Monday, 17 August 2020

The Island That Didn't Exist by Joe Wilson

When twelve-year-old Rixon's great-uncle leaves him an island in his will, Rixon can't quite believe it. Things get even more confusing when the mysterious island can only be located on a very ancient map, and only then by using a big magnifying glass. 
Does the island actually exist? And if so, does it really belong to him? There's only one thing for it. Rixon is going to have to go there and find it for himself. 
And what he finds when he gets there might just hold the key to the future of the planet: four children hidden away from society with an altogether different set of values. But soon Rixon is fighting for his own life, left in a cave with a rising tide, floating out to sea on a leaky inflatable and fending off the attacks of a multimillionaire tech giant and his super yacht. Can Rixon keep the island's secrets? And will he even want to. . .?
This is a fantastic adventure story, with a perfectly pitched set of characters; each has their own trait, but they don't feel like one note characters at all. (With the exception of one, but that's the point of him.) Rixon himself is clever, brave and determined, but he also knows how to take help from others and how to get people to work together.

The story itself feels like it could be the start of a series, or it could be on its own; there's no lingering cliffhangers, but there's room for plenty more stories with these characters. I'd love to see what happens when the children are introduced to the world, and what innovations they could come up for the island. Given what they've already achieved, I think they could do some pretty surprising things!

This is a great read for a child looking for a more up to date story along the lines of the Famous Five. DO BE AWARE, though, that some seagulls are killed during the story.  

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