Island by Nicky Singer


Written by Nicky Singer
Illustrated by Chris Riddell

11+ readers   Books of the Month   9+ readers   UKLA 2017   
Download an extract Share this book

The Lovereading4Kids comment

Longlisted for the UKLA 2017 Book Award | One of our Books of the Year 2015 - December 2015 Book of the Month Island is a powerful and vivid new story from Nicky Singer, the prize-winning author of Feather Boy. London teenager Cameron is cast away on an uninhabited island in the Arctic with his scientist mother Pascale, who seems more interested in her research than him; leaving him to explore this alien tundra landscape and its otherworldly inhabitants. He meets Inuluk, an Inuit girl, accompanied by her grandmother Atka, and is plunged into their spirit world of polar bears, nature and dreams. Nicky Singer vividly captures the vulnerability and the swagger of a teenage boy outside his comfort zone, and contrasts this with the serene knowing of Inuluk as she tries to teach him about their habitat; under threat from global warming, and their lifestyle; where food, warmth and shelter are a luxury, not a guarantee. Island was originally commissioned as a play by the National Theatre in London and the book has wonderful illustrations by Children’s Laureate, Chris Riddell.

Win a Family Break to Salisbury!

Don’t miss out! Enter to win a family break to Salisbury!

Here at and we are delighted to be giving you a chance to win a wonderful family break. You could see yourself indulging in the finest food and slumbering comfortably into one of the grand rooms at The Red Lion Salisbury for two nights. The Red Lion Hotel is located in medieval city of Salisbury, which is home to all your favourite stores as well as independent shops, restaurants, cafes and parks and green spaces. Nearby is Stonehenge, Salisbury Plain and numerous sites of historic and archaeological interest.

There are many seasonal events in Salisbury, and you can find out what’s on here. You will also receive a family ticket to Sir Harold Hillier Gardens, the gardens are especially beautiful in the winter, with bold coloured stems, scents, and fabulous foliage, you can be sure to be impressed. For the children there is also a play park, and you can stop off in the Victorian tea room to warm up and treat yourself to a traditional cream tea.

To have a chance of winning this fantastic prize, click the button below. Please note that this draw is open only for UK residents and is free to enter, multiple entries from the same email address will only be counted once. Entries close 31st January 2018.

Good luck!

Terms and Conditions

Red Lion: Two night stay includes breakfast for two adults and up to two children sharing a family room. Subject to availability and cannot be exchanged or redeemed for cash value. Not to be used in combination with any other offer. Valid until 1st Dec 2018 and excludes bank holidays.

Sir Harold Hillier Gardens: Valid for day entry, Not to be used for special events or group entry. Voucher is not transferable or refundable, no Cash Value. Ticket must be redeemed on entry. Valid until 31 Dec 2018. Gardens open daily from 10am – closed Christmas Day and Boxing Day. Prize admits 2 adults and accompanying children Under 17 FREE to Sir Harold Hillier Gardens.

Enter prize draw Draw closes: 31/01/2018


Island by Nicky Singer

No one’s an island, Cameron. You, your parents, London, Qikiqtaruk, the whales, the guillemots, the living, the dead. We’re all connected. If one moves we all move.

Urban teenager Cameron arrives on an uninhabited arctic island. He is prepared for ice and storms and (stripped of his smart technology) possibly boredom. He is not prepared for 24 hour daylight and erupting graves. At first Cameron believes the explanations of his research scientist mother. But – as the island reveals itself to him – he begins to see (and hear) things which push him towards a very different reality. One of them is an Inuit girl. The other is a large white bear.

As Nicky says "Island started life as a play - a special commission by the National Theatre. The story was sparked by a chance remark of a friend of mine. She'd visited a real island - the Arctic island of Herschel, off the coast of the Yukon, Canada. You have to be careful where you tread there, she told me, becaused the graves on the island are opening. They're doing what, exactly?! It's true, she said. For 2000 years the local people buried their dead straight into the permafrost soil. But now, because of global warming, that ice is melting. The graves are throwing up the bones of the dead.

I picked up my notebook...and did some reseach. I discovered that the island has no bedrock so, if the melting continues then, in time, the entire island will simply just wash away, slip into the sea. Cease to exist. So suddenly the island seemed to me to be a kind of metaphor for what happens when we don't pay attention, whe we forget how interconnected we all are. East. West. But also North, South. I began to imagine a story, a teenage boy, Cameron, arrogant, blundering, plugged into his iPhone, his iPod, not paying attention. Rather like us. And a local girl, Inuluk, knowing that she has just one chance to get him to pay attention. And if she fails, she and her people and her island and all the creatures on it will die. A story of love and fear and dreams and ice-bears...

And then...I totally loved making the play and working with the incredibly creative team but after the show in the Cottesloe Theatre and the 40 London schools tour, it was all over. I couldn't believe it. I'm a novelist. I'm used to leaving a trace. A book. A real thing that floats about when I'm not there.

But Island was gone. The play slipping away much as the island might do one day. About a year passed. And then there was a sudden flurry of newspaper articles and the melting ice-caps. Five people rang me up in the same week - what happened to Island? they asked. Well nothing, it's gone. Slipped away. Then write it as a novel they said! Young people are our future. They must have a chance to engage with what's going on in the artic. Do it. Do it now! So I have. And I've loved Cameron and Inuluk and the Ice-bear all over again. I hope you might too."

Chris Riddell loved the story and the message of Island and agreed to illustrate it, with his royalties going to Greenpeace.

A photo of Nicky and her book with Aurora, Greenpeace's huge animatronic polar bear, and below, a video inside the bear with a Greenpeace activist – Chris – driving and Nicky pushing one of Aurora’s ‘roar’ buttons. Yes – she opens her mouth and roars!


“Compelling, moving drama” The Independent

"Just finished reading your beautiful text and am now rather in love with Island" Chris Riddell

About the Author

Nicky Singer

Nicky Singer has written four novels for adults, two books of non-fiction and six works for young people. Her first children’s novel Feather Boy won the Blue Peter ‘Book of the Year’ Award, was adapted for TV (winning a BAFTA for Best Children’s Drama) and then commissioned by the National Theatre’s Shell Connections series as a musical with lyrics by Don Black and music by Debbie Wiseman. In 2010 Nicky was asked by Glyndebourne to adapt her novel Knight Crew (a re-telling of the King Arthur legend set in contemporary gangland) for an opera with music by Julian Philips. 2012 saw both the publication of The Flask (‘a nourishing and uplifting story, with big themes and a big heart,’ The Guardian) and the premiere of her play Island (about ice-bears and the nature of reality) at the National Theatre. She has just published Island as a novel.

Nicky Singer lives in Brighton with her husband, their two sons and a daughter.

More books by this author

Loading similar books...

Other Formats

Book Info


272 pages


Nicky Singer
More books by Nicky Singer

Author's Website


Caboodle Books Limited

Publication date

28th October 2015




It’s really exciting to read and review new books, thrilling to see my reviews online and I love finding the final published copies on sale.

Sam Harper – age 10

Lovereading4kids is great, we get books really early never late. We love to read and review, and think you would like it too. The excitement

Jasmine Harris-Hart, age 12

I love ‘LoveReading 4 kids’ because they let you read and learn things you’d never dreamed of learning before.

Emily Horncastle – age 11

I love Lovereading as it provides an honest opinion and showcases a range of fiction. Suited to both parents & kids alike, it’s a must-use.

Georgie Rowe – age 16

I have told all my friends, family & teachers to see for themselves just how great the site is. Without fail, they are hugely impressed.

Alexander Boxall – age 11

It’s so easy to find the right book for your child. Such an easy-to-use, yet in-depth website. 100% reliable.

Pippa, Jack, Liam & Matthew Wils

I am so pleased to have signed my kids up as they are reading a much wider range of books and even choosing books out of their comfort zone.

Angela East

It has introduced my children to books we hadn’t come across before. Real children’s reviews gives a great insight into what others think to

Lorraine Woods

Lovereading 4 schools