Wendy Orr, Author, Kerry Millard, Illustrator NIM'S ISLANDWendy Orr

Orr (Peeling the Onion) blithely throws credibility to the wind and inventively tweaks coincidence to create a fantasy tale as welcome as a breath of fresh tropical air. Ever since her mother died when Nim was a baby, the girl and Jack, her scientist father, have lived on a remote island. When Jack sails off on a three-day trip to collect plankton, Nim stays behind with her three best friends: a sea lion, a marine iguana and a green sea turtle. But a storm disables Jack's boat, and Nim remains alone for a full two weeks, in contact with her father only through notes delivered by a frigate bird. As the author describes the girl's daily routine of foraging for food, doing chores and playing with her pals, she neatly slips into her narrative slivers of information about the tropical habitat (e.g., Chica the sea turtle returns each year to lay her eggs on Nim's island, where Chica was hatched). A story within a story emerges as Nim strikes up an e-mail correspondence with an author who begins writing an adventure novel—set on an island that looks exactly like Nim's. With ample doses of suspense and comedy, and a pleasingly sappy happily-ever-after ending, the tale portrays the improbable so cleverly that readers will want to believe everything about the likable Nim and her idyllic isle. Pen-and-ink drawings that resemble Quentin Blake's bring these enchanting characters and setting to life. Ages 9-12. (Mar.)

Reviewed on: 02/19/2001
Release date: 03/01/2001
Genre: Children's
Paperback - 125 pages - 978-0-385-73606-0
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Prebound-Glued - 125 pages - 978-1-4178-1829-7
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Library Binding - 128 pages - 978-0-375-91123-1
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