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Scar Island

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  3,300 ratings  ·  617 reviews
Jonathan Grisby is the newest arrival at the Slabhenge Reformatory School for Troubled Boys -- an ancient, crumbling fortress of gray stone rising up from the ocean. It is dark, damp, and dismal. And it is just the place Jonathan figures he deserves.

Because Jonathan has done something terrible. And he's willing to accept whatever punishment he has coming.

Just as he's getti
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published January 3rd 2017 by Scholastic Press
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Kelly Sandborn It appears since I read it from 2 AM to 4 AM instead of sleeping. I enjoyed it and feel it's a great book for anyone who loves adventure. …moreIt appears since I read it from 2 AM to 4 AM instead of sleeping. I enjoyed it and feel it's a great book for anyone who loves adventure. (less)
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Community Reviews

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Average rating 3.99  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,300 ratings  ·  617 reviews

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Scott Fillner
May 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Dan has done it again! Another gripping story sure to satisfy all readers.

This time Dan brings us an amazing story of loss, leadership, survival, and redemption. Along the way of this story, which is nearly impossible to put down, Dan gives us strong emotion and locations we can close our eyes and see through his excellent details.

Dan has created strong adolescent characters which reminded me of books and movies including The Outsiders, Goonies, and Lord of the Flies. He creates antagonists tha
Jul 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh wow wow wow. This might be Gemeinhart's most suspenseful middle grade novel yet. A tale of misfits and outcasts, forced to survive in a dark and creepy island prison. I can't wait for its publication! ...more
Jan 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I had the opportunity to share a copy of Scar Island by Dan Gemeinhart with my BookRelays Twitter group. What an intense, exciting book! It is the story of Jonathan Grisby, a young man who has been sent to the Slabhenge Reformatory School for Troubled Boys. This institution is in a massive, albeit crumbling, complex on an island. The place is just awful and his sentence appears to be a long nightmare. But on the first day after his arrival, tragedy strikes and all of the grown-ups are gone. Sudd ...more
Abby Cooper
Jul 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Couldn't put it down! ...more
Cameron Chaney
Scar Island is a middle-grade contemporary/survival story written by Dan Gemeinhart. It follows Johnathan Grisby who is sent to Slabehenge Reformatory School for Troubled Boys. The school is an old lighthouse building that sits on its own small island in the middle of the sea, which reminds me very much of the lighthouse at the beginning of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.

We are unsure at first why Johnathan has been sent to this place. All we know is that he is very sad, has burn scars on
Lucky to get an ARC of this and read the whole thing in one sitting. A complete page turn about a reform school on an island that is taken over by the group of residents! Loved every page and every full paced moments that occurred throughout the entire story!
Leigh Anne
I won an ARC of Scar Island in a Twitter giveaway by the author. I was one lucky winner!

One thing I feel makes a great writer is when each one of their books has a different feel. This is what I have felt when I read all of Gemeinhart's books. Scar Island will reach a reader that might be different than The Honest Truth reader or Some Kind of Courage reader.

His ability to create a setting - and this is some setting - is amazing. I have used many of his passages as mentor texts for writing lesso
Jan 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wanted to finish this before midnight 2016, but fell about 75 pages short, so it's my first finish of the new year and my last book of 2016. Lord of the Flies with an interesting twist. I like it for parent read aloud - if for no other reason than the opportunity to talk about how your secret failure may be terrible, really terrible. But we are all hiding secrets we think will make us less appealing to others. It's a common theme in kids books. Worth the conversation time. And a page turning p ...more
Apr 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
The Reading Countess
I am an official fan of Dan Gemeinhart. Scar Island is my third read by him, and it's his third home run with me. He has an engaging way of grabbing you by the shirt collar and pushing you to read more, and more and more until...VOILA! You realized that you gulped the entire book in one sitting.

Scar Island is his darkest plot yet. Set on a remote island once used as an insane asylum, young boys who have been sent to Slabhenge Reformatory don't go willingly. They are court-ordered to wile their
Aug 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Dan writes another amazing book! I was lucky to receive an ARC to share with our #BookVoyage group and what an adventure Scar Island is!

Jonathan Grisby is sent to Slabhenge Reformatory School for Troubled Boys. It is a stone structure set in the middle of the ocean. It made me think of Alcatraz and was definitely more similar to a prison than a school. He joins other boys and a group of ruthless adults determined to teach the boys the errors of their ways while stripping them of any self worth t
Who cares if this book is for middle graders. It’s absolutely brilliant! Read it!
Rachel Harder
May 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
And a third reason why I love Dan Gemeinhart. I don't know how he manages to write a serious story about boys stranded on a creepy island and I still laughed through parts. Genius, once again. ...more
Dan Gemeinhart is kinda the man. I have only read this book of his, but from what I hear of his other books...Washington's got a rock-star.

To me, this book feels like contemporary Charles Dickens meets Lord of the Flies. Slabhenge Reformatory School is NOT a nice place to be. The adults are awful, there are literal torture devices, and food consumption is limited to gruel.

But then, all the mean mean adults die...and the boys are left to their own devices, and all hell breaks loose. This is a bo
Brenda Kahn
I have to say that this is one kids will probably enjoy more than adults. I tried reading it with my eyes and couldn't get into it. (Though I do appreciate that the author has written three very different books.) When I learned that MacLeod Andrews narrated the audio, I ordered it post-haste. He is one of my favorite narrators and I have to say he brought the book to life with his superlative narration. There are still plot holes that drive me crazy but Andrews' performance was pitch perfect. ...more
I really really enjoyed listening to this audiobook. My favorite character was Collin. His lisp is adorable. I found the characters very realistic and believable. Looking forward to more by this author.
Colin McCarthy
Oct 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved the book Scar Island! It was without a doubt the greatest book I have ever read. When I was looking for something in the library to read for a school report. I looked for about twenty minutes and couldn’t find anything. But then I saw a book called Scar Island. I didn’t think it was going to be good but I turned out to be wrong.

Scar Island was about a boy named Peter who is sent to a camp for criminals. While he’s there he finds out many secrets to the island. Scar Island was a great y
Sep 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is basically my warm up book, so the review isn't going to be as long as a review for other longer books. I feel like this book has a very interesting idea for a story. A bunch of kids stuck on a prison island, and suddenly all the grown-ups die. This book certainly has a Lord of the Flies feels to it, but it's far shorter and not everybody goes insane. ...more
Andrew Naylor
Sep 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a fun book to read. Started reading the paper book at first, then did the audio book. I would recommend the audiobook because the narrator is very good at the doing different voices of each character. Fun junior mystery book that was entertaining all throughout!
Michelle Glatt
May 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: survival
Part Lord of the Flies, part Animal Farm, this book is sure to hold readers' interest and spark discussion. ...more
Excellent middle grade book!!!!! Kind of like a modern day Lord of the Flies. Not exactly but very well done. Highly recommend.
Jayne  Downes
Apr 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s
A good thriller for intermediate age.Jonathan has been sent to a prison for boys called Slabhenge on Skull Island which is run by a cruel Admiral and his team. There is a great mystery element as Jonathan's story is uncovered. It reminds me of a less complex Lord of the Flies and Slabhenge gave me a steampunk vision. Liked the fact the chapters were not too long, the black highlighted pages and Jonathan's letters home added to the appeal. ...more
Jan 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When I read this book it made me feel like I was at the school this was new to me because I never really liked to read books but this one got me started to like to read books I wish more books can do this to me.
Goshen PL Childrens
Scar Island had the feel of a mashup of "Holes" meets "Lord of the Flies". A bunch of juvenile delinquents that are on an island and an accident leaves them without adult supervision. I loved Colin and his lisp, the only person that truly sees and understands Jonathan. Jonathan's struggle with guilt and hiding his physical and mental scars to deeply moving.

Great read for 4th grade and up.
Ms. Yingling
Oct 30, 2016 rated it liked it
29847473Gemeinhart, Dan. Scar Island.
January 3rd 2017 by Scholastic Press
E ARC from Edelweiss Above the Treeline

Jonathan arrives on Slabhenge Island, where there is a windswept reform school administered by evil, grasping, gnarled men. At roll call one morning, when the fifteen boys are made to say they are present and "content and well-cared for", all of the adults on the island are electrocuted and killed in a freak lightning accident. The boys are dumbstruck, but having been treated badly, ar
Mar 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I LOVELOVELOVE this book. I'm still wrapping my mind around it but it has elements of Mazerunner, Matilda, and Lord of the Flies and it was seriously everything. I loved the characters, the dark suspense, the setting, the librarian, and the letters home. All of it. It's mysteriousness makes it impossible to put down and the end of each chapter makes it so you have to read the next. Kids would love this and I absolutely could not put it down. ...more
Shaye Miller
Sep 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Second reading:

This one was a re-read that I did with my five children over the last three weeks. And I dare say I enjoyed it every more the second time. Jonathan Grisby is sent to Slabhenge Reformatory School for Troubled Boys for a crime we don't learn much about until later in the story. In a freak accident, all adults are stuck by lightning and the boys must navigate life, unexpectedly. It gets dark and scarier and it was honestly hard for me to stop reading it to the kids, every day. I love
3.5 stars

I think that I would have liked this more if I had read the. Ok instead of listening to it. Not that I didn't like the narrator, it's just that I listened while doing other tasks and therefore wasn't giving it my full attention.

There were a few lines in there that I want to go back to and add here bc they were great lines

Jonathan has been convicted of a crime and has been sent to a boy's reformatory for 20 months. It's on a remote island, it's only communication is from the daily mail
Linda Williams Jackson
Feb 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Because I loved this book so much, I wanted to take the time to write a really GOOOD review--a review that matched how the book made me feel. Then I realized I might never write the review, because it's hard to describe how the book made me feel.

From the very beginning I loved it. Then I loved every twist, every turn, every introduction of a new character. I loved the writing. I loved the setting. I loved the message. I loved the resolution and the hope in the ending.

SCAR ISLAND is a book that I
Karen & Gerard
I really enjoyed the characters in this book. It has good action and the end has a good twist. I liked this author's first two books better, The Honest Truth and Some Kind of Courage, but this one is not bad at all! (Gerard's review)

Scar Island by Dan Gemeinhart, my favorite children’s author, is about boys at Slabhenge Reformatory School for troubled boys located on an island and run with torture techniques. Jonathan is the new boy sentenced to 10 weeks which is longer than usual because of the
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