Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Dangerous Island

We've finished reading Baby Island, and have decided to continue the island/survival theme with our next read-aloud choice, Dangerous Island by Helen Mather-Smith Mindlin.

Once again, this is a book I read aloud to the older children years ago - when David was 4 years old and Marley was a toddler. It was read aloud to me and my classmates by a student-teacher when I was 8 and in the third grade. I enjoyed the story so much that I spent the next 30 years looking for it in libraries and bookstores all over the U.S. The internet and online booksellers finally made it possible for me to have a copy of the book and read it for myself for the first time - when I was 38. It was still a good story, and I didn't regret the time and money spent looking for it. Now we have three copies of it that we handle very carefully.

Dangerous Island is the story of three children - siblings Dorothy (9), and Frank (11) Warren, and Pug (11), their new friend. The Warren children and their mother have come from Philadelphia to Brigantine Island to spend their summer vacation. (Their father is to join them in a couple of weeks.)

Pug, Frank, and Dorothy build a raft, tie it to a pier, and play on it and in the water around it every day. One day they move the raft to a different location in order to fish. When the tide turns, it pulls their mooring loose, and the children are swept out to sea on their raft. They wash up on a small rocky island about 50 miles off the New Jersey coast, and the rest of the story is of their survival and rescue.

Mystery and hidden treasure are part of the plot, along with a tricky and dangerous rescue attempt - ultimately successful.

Anybody have an island/survival story suggestion that makes for a good read-aloud?

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I, too, read this book as a child and spent decades searching for it. I remembered the title but not the author. I almost gave up until I sent a message on the web describing the only character I remembered - Bay Prince. Someone recognized the character and emailed me with the author's name. I finally found it on eBay and read it again as an adult. It's still as enjoyable now as it was then. I won't part with my copy. Anyone know if the author is still living?

10:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was talking on the phone tonight with my 59 year old brother (I'm 48) and he mentioned loving this book as a kid. I, too, had read it multiple times as a kid, but had forgotten the title; we spent the next 15 minutes fondly recalling this great book. So I hit the internet, and found lots of other folks that apparently were left with that same impression from years ago! How wonderful to be reminded of Brigantine Island, the Bay Prince, and everything else after so long. I've ordered a copy from Amazon tonight...can't wait to share it with my young nieces and nephew -- I know they'll love it as much as I did.

8:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Im 61, when I was in the 3rd grade, our teacher read this book, Dangerous Island to us. I have often thought of it and the character Pug. Wow, I had no idea so many of you liked and remembered this book.

3:15 PM  
Blogger Berkeley Bernie said...

I remembered this favorite from my childhood as well. My childhood copy was given away with some other books to some poor Native American kids we encountered on a family trip through the Southwest.

I searched for it as an adult, and miraculously found it in a used bookstore, years before the internet made online searches possible. The difficulty in finding it was, as I recall, due to it being a Scholastic Book Club publication, and not distributed through normal channels.

8:08 PM  

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