Nim’s Island

by Wendy Orr/Illustrated by Kerry Millard
ages: 8-10
First sentence: “In a palm tree, on an island, in the middle of the wide blue sea, was a girl.”

I should, in the interest of full disclosure, admit that I picked this book up (which C bought at a book fair a while ago) only because I had stuck the movie on our Netflix queue, and it came last Friday. I decided, though, to be totally and completely fair to the book, to read it before I watched the movie. (The movie end will make it into a book-to-movie Friday soon.)

The plot is really quite simple: Nim and her father live on an undiscovered tropical island. They moved there after the disappearance of Nim’s mother (she was investigating the insides of a live whale’s stomach and a huge Troppo Tours boat came by scaring the whale, which dove into the ocean, taking Nim’s mother with it). They are perfectly happy, until one day when Nim’s father takes off on a boat to research plankton. Nim’s left alone on the island, supposedly for three days and three nights. She reads an adventure book by Alex Rover, and through some weird coincidences, she begins an email correspondence with the author. One thing after another happens to Nim’s dad, who is left stranded on a boat in the ocean, and it’s up to Nim (and, eventually, Alex) to survive on her own, figure out a way to keep the Troppo Tours boat from discovering the island, and get her dad back.

Okay, maybe that wasn’t so simple.

The book, however, is a delightful little read. I loved Nim’s resourcefulness and her level-headedness as a character. She was all about figuring out how to get things done on her own. And Alex was a character in and of herself; she’s stuck in the apartment, writing adventure novels and yet afraid to go outside. It’s only her increasing concern for Nim that propels her out, and even then, she’s more of a comic side character than an adult who actually accomplishes anything. 🙂 But my favorite thigns about the book were the use of similies — “fast like Fred (he’s an iguana) going after a coconut” is one that comes to mind — and the animals. None of them talked, yet each of them had personalities. There was Fred, the iguana; Selkie, the sea lion with mothering instincts; and Chica the sea turtle who saves the day. It’s all very amusing and quite fun.

In the end, it was an enjoyable way to spend a couple hours on a gloomy afternoon.

5 thoughts on “Nim’s Island

  1. Sounds like a really cute book. I miss out on these because my two sons are 14 and 17. I love reading your reviews on the children’s books, makes me nostalgic.


  2. was nims island fiction or nonfiction and i loved the book nims island i even have to write a book report on it for school so please respond i need it for school thanks os much again please reply


  3. nim’s island is a wonderful book its a tiny chapter book easy to read and i just think nim is the most bravest little girl ever and the movie and the book arent like at all the book is way better i think and how is the second nim book?


  4. Young girl living alone on an island with no parental supervision but doesn’t get into trouble or taken away, let’s see… non-fiction!!

    Seriously, you shouldn’t ask people online to do your homework for you, it’s not cool.


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