Journey to Excitement
It is the last day of school in Barnstable, Massachusetts. Katey and Will are embarking on a long-awaited boating trip with their Uncle Hughie. They’ll be cruising on their uncle’s new boat to Green Cave Island in Cape Cod Bay.
Instead, when a storm abruptly interrupts their adventure and their uncle vanishes at sea, Katey and Will are terrified. They end up on a pirate ship with a nefarious whale hunter, befriending the captain’s orphaned nephew and the ship’s cook. Together, this foursome flees from the ship. As they struggle to find their way home, they take a heart-wrenching (yet miraculous) journey to magical Whale Island, a place with people, animals, and sea creatures unlike any other.
In Karen Bonnet’s Whale Island and the Mysterious Bones, you will embark on a voyage so exciting you won’t want to put the book down. If you’re an adventure-seeking reader who enjoys a good twist of emotion and imagination, this book is for you. As you travel through the story, you’ll experience Katey and Will’s emotional and physical pain as they realize that their uncle has vanished, leaving them lost at sea. I found myself on the edge of my seat, waiting to see what happens next when the siblings encounter the pirates.
This book features a miraculous storyline of joy that quickly veers to sadness, fear, and worry. The author draws the reader in as Katey and Will face a challenge so fierce that they nearly don’t make it home alive.
I would encourage readers from ages eight to twelve to read this book. Bonnet constructs a very good balance of emotion and physical adventure, with just a little bit of violence. This hopping back and forth from genre to genre kept me highly enthralled.
Early one evening, just as the last of the sun’s rays disappeared behind the horizon, Will pulled out the odd-shaped silver whistle. It was one of those balmy summer nights with a light breeze blowing, pushing strands of Katey’s hair into her face. She had finished her kitchen duties and was the only other person on the top deck. Will put the small object into his mouth and blew into it. The whistle’s magical sound beckoned to the dolphins. As if held captive by a beautiful song, a few dolphins surfaced, bobbing their silver-gray heads above the water, mischievous grins on their faces. “Look, Will, they seem to be waiting for something,” Katey exclaimed. “But I wonder what it is,” she said, puzzled. Will was certain they would soon discover the whistle’s secret. He could feel it in his bones.
“He adjusted his eyes to the eerie darkness. Quietly, he searched the back of the door for the key and spied it in the usual spot. He removed the key from the hook, his hands shaking, and as he did, the key slipped from his grip, landing with a loud clunk to the floor. Oh, no, thought Bartholomew, as he instinctively dove down and rolled under the desk. The key opened the secret drawer in Sharkley’s desk. Bartholomew was sure that drawer held the map of Whale Island. A movement from Sharkley’s bed made Bartholomew’s heart leap. “Who’s there?” Sharkley asked in the darkness. Bartholomew froze in place under the desk. His mind was racing, wondering what Sharkley would do if he found him. His heart jumping crazily, he waited to hear the squeak of the bed and Sharkley’s menacing figure loom above him. He tried to gather his thoughts and think of ways he could escape from Sharkley, in case he caught him. Now, what? Fear had turned his limbs into stone…”
By Sam Landa