The book I read was The Island by Gary Paulsen. It is about a 15 yearold boy named Wil Neuton who moves with his family to northern Wisconsin.
There he finds an island on Sucker Lake where he stays to learn abouthimself.
Wil likes riding his bike early in the morning. He also likes watchingnature. He is very tall for his age-6 feet 2-but well-built and strong. Heis honest,cares about others and prefers to talk things through thanresort to violence.
The title is good because the book is very much about the island andabout Wil finding himself on this island. The island also becomes a veryprominent point in Wil’s life. By comparison and observation, he learnsthat all things are connected.
An interesting minor character is Emil Aucht. On the morning of hisfirst day in Pinewood Wil wakes up to find Emil staring at him through thewindow. Emil is an old man with one tooth, no hair and ears that stick out.
He chews tobacco and spits brown gunk all over the place. He first appearsin the story to request that Wil help him get his car out of the mud. ThenEmil reappears to fix the plumbing,wrecking Wil’s parents’ nerves in theprocess.
The atmosphere in the story is that of a small hick town in northernWisconsin:open,friendly,relaxed and very laid-back. It strikes me as beingvery much like “cottage country” in northernOntario:lakes,forest,fishing,small town life. The time is the late 1980’s.
The novel ends with Wil seeing that his father is watching him fromshore. Wil rows over and finds that his father is tired and sad,his eyesrimmed with red from crying. Wil invites his father over to the island andrealizes that this saga will only end when Wil finds an island big enoughfor his whole family so they can learn what he has learned.
I feel that the most interesting part of the book is the beginning ofeach chapter where there is a paragraph by Wil himself about life and otherimportant pieces of trivia. It offers insight into Wil’s personality andgives his views on many subjects.
In conclusion,I think this is a good book for people my age. Itstresses the importance of knowing who you are and of saving theenvironment. I enjoyed it and it really made me think.