Described as a Lord of the Flies meets The Famous Five in this classic middle grade adventure story, Joe Wilson - a BBC journalist and now debut children's author - has surpassed all my expectations and written a truly outstanding and thrilling story, which kept me as much on the edge of my seat as it did glued to it.
When twelve-year-old Rixon's great-uncle leaves him a mysterious island in his will, Rixon can't quite believe it. More so when he realises that the island can only be located on a very ancient map and through a cleverly concealed curtain. But what secrets does the island harbour? And who are the curious, spear-throwing children that reside there?
When the island, and the future of the planet itself, is threatened by a corrupt, multimillionaire tech giant and his super yacht, it's up to Rixon, Rose, Faith, Russell and Thorn to protect their home and all its extraordinary secrets with it.
A riveting and thought-provoking read, The Island That Didn't Exist is, without a doubt, a summer must read! Perfectly paced and full of captivating cliff-hangers, action packed scenes, and wonderfully resilient characters, Joe Wilson expertly strips back the classic adventure story and brings to the forefront a timely narrative on the current climate crisis.
For more standout MG reads focused on climate change check out, Swimming Against the Storm by Jess Butterworth, The Wild Folk by Sylvia V. Linsteadt, and Song of the Dolphin Boy by Elizabeth Laird.
I was lucky enough to get the chance to interview Joe, where I find out why writing The Island That Didn't Exist took fifteen years and how long we have to wait until his next book. Read my interview here!