Saturday, April 12, 2014

Kensuke's Kingdom

Premise: Eleven year old Michael is washed up on an island with his dog, Stella. At first they appear to be alone, but soon they realize that someone else is on the island with them. Is he an enemy or a friend? And how will they manage to get back home?

Title: Kensuke's Kingdom
Author: Michael Morpurgo
Length: 176 pages
Genre: Realistic Fiction, survival
Series or Stand Alone: Stand alone
Format: Paperback in classroom library
Content appropriate for: Grades 4-7

Three adjectives that describe this book: believable, engaging, simple

Kensuke's Kingdom is a straight-forward survival story. Michael and his dog, Stella, are only able to survive on the island thanks to the help of a mysterious and possibly dangerous stranger was stranded there many years before.

This short book is rather simple, but totally captivating. The plot is sparse, leaping forward many weeks at a time, but the story really centers on the emerging relationship between Michael and the island's other inhabitant, Kensuke.

One student reviewer called this book "quiet" and I think that's spot-on. Some reviewers have criticized the straight-forward plot and characters, but I think that this really characterizes the book and is one of its strengths. of This is a survival story that will grab many 3rd-7th graders who are hesitant readers. I only wish that the American cover was more appealing!

This review is part of the A to Z Challenge.

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