Shark Island by David Miller

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Shark Island by David Miller

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Category: Confident Readers
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: Brilliant, old-fashioned (in the best possible sense) adventure that will have tweens reading under the bed clothes to find out what happens. Definitely recommended.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 352 Date: May 2009
Publisher: OUP
ISBN: 978-0192729019

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Hanna and Ned are in heaven when their parents arrange to take them on a dream holiday to Kaitan – that's Shark Island, so called because it looks like a shark's fin sticking out of the water. Hanna, particularly, has always wanted to go there ever since her mother told her that it was where she was conceived. They're to go for six and a half weeks and to begin with it's perfect. The old hut where their parents once lived is still there and they spend their days bathing in the picture-perfect blue lagoon, snorkelling on the coral reef and ending their days watching the spectacular sunsets. It all goes dramatically wrong when their parents are captured by pirates, leaving Hanna and Ned marooned on Kaitan.

Oh, I did enjoy this book. First of all, it's a rollicking good story which is going to appeal to both boys and girls. Once you get into it you'll find it almost impossible to put down. The children's attempts to find their parents bring them into contact with all sorts of people and they have to deal with ancient conflicts and political intrigues and they see more of the area than they ever thought they would. It's going to be devoured by the older confident reader and the younger teenagers.

There's suspense and questions of loyalty and it's up to the children to work out who they can trust in a very tense atmosphere when they're in a race against time as the army works to catch up with them. There are times when it's so tense that you'll find yourself biting your nails.

As if the great story is not enough, David Miller brings the location alive. He's lived for years in Malaysia and Singapore and you can see the benefit in the book. This isn't a book backed by research done on the internet (and there are far too many of them) – the personal knowledge shines out from every page. You'll smell the scruffiness of Kuala Lumpur and feel the heat of Kaitan as they come off the page.

Make certain they have batteries in their torches – this is a book you can't put down until you find out what happens and there's sure to be some reading under the bedclothes.

I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to The Bookbag.

If this book appeals then you might like to have a look at The One That Got Away by Josh Lacey or Sharp Shot by Jack Higgins.

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Buy Shark Island by David Miller at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Shark Island by David Miller at Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy Shark Island by David Miller at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Shark Island by David Miller at


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