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Nowhere Island

"A sublime tale of trust, survival, friendship and human connection"

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£14.99 £13.49

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LoveReading4Kids Says

LoveReading4Kids Says

August 2023 Book of the Month

With its stellar storytelling, and unique, unforgettable characters, Tania Unsworth’s Nowhere Island is a fresh, thought-provoking survival-in-the-wild adventure. Both nuanced and immediate, Nowhere Island gets to the heart of human bonds in an arresting voice that speaks of, and to, young minds. It also transcends age boundaries, and really is a wonder for all ages.   

“Gil was five years old when his parents were drowned in a kayaking accident.” Now twelve, after spending “his whole life being taken to one place after another” in the foster care system, Gil decides to go somewhere all by himself for once.  

After hiding out in the trunk of a car, Gil’s bag is stolen by two brothers, Riley (11) and Grayson (13). Having fled their violent father, they now live on a wild area of land that’s protected from spying eyes by a motorway. Though the area is plainly visible from the road, no one sees them simply because no one looks. As such, “Nowhere Island” is the perfect hideout for all three runaways.  

Gil remarks that the brothers are like pirates, plundering what they can to survive, surrounded by the road rather than sea. And, in befriending the boys, Gil realises that the magic of telling stories doesn’t only provide personal pleasure; it also pleases other people. As a result, he starts to think that “there was a place for him in the world, after all.”  

But the boys aren’t alone on Nowhere Island. A girl the brothers have named Pez also lives there. After fleeing the Starborn survivalist community her parents moved to, she’s adept at wild living, but set on remaining true to her resolution to never speak to anyone, and to never form friendships. That way, no one can ever betray her again. But meeting Gil sees an unexpected shift in Pez — she wants to make him laugh again.  

Then, after the two camps begin to exchange gifts, with Pez also silently sharing her wisdom with the boys, the secrecy of Nowhere Island is spoiled and all four residents are forced to make tough decisions.  

Gripping, moving and teeming with tension, with every sentence perfectly crafted and layered with meaning, Nowhere Island is a beautiful, impactful book.

Joanne Owen

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