Oh, Laurel Snyder, you are having a marvelous 2017. First there was CHARLIE & MOUSE, a gorgeous easy reader overflowing with wit and charm (and one of my favorite favorites of the year) - then there was THE FOREVER GARDEN, a lovely tale of an intergenerational friendship forged over a mutual love of gardening - and now there's ORPHAN ISLAND, one of the most singular middle grade books of the year, "a meditation on the power and wisdom and closeness and sorrow of childhood" (Kelly Barnhill). A poignant allegory about the last days of being a kid, Orphan Island is one of those timeless, unique books that will be enjoyed by adults and children equally, but in different ways (making it an ideal choice to be read together). Not to be missed. | On the island, everything is perfect. The sun rises in a sky filled with dancing shapes; the wind, water, and trees shelter and protect those who live there; when the nine children go to sleep in their cabins, it is with full stomachs and joy in their hearts. And only one thing ever changes: on that day, each year, when a boat appears from the mist upon the ocean carrying one young child to join them--and taking the eldest one away, never to be seen again. Today's Changing is no different. The boat arrives, taking away Jinny's best friend, Deen, replacing him with a new little girl named Ess, and leaving Jinny as the new Elder. Jinny knows her responsibility now -- to teach Ess everything she needs to know about the island, to keep things as they've always been. But will she be ready for the inevitable day when the boat will come back--and take her away forever from the only home she's known?