The Cannibals

Iain Lawrence, Author . Delacorte $15.95 (230p) ISBN 978-0-385-73088-4

Beginning where Lawrence's The Convicts left off, this dark sequel continues the saga of Tom Tin, a 19th-century British lad, who was mistaken for his criminal twin and unjustly imprisoned. As the novel opens he is still on the convict ship (captained by his father, who had been sentenced to debtor's prison) headed to the penal colonies in Australia. During a fierce storm, Tom and six other prisoners abandon ship and steal its longboat. Their boat crashes onto an island inhabited by a mysterious Mr. Mullock, who claims to be a lord but looks more like a castaway, and whom Tom thinks might be a murderer. The tensions established among the boys in the first book add drama to the events here. After making repairs on the boat, the boys and Mr. Mullock, cast off just in time to avoid a tribe of headhunters aimed for the island. Tom and his crew (which dwindles in number as the novel progresses) engage in a game of cat and mouse, island-hopping to stay one step ahead of the savages. Although not quite as alluring or insightful as its prequel, this book still offers a Robert Louis Stevenson brand of excitement that will draw fans of exotic adventure tales. The book's open ending will leave readers pondering the fates of the main characters and anticipating another installment of Tom's adventures. Ages 12-14. (Nov.)

Reviewed on: 10/24/2005
Release date: 11/01/2005
Genre: Children's
Prebound-Glued - 230 pages - 978-1-4178-1982-9
Open Ebook - 130 pages - 978-0-307-51666-4
Mass Market Paperbound - 240 pages - 978-0-440-41933-4
Hardcover - 230 pages - 978-0-385-90110-9
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