I waited to begin Orphan Island until I knew I could spend the whole day with it, because I suspected once I dove in I wasn't going to surface until the last page--and I was right. But days later I find myself drifting back to the island and its denizens again and again. Orphan Island is that kind of place and that kind of book. The kid in me was carried away by the wildness and mystery and adventure even as the parent in me ached with the bittersweet and sometimes brutal truths underpinning it all.— Kate
A National Book Award Longlist title!
"A wondrous book, wise and wild and deeply true." —Kelly Barnhill, Newbery Medal-winning author of The Girl Who Drank the Moon
"This is one of those books that haunts you long after you read it. Thought-provoking and magical." —Rick Riordan, author of the Percy Jackson series
In the tradition of modern-day classics like Sara Pennypacker's Pax and Lois Lowry's The Giver comes a deep, compelling, heartbreaking, and completely one-of-a-kind novel about nine children who live on a mysterious island.
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 one young child to join them—and taking the eldest one away, never to be seen again.
Today’s Changing is no different. The boat arrives, taking away Jinny’s best friend, Deen, replacing him with a new little girl named Ess, and leaving Jinny as the new Elder. Jinny knows her responsibility now—to teach Ess everything she needs to know about the island, to keep things as they’ve always been.
But will she be ready for the inevitable day when the boat will come back—and take her away forever from the only home she’s known?
"A unique and compelling story about nine children who live with no adults on a mysterious island. Anyone who has ever been scared of leaving their family will love this book" (from the Brightly.com review, which named Orphan Island a best book of 2017).
About the Author
Laurel Snyder is the author of picture books and novels for children, including National Book Award nominee Orphan Island and the Theodor Seuss Geisel Award winner Charlie & Mouse. A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, she currently teaches in Hamline University’s MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults program. She lives in Atlanta with her family and can be found online at www.laurelsnyder.com.
★ “Through the precocious Jinny, Snyder delivers a contemplative commentary on the transition from childhood to adolescence, and from ignorance to awareness.”
— Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Laurel Snyder has written a story that curls around the heart and pulls in tight—a meditation on the power and wisdom and closeness and sorrow of childhood. A wondrous book, wise and wild and deeply true. I loved every second of it.”
— Kelly Barnhill, Newbery Medal-winning author of The Girl Who Drank the Moon
“An elegant and thoughtful meditation on the joys and sorrows of growing up, with lyrical prose, characters that feel as alive as your dearest friends, and a vivid setting sure to enchant young readers. A work of extraordinary heart.”
— Claire Legrand, author of Some Kind of Happiness
“A visionary, poignant, astonishingly lovely fable of childhood and change. This is a book to lose yourself in, and to never forget.”
— Anne Ursu, author of The Real Boy
“Orphan Island is a masterpiece—both timeless and immediate. Snyder’s book, like the island within it, contains all of the joys, wonders, and terrors of childhood. Every young reader needs this book; every grown reader needs it even more.”
— Jonathan Auxier, New York Times bestselling author of The Night Gardener
This charming, engrossing tale set in a vividly realized world is expertly paced and will appeal to fans of wilderness adventure stories and character-driven relationship novels alike.
— Kirkus Reviews