When we were children, we used to think that when we were grown-up we would no longer be vulnerable. But to grow up is to accept vulnerability… To be alive is to be vulnerable.” I thought this was an interesting quote to ponder in light of this novel that is a coming of age story, about growing up and accepting the vulnerability that comes wi ...more
Sara
Mar 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Could there be a sequel? The ending makes sense, but I have so many other questions about what happened.
Aliza Werner
Oh, how I loved this book. A standout, an original, from many others. This is the type of book that makes me think, dig deeper into its symbolism and meaning. A layered picture of the transition from childhood to adulthood.
Rebecca
May 20, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: childrens
I was excited to receive an ARC as I thought the premise of this book looked very promising. I get that this is an allegory about growing up and Snyder can write, but she misses in picking her audience. As an adult, I found the pacing slow and the purpose too obvious--yet adults really do seem the best audience for the allegory. For tweens, there would be too much time spent on small children and nagging, as well as an open ended mystery that would be frustrating. Younger children woud be fascin ...more
Britany
This cover is gorgeous and may have solely convinced me to pick this book up and read it.

We open on an island for orphans (are you shocked?? 😉) and every year one new toddler arrives and the eldest child goes back. This boat knows when and where to go magically. The incoming children get assigned to the eldest and they must teach them everything they need to know to survive before they leave them. I enjoyed the Peter Pan threads and the magic of the island. What kid didn't grow up imaging this t
...more
Kate Willis
Aug 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone who loves Peter Pan
Not since The Little Prince has a book made me feel so homesick. Almost every chapter, tears came to my eyes. In fact, I just opened this book while reviewing it and the dedication of all things made me nearly cry again. :D But not because this is a particularly sad book either… it’s just so beautiful and complicated. Think of it as a celebration of and farewell to childhood. (And then you won’t hate the ending.) Like Peter Pan. <3

It was amazingly well written. I loved the children--their exaspe
...more
Kristina Horner
Jun 26, 2017 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Beth
Please oh please let there be a sequel!

For people who scoff at adults who read and study children's literature because it isn't literary enough, this is one of the first books I will point them to. There are so many unanswered questions in this book and important themes that will lead to quality discussions with students. This would be a fantastic story for book clubs or literature circles.
Zazu
I don't really understand how this book is so good. It feels like the author somehow managed to subvert my mind in its opinions of what makes a page-turner, what makes for good emotional investment, what makes something compelling or beautiful or fun or terrifying or sad or happy or simple or complex.

Snyder has managed to mold not only a stunning gem of a story, but also her readers' minds, as we follow Jinny's progression from stubborn certainty to uneasy uncertainty. In her story, we can see r
...more
Jillian Heise
May 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
If The Maze Runner & The Giver had a lushly depicted baby, it would be this island. Though the ending left me with more questions than answers. ...more
Abby Johnson
Aug 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book, y'all. Seriously, I can't tell if I LOVE IT or HATE IT. Maddeningly frustrating, but also so super identifiable. Unlike anything I've read.
Joie
Jul 04, 2017 rated it did not like it
I was left with many, many unanswered questions with this book. "Orphan Island" held so much promise - I couldn't wait to discover the purpose of the island, the back stories of the children, but I didn't get any of that. I got whiny children, an annoying and frustrating protagonist, and the plot? Was there one? I understand the "symbolism" and the "themes" and blah, blah, but when I (finally) reached the end of Jinny's story, I had to ask myself, "What was the point?" Sure, Jinny was scared to ...more
Amanda
Jun 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
For full review, see here.
http://jungletigerteacher.blogspot.co...

I highly recommend this book, either for your own enjoyment or as a teacher. But set aside a day to read it, because you won't be able to put it down.

Ultimately, readers who discuss this book are going to answer these questions:
1. Should you choose to grow up, or not?
2. What are the repercussions if you keep choosing childish
behavior?
3. What is your responsibility to children younger than you?
4. What is your responsibility to t
...more
Laurene
Happened to pick up Orphan Island by Laurel Snyder on a whim. Looked interesting I thought. It was long listed for goodness sake.

I hardly ever do this but I am trying to give it a star. The premise of the book is simple. There are nine kids on an island. A boat delivers a kid, (a care), to the island every year. The oldest kid, (the elder), is responsible to teach the "care" important survival skills for a year, like swimming -- they are on an island -- and reading. The kids range from age 4 t
...more
Ms. Yingling
ARC provided by publisher at ALA

Jinny lives on an island with either other orphans, which, according to a saying, is the number that must be preserved to keep "the sky from falling". To this end, every year one child arrives in a boat, and one leaves. This year, Jinny's best friend is the oldest child and must leave, and Ess arrives. As the new oldest child, it falls to Jinny to take care of Ess and instruct her in the ways of the island. She teaches her to read and swim, and realizes that this
...more
Marla
Aug 06, 2017 rated it did not like it
Sorry everyone but really? Am I that hard-hearted because I saw no plot, no beginnging, middle, end? No climax. And certainly absolutely no resolution or satisfying ending. I see the themes but I cannot imagine any elementary or middle school students sticking with this book, and I have read hundreds of books for this age. If there were more straightforward lessons about life that the intended audience could grasp... anyway, I'm willing to keep reading others' reviews, maybe I am missing somethi ...more
Danielle
Sep 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I found this book gripping and magical.

It's a story about childhood, and about childhood turning into adulthood; a story about change, our effect on the world and others, and about the opportunity to create something that lasts even in the smallest ways—a drawing, a hand-written letter, a book.

"It was amazing how different the sea could feel from one moment to the next. It was amazing how different Jinny herself could feel."

"What we do now might still be here years from now. Isn't that strange?
...more
Rachel Bea
beautiful story
Jordan Henrichs
Jun 07, 2017 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Stacey
Mar 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Oh, how I long for books that are different than all the others. A world I couldn't have imagined on my own, but all of a sudden, here it is living in my mind.

The imagery and world building in Orphan Island feels real. Exactly what you want out of a fantasy story. I can feel the sun warming my tunic and the grainy sand on my toes. I am in the book cabin reading the afternoon away.

Perhaps what I love most about this book is that much is left to your own imagination. This book will be something
...more
Hannah
THIS BOOK. ORPHAN ISLAND perfectly evokes the feeling of standing on the cusp of adolescence--the strong emotion, the forgetting, and the loneliness that comes along so suddenly and with so much force are all there, swirling and clouding within and around Jinny. Snyder is a master of painting with words--when you read ORPHAN ISLAND, you are ON the island, you ARE Jinny. A beautiful, moving ode to the pain and the marvel of growing up.
mindful.librarian ☀️
UPDATED TO 5 STARS based on this blog post - https://nerdybookclub.wordpress.com/2...

Short and rambling review due to the fact that I read this in one sitting on an airplane and tried to review it before leaving the plane!

I absolutely loved the story, and was completely sucked into the world of Orphan Island. The entire premise of the story is absolutely charming and fascinating and sad and glorious and just plain magical! Reading this as a 30-something female librarian, I obviously have a diffe
...more
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Laurel Snyder is the author of six children's novels, "Orphan Island," "Seven Stories Up," "Bigger than a Bread Box," "Penny Dreadful," "Up and Down the Scratchy Mountains OR The Search for a Suitable Princess" and "Any Which Wall" (Random House) as well as many picture books, including "Charlie & Mouse," "The Forever Garden," "Swan, the life and dance of Anna Pavlova," and "Baxter, the Pig Who Wa ...more

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