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The Island Mass Market Paperback – April 1, 1990

3.8 out of 5 stars 53 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The island is in the middle of a small lake in northern Wisconsin. It is uninhabited until the summer Wilstet, who is 15, arrives. Wil is at first drawn by the simplicity of the place, but as his concentration sharpens the island unfolds its matrix of life and death, mirroring the unfolding layers of Wil's self-consciousness. He fills notebooks with watercolors and writes essays about what he sees, feels, remembers and observes within. He decides to stay, Thoreau-like, supported by his new friend Susan, even though the worldanxious parents, town bullies, and a curious pressoccasionally intrudes. His serenity finally becomes fascinating. This could have been another back-to-nature story, but Newbery Honor writer Paulsen tells Wil's inner journey with a confident lyricism that duplicates Wil's emotional qualities. The somewhat forced plot elements are secondary to the author's purposehis spareness, repetition and use of rhythm gives his language intensity while holding out to readers the promise of all-too-elusive clarity. Ages 11-14.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Grade 9-12 Fifteen-year-old Wil Neuton is forced to leave Madison for the upper reaches of Wisconsin when his ne'er-do-well father takes a position with the state highway department. Wil leaves behind the security of old friends and old crushes. In the course of adjusting to his new environment, he discovers an uninhabited island sitting in the middle of Sucker Lake. It is on this island that Wil chooses to emulate ``The Thinker'' by Rodin and learn more about himself. In this strangely different coming-of-age novel, Paulsen is not clear enough in leading readers down the path of humor. And a joke is not a successful joke if it is on the reader rather than a shared adventure. Therefore, what might have been a funny take-off on adolescent angst does not quite work. There are hints along the wayfor example, the lake's name and Emil Aucht, the tobacco-spitting handy man. But the plausible does not become implausible enough until late in the novel. By then readers have something in common with the name of the lake ``on which the island lay.'' Therese Bigelow, Hampton Public Library, Va.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 1050L (What's this?)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Laurel Leaf (April 1, 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0440206324
  • ISBN-13: 978-0440206323
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.6 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,528,919 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Aaron Dolezal P. 3
Amazon.Com Response
If you like a book that is chock full of imagery and a plot that slowly develops throughout the story. Then, The Island by Gary Paulsen published in 1986 is for you. Every single one of Paulsen's books is amazing and the way he writes just brings you right into the story and makes you a part of it. The Island is widely available just about at any bookstore. I recommend picking it up! In addition, Paulsen does something special in this book with the main character Will Neuton. At the beginning of each chapter, he includes quotes from Wil Neuton that foreshadow the oncoming of the chapter or reflect on things back in his hometown. The quotes seem to further the story and add more meaning and depth to it.
The genre of the book is a mixed bag of adventure, comedy, and a bit of romance thrown in there. When, Will meets a local girl from the area and as the story goes on. They fall in love but a wrench is thrown into it when Will finds the island but, I do not want to give too much away so I will stop there!
I've noticed in all of Paulsen's books he likes to have a slow moving plot they slowly develops with each chapter, ending with a big payoff at the end of the book. That style I have come to love in Paulsen's books. This helps to keep the reader interested throughout the book. The Island in three sentences eh? Well, it starts with Will Neuton and his parents living in Colorado. Then, unexpectedly his dad comes home and says they have to move to Wisconsin. Will objects but it happens anyway. Then, one day Will stumbles onto the Island and he is drawn to it throughout the book but his parents think he is becoming crazy.
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A Kid's Review on May 4, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The boy goes out to a small island almost directly in the center of a lake by his new home where he doesn't have any friends yet.While he is out there he draws and paints.But then a girl comes, and he becomes friends with her.Then back in civilization,people find out about him being by himself on an island,and news reporters come and everything changes.

This book lets you get into all of the boy's emotions and everything he thinks.He experiences new things and learns new things about himself and life.
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By A Customer on September 5, 1999
Format: Hardcover
The Island, is mainly about 15 yr. old Wil's observations on the island. Wil's family, consisting of him and his parents move from Wisconsin to Minnesota because of his father's job. Wil goes out biking 1 morning which is when he first discovers the island, and 1 of his only friends in Munnesota, Susan. The book follows with Wil continuly going to the island and seeing Susan. This book is kind of like a story in a story because even thoug it was written by Gary Paulsen, there are little paragraphs at the beginning of each chapter that are supposedly written by Wil, also as he starts spending more time on the island, he writes storys about things that he sees, and that can get kind of boring. All in all this book has many insights on nature, but lacks the excitment that books like Hatchet, and The River have.
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A Kid's Review on May 30, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
IMAGINE HAVING A PLACE WHERE YOU CAN RELAX AND GET OUT OF TROUBLE. THIS HAPPENED TO A FIFTEEN-YEAR-OLD BOY, WIL. HIS FATHER WORKS FOR THE HIGHWAY DEPARTMENT AND THE COMPANY OFFERED A NEW JOB OUTSIDE OF THE CITY. HE ACCEPTS IT. ONE DAY WIL WAS RIDING ON HIS BICYCLE WHEN HE SAW A ISLAND THAT WAS LIKE A MAGNET TRYING TO ATTRACT HIM TO IT. HE FINALLY GOES TO THE ISLAND HE RELAXES, PAINTS, AND WRITE ABOUT NATURE THE MOVEMENTS OF THE ANIMALS AND FILLINGS.
IM A GARY PAULSEN FAN BUT I THINK THAT THIS IS NOT ONE OF HIS BEST WRITTEN BOOKS. I SPECIALLY RECOMMEND THIS BOOK FOR PEOPLE WHO LIKE NATURE AND THE POWERFUL AND COLORFUL, PAULSEN WRITING.
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Format: Paperback
THE ISLAND is one of Gary's more philosophical books. Although I also think it has some of his funniest material-- second perhaps only to that of "Notes from the Dog". But in any case, readers of this review should take note that there is not much in the way of adventure in this book. Which is to say that it belongs on the Young Adult shelves and not those in the Juvie section.

The story is about Wil, Paulsen's usual young protagonist type. He is forced to move to a new community 'out in the sticks'. That move sets things rolling, so that when Wil discovers the small island not far from his new home, he decides to explore it. And more than that, to study it with such an intensity that he discovers not only facts about herons and frogs and the environment, but about himself.

**Unusual for Paulsen, THE ISLAND contains a little romance, which thought Gary pulled off nicely.

Personally::: I really liked this book. It's got some of the best writing I've seen come from Mr. Paulsen. And I loved the laughs he provided at the beginning as well as the romance. Despite my having enjoyed it though, I know enough about younger readers to give a warning that this isn't the same sort of 'light read' that the Brian books are--Hatchet, Brian's Winter....

So pick it up when you're in the mood for something a little more thoughtful.

mini-review
(Pam T~ booksforkids-reviews)
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