Saturday, September 24, 2016
Every Saturday, I host a feature called Kid Konnection -- a regular weekend feature about anything related to children's books. This week I'm going to share with you a middle grade book written by award winning and best-selling adult author.
A few years ago, I reviewed THE MIDWIFE OF HOPE RIVER by Patricia Harman. I really enjoyed this book and it was apparent that Ms. Harman, a midwife herself, truly understood the important of midwives. She has now taken her knowledge of midwifery as well as her writing talent to the middle grade crowd. Her new book, LOST ON HOPE ISLAND: THE AMAZING TALE OF THE LITTLE GOAT MIDWIVES, is an intriguing read that's perfect for those kids who are interested in adventure stories.
LOST ON HOPE ISLAND tells the story of Trillium and Jacob, two kids who find themselves alone on a deserted island after their family's boat capsizes. I say deserted but they do encounter a herd of little goats... and an abandoned house. Trillium, the narrator of the tale, is the older of the two; and she tries her best to provide food and shelter to her younger brother until their parents (or really anyone) finds them. Life certainly isn't easy for these kids, but they show an amazing amount of strength and hope!
Trillium is a fantastic character! She's smart and courageous and extremely resilient despite facing one problem after another. She develops an interesting relationship with the various goats on the island, and she even helps them during birthing season and when they get sick. I'm sure that young readers will find many things to admire in Trillium, and I'm willing to bet that they will also find a few of her traits in either themselves or their friends.
The book was filled with simple, black and white, illustrations by Trillium Stone (the narrator of the story); and I thought they were a nice addition to the book. They help bring the story to life... and give younger readers a little break from all of the words. They also highlighted Trillium's love of nature and art. Another thing I appreciated was that the author included a few text boxes with step-by-step instructions for things that Trillium "figured out" while living in the wild like How to Milk a Goat and How to Make a Tin Lantern.
The story was left rather open-ended, and the author did provide an Afterword with a few hints as to the future of the children. Suffice it to say, I suspect LOST ON HOPE ISLAND is only the first volume in new series of books; and I look forward to seeing what eventually happens to Trillium and Jacob.
THE GOATS OF HOPE ISLAND would certainly be an interesting book to discuss either at home or in the classroom. The story is definitely intriguing and brings up quite a few interesting dilemmas that the kids face. It also touches upon some serious issues like courage, birth, death, isolation, fear, diversity, nature/environment, and hope.
Overall, I think LOST ON HOPE ISLAND will definitely appeal to young readers who enjoy an "real" adventure story -- two kids surviving all alone out in the wild. It will also appeal to adults who are looking for a clean story with good messages to share with their kids.
Thanks to JKS Communications for providing a review copy of this book.
If you'd like to participate in Kid Konnection and share a post about anything related to children's books (picture, middle grade, or young adult) from the past week, please leave a comment as well as a link below with your name/blog name and the title of the book! Feel free to grab the little button too!