A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Strong messages about resourcefulness.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that that there is little to be concerned about here, other than the premise of the story, which is that a father leaves his young daughter alone on a deserted island for several days.
Is It Any Good?
This understated, easy-to-read tale, written with a light and loving touch, is a near-perfect middle-grade novel. Take a spunky heroine competently surviving on her own on a deserted island (the ultimate kid fantasy). Add in animal friends who seem to understand, the vaguest of villains hovering in the background and easily overcome, a smattering of scientific information effortlessly absorbed, and a very satisfying conclusion. Then write it in breezy style, making the various pieces of the story fit together in a nicely coincidental, jigsaw-puzzle way. All together it makes for one delightful story.
As with other island survival tales, kids will want to be Nim, and her story will stimulate readers' fantasy lives. Unlike most of those other stories, it adds in touches of fantasy and humor to keep the gritty and sometimes scary reality of survival at a distance. In that way it's more similar to the non-island survival story, My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George. Most of the fantasy comes from the animals which, while still real animals, are usually intelligent and helpful, and are anthropomorphized just enough to turn them into characters.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
Suggest an Update
Our Editors Recommend
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.See how we rate