#MGlit Review: Orphan Island

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Every so often I find a #mglitbook that just gives me #allthefeels This is my most recent one!

ORPHAN ISLAND is a beautiful tale of friendship, independence, and coming of age. Even bough it's been months since I've finished it, I'm still reeling about the the ending!

Everything on the island is perfect. The sun, wind, water, and island itself seem to protect the nine children that inhabit it. Not much changes on the island, except one day every year a boat appears in the mist bringing a new child to join the children, while taking the eldest one away never to be seen again.
This year's changing isn't any different. And with new, little Ess, Jinny is now the Elder, the responsibility of the young one belonging to her. Jinny must show her everything she needs to know, so that the island and its routines stay the same.
But will Jinny be ready for the day the boat comes back, taking her from the only home she's ever known?

I came into this story with high hope, having heard so much about it at the beginning of the year via teacher circles and reader circles on Twitter. There was even mentions of it being a contender for #mocknewbery surrounding it!

And friends, this read did not disappoint! But truly, I still don't know what to make of this story.
It IS a beautiful tale of coming-of-age and a unique look at how a child grows, without the realm of adults to teach her. I was fascinated by the growth and thought processes of the characters, while also being transported back into my own childhood.

But the ending is so---not what I expected. To keep this free of spoilers, I can only say that because I am no longer a child, the ending wasn't for me. This is a story truly written for children--for them to find themselves in the pages. Their questions and struggles--their hopes and dreams. The ending will speak to any young reader who still lives innocently and unchanged by our world.Who's life is inspired by imagination and dreaming. And though I often hope my own life is that way, because I am grown, I will never read ORPHAN ISLAND the true way it's meant to be read.

However, I loved every bit of his beautifully written and imaginative tale.
Highly recommended for dreamers, those caught in the in-between, and anyone who enjoys magical realism.


📚 Ages 8-12
📚 Coming of age for tweens
📚 Magical realism