The main characters are Luke, Lyssa, Will, Ian, J.J. and Charla. Each of them was enrolled in Charting a New Course, a special program for troubled teens. The six teens will be sailing a small schooner on a month long trip through the ocean off Guam.
At first it appears that the most difficult thing the teens will experience is getting along with each other and the boat's first mate, Mr. Radford, a bully who seems to get a thrill from making the kids work hard. But disaster strikes when a freak storm arises, damaging the ship and washing the captain overboard, never to be seen again. For a time the survivors attempt to save the ship, but when it becomes obvious that the ship is doomed Mr. Radford abandons the teens during the night, taking the life boat and most of the food provisions. Suddenly the teens are facing shipwreck in an ocean that is rarely frequented by planes or ships.
Gordon Korman's “Island, Book One: Shipwreck,” is definitely a thrilling story. The mixture of characters enlivens the plot with their social interactions. The novel's elements of danger and suspense make this story move quickly to its cliff hanger conclusion. I would definitely recommend Gordon Korman's “Island” series to young readers.
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