The Sands of Shark Island  by Alexander Mccall Smith

The Sands of Shark Island

Written by Alexander Mccall Smith
Illustrated by Iain McIntosh
Part of the The School Ship Tobermory Series Series

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The Lovereading4Kids comment

Julia Eccleshare's Pick of the Month August 2016 Alexander McCall Smith gives the boarding school story a refreshing nautical makeover in this second dashing adventure for twins Ben and Fee. The twins attend School Ship Tobermory, a boarding school on a boat in Tobermory harbour. Having uncovered a hidden secret on another boat, the Albatross, on their arrival at the school, the twins are looking forward to enjoying some more relaxed school days. But the everyday school routine is soon disrupted and the twins and their school friends are off on another adventure involving present-day pirates and an island in the Caribbean. A lively adventure with an unusual setting.~ Julia Eccleshare

Julia Eccleshare's Picks of the Month for August 2016

The Other Alice by Michelle Harrison

Pugly Solves a Crime by Pamela Butchart

Good Night, Everyone by Chris Haughton

Dotty Detective and the Great Pawprint Puzzle by Clara Vulliamy

The Sands of Shark Island by Alexander McCall Smith

Return by Aaron Becker

Super Gran by Forrest Wilson

Oi Dog! by Kes and Claire Gray

Reader Reviews

Some of our Lovereading4kids Reader Review Panel were lucky enough to read and review School Ship Tobermory, the first in this series. You can read their full reviews by clicking here.

  • Daniel Bisland age 8 & Alexander Bisland age 10 - 'We think you should CAST OFF AND SET SAIL ON THE TOBERMORY! This book was slow to start but had an exciting finish and we enjoyed it.'
  • Emily Yates, age 9 - 'The most fun, informative book I have ever read!'
  • Tomasz Hawryszczuk, age 10 - 'Lots of adventure contained in this book...I can't wait for the next book in this series.'
  • Alex Hall, age 9 - 'Ben and Fee both go to the School Ship Tobermory to learn to be sailors...I liked this book because of the descriptions which made me smile and made me use my imagination.'
  • Elliot Bateman age 7 - The School Ship Tobermory was easy to read but not much happens for ages so I got fed up.'
  • Edward Macklin, age 10 - 'School Ship Tobermory is an incredible book where Fee and Ben are joining the Tobermory and everything is great-except for Hardtack, Shark and Flubber, the school is sheer perfection and deserves to win a gold medal.'
  • Emily Golding, age 8 - 'I enjoyed this book because of the excitement, the joy, the fear and most of all the way the author worded it perfectly and the illustrations were also perfect.'
  • Erica Motoc, age 9 - 'I very much enjoyed reading School Ship Tobermory...The setting attracts your imagination and is another reason why it makes you want to be a part of the book.'
  • Beatrice Whithear, age 8 - 'I really loved reading the School Ship Tobermory, I was a bit sad when I finished it and want to read it again already.'


The Sands of Shark Island by Alexander Mccall Smith

After successfully thwarting a dastardly plan to steal rare marine animals from the sea around the Scottish island of Mull, Ben and Fee MacTavish feel they can relax and continue learning all about nautical life on board School Ship Tobermory. But it's not long before their everyday routine is interrupted by an extraordinary event. Ben, Fee, their fellow students and the crew of the Tobermory find themselves embroiled in another adventure that leads them thousands of miles from Mull to a small island in the Caribbean, where they learn extraordinary details about Captain Macbeth's past and come face to face with modern-day pirates.


'There must be something about taking to the high seas, and writing for children, that has brought Alexander McCall Smith back to his best. The book bounces along charmingly' - Press and Journal, Book of the Week'

About the Author

Alexander Mccall Smith

Alexander McCall Smith has written more than fifty books, including specialist academic titles, short story collections, and a number of immensely popular children's books. But he is best known for his internationally acclaimed No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series, published in the US in 2002 and 2003. The first installment, The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, received two Booker Judge's Special Recommendations upon its U.K. publication in 1998, and in 2003 received The Saga Wit Award (commonly known as the "silver Booker" for authors over the age of 50). The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series now numbers a total of five books (he is working on the sixth) and has been optioned for feature film. The series has become an international bestseller, with more than 3.5 million copies in print in the U.S. alone.

McCall Smith was born in Zimbabwe (formerly called Southern Rhodesia) and was educated there and in Scotland. He became a law professor in Scotland, and it was in this role that he first returned to Africa to work in Botswana, where he helped to set up a new law school at the University of Botswana. He was for many years Professor of Medical Law at the University of Edinburgh, and a visiting professor at a number of other universities elsewhere, including ones in Italy and the United States (where he has twice been visiting professor at SMU Law School in Dallas, Texas).

In addition to his university work, he was for four years the vice-chairman of the Human Genetics Commission of the UK, the chairman of the British Medical Journal Ethics Committee, and a member of the International Bioethics Commission of UNESCO.

Alexander McCall Smith currently lives in Edinburgh with his wife Elizabeth (an Edinburgh doctor), their two daughters Lucy and Emily, and their cat Gordon. His hobbies include playing wind instruments, and he is the co-founder of an amateur orchestra called "The Really Terrible Orchestra" in which he plays the bassoon and his wife plays the flute.

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Book Info


240 pages


Alexander Mccall Smith
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Birlinn Ltd an imprint of Birlinn General

Publication date

4th August 2016




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