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Joshua's Island (James Madison Series Book 1) Kindle Edition
Joshua is small for his age. Bullied relentlessly for years, all his friends have drifted away from him.
Eve is a pretty girl who has just entered the popular clique. The two could not be more different.
As they begin their final year of middle school, the unlikely pair find themselves partners in Science class. At first reluctant to work with him, Eve soon discovers hidden truths about not only Joshua but their school, and her world turns upside-down.
The two form a relationship that will teach them both the true meaning of friendship, loyalty, and love... a relationship that will end up changing not only their lives, but the complexion of their entire school.
Over 200 five-star reviews in Amazon and Goodreads.
I.A.N. AWARDS - BOOK OF THE YEAR
GOLD MEDAL WINNER - 2015 READER'S FAVORITE BOOK AWARDS
WINNER - 2015 STARGAZER LITERARY PRIZE
FINALIST - 2016 RONE AWARDS
FINALIST - 2015 WISHING SHELF BOOK AWARDS
FINALIST - 2015 DANTE ROSETTI AWARD
Praise from readers:
★★★★★ - "I highly recommend this book for middle schools and high schools alike. It was well-written with excellent dialogue. The point of views between the characters shift effortlessly, and I found myself eager to read Eve's point of view just as much as Joshua's, even though the story centered more on him. This was an excellent book."
★★★★★ - "Joshua’s Island really spoke to me and I recommend it to everyone. Bullying is an ongoing problem and the only way it can be addressed is head on, which I think this book expresses. Bullying is never something that should be ignored by the victim, or by others who know it’s going on. This book should be a must read in every classroom."
About the Author
- ASIN : B00R3KEKGU
- Publisher : Creativia; 2nd edition (December 15, 2014)
- Publication date : December 15, 2014
- Language : English
- File size : 2155 KB
- Simultaneous device usage : Unlimited
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 248 pages
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #12,026 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Top reviews from the United States
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The whole concept of the "Island" was fantastic--a safe refuge, at first lonely, and later inviting. The metaphor worked well for the isolation a bully victim feels, but also for the fact that it can feel like an oasis home if there's a friend with you.
The author does a great job of getting inside the young teens' heads to show their motivations for everything from enduring in silence to rejecting long-time friends. There were many touching moments where I felt myself close to tears as I ached for these kids. I would hope this book could inspire bullying victims to speak up, and those who see it happen to make a stand and help the outcast.
I wanted to give this more stars, but a few things irked me too much.
1) There was a lot of profanity. While I agree that kids swear, and the amount used in the story was probably indicative of realism, when I'm buying books for my middle schooler, I don't want that glamorized because I'm trying to teach her to strive for higher standards.
2) The amount of kissing and "we're in a serious relationship" stuff. They're 13. Again, maybe it's realistic about how kids feel and what they do, but I'm not one of those parents who wants my 13 year old to think that she *knows* what true love is because she read characters in a book who had it all figured out. While it's true that Joshua and Eve have a unique relationship, the young readers may not be able to distinguish what makes it so and why it is more than a hormonal crush. With teen promiscuity as commonplace as it is now, I don't think we need to encourage kids to think "serious relationship" at quite such a young age.
3) Related to this is another tenuous message. A boy who has been a timid outcast for three years transforms in as many weeks into a confident boy ready to take on the top bully all because he's loved by a girl. Okay, granted, love empowers us, and that message is valid. But I worry for the bully victims who don't have the most beautiful girl in the school fall for them. Will they find hope? Too much of the credit went to the "serious relationship". That source of strength needed to come from a more universally accessible source--a platonic friend, a mentor who help the kid believe in himself. In this sense, the subplot of Kelsey, a fifth-grader who decides to make a stand, actually felt like a better motivator.
These things might not bother someone else at all, so ignore and add a star if they don't. It's definitely worth reading, and I hope this book helps some kids confront bullying in their school.
Joshua's Island takes a poignant look at bullying and the effect it has on an entire social structure. No one is immune to bullying, whether it's directly or indirectly; we all feel the pain on a human level.
I have never read a YA novel, but the weird thing is: I love YA movies. This novel was introduced to me on Goodreads; at first I'd hesitated, and then I thought "what the heck". I'd been looking to branch out beyond my usual romance, paranormal, and historical novels, and I never thought in a million years I would love a YA novel where the characters were all under the age of eighteen... but I could not have been more wrong. Kudos to Patrick Hodges for making me step outside of my comfort zone.
The premise of the story deals with Joshua, a brave but scrawny eighth-grader who is a social outcast and who has faced relentless bullying almost daily for three years. Joshua, brave Joshua, is in his last year of middle school, and prays that high school will bring something new, something different. No more being bullied by the `Bully Squad.' No more being an outcast. No more sitting alone on his Island, watching the world pass him by.
Joshua forms an unlikely alliance with a lovely girl name Eve. Now, Eve isn't too fond of Joshua because, like other kids facing peer pressure, they tend to believe the gossip about someone as if it was gospel. Eve is on the fast track to popularity, her main goal being part of the `It Crowd'... but fate steps in, pushing Eve in Joshua's direction.
They bond because of their Science class partnership, and even more once Eve is ousted by Rhonda, the queen bee of the popular clique, because of said partnership. Together their friendship grows deeper and more meaningful, something a lot like First Love.
I highly recommend this book for middle schools and high schools alike. It was well-written with excellent dialogue. The point of views between the characters shift effortlessly, and I found myself eager to read Eve's point of view just as much as Joshua's, even though the story centered more on him.
This was an excellent book. Please let's put an end to Bullying and push to get Joshua's Island in school libraries.
Top reviews from other countries
The story tells of bullying through a lengthy period of education, and though created and based in the USA, it brought back many clear and disturbing memories to me. I empathised with the main character more than any other I’ve read in recent years. I went through similar bullying experiences in the UK, though sadly none of my free time was shared with a pretty girl.
To be clever, industrious and quiet as a young teen is not the way to impress many of your peers, and when more than one bully perform their gutless acts of mental or physical aggression it can destroy a life. My personal hell ended when in military basic training. The whole scene was set to start again, but with years of pent-up anger and pain, coupled with a recently gained grounding in boxing; I took control and my life opened up before me.
For too many youngsters this is not how things work out. If you’ve ever been a victim of bullying, or you’ve wondered how it affects a teenager - I implore you to read this story. You’ll benefit from the experience. If you are honest and know that you’ve practiced bullying at any stage of your life - I dare you to read this story.
Kudos to the author for a superb and enthralling tale.
I found it so easy to read and even though some parts were repeated from both Joshua’s and Eve’s point of views, it didn’t slow the story down too much. It was actually quite nice to see certain scenes affected both the characters differently.
I was instantly drawn to Joshua from the very beginning and I wanted to give him a big hug the whole way through and tell him that everything was going to be OK! No one deserves to go through what he went through and I am so glad the he got his happy ending.
I was very close to crying throughout the last third of the book. Patrick Hodges knows very well how to get into his readers’ heads and make them feel the emotions that his characters are feeling too.
The only reason I haven’t given it 5 stars is because I found that some parts were a bit ‘unreal’. I’ve never been to an American school, so I don’t know if they really are that different to UK schools, but in schools over here, the bullies don’t rule the school.
Rhonda seems to have the whole school under her spell and everyone does what she says. I accept that they are scared of her, but I don’t believe that absolutely no-one would stand up to her. But, saying this, it’s fiction, it doesn’t have to be real! I understand why Hodges wrote the story in this way. I think it needed to be exaggerated a little for people to truly understand the impact that bullying has on people. This is why I only docked half a star!
It is a heartwarming story of courage, love and strength. I just wish I could have been as strong as Joshua was when I was being bullied in school. This is a book that all young people should read, whether they are the victim, bully or simply an onlooker. It may just save a few people from utter despair.
I almost forgot Kelsey! That girl is incredible! I think you should read the book to find out what I mean ;)
If you are being bullied, please don't suffer in silence. Speak out. Get help
Bullying is unacceptable. If you see it happening, don't turn a blind eye. Do something about it.
This book shows the harrowing consequences of being bullied.
Joshua tries to deal with being bullied on his own. The bullying goes from bad to worse.
He meets Eve, who is paired up with him for science.
Eve makes friends with Joshua and realises that he's a good guy and that she shouldn't jugde someone based on rumours.
The pairs friendship blossoms. I love the way their characters develop. The both become strong and do their best to stand up to the bullies.
Another character Kelsey, is amazing. She plays a small but very relevant part in the book. She rocks!
I really felt for Joshua, when I was reading this book.
This is not just about bullying though, this is a story of first love and friendship. It was nice to reminisce those delicate feelings of first kisses and new relationships. This is also a heartwarming story of best friends supporting one another to triumph over the bullies. The book leaves the reader with a positive message about the importance of talking to an adult and not suffering in silence. I would definitely recommend this book and will be reading the sequel.
The author puts so much emotion into the narrative and dialogue, I get the feeling he was very close to this issue growing up. It is a realistic tale and a lot of it will bring back a lot of memories for some of the older readers, it may be worthwhile for Joshua’s Island to be added to other reading categories and not just remaining in YA.
Patrick Hodges discusses the social issues of bullying openly and honestly - together Joshie and Eve were strong enough to face the evil and sadistic Ronda and overcome the dramas that unfolded in the story. Together they became strong and overcame the bullying. From the beginning I was rooting for Joshua then for Eve too, they faced their demon. A book like this doing its rounds in a school would raise awareness to those at the receiving end and a message to the offenders who cause so much misery for a child.
As a whole the book is very well written and put together using a chapter for Joshie's POV then alternating to that of Eve's. It's a book that holds your attention from page one, not just because of the bullying issue but the simple fact Joshua's Island is a great story.