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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Facts about the natural world are woven into the story of Stranded, such as the "Pacific Ocean is 10,000 miles across." Readers will encounter words like "shoal" and "atoll," learn about building a signal fire, and more.
A group of stepsiblings learns to depend on their natural abilities, their knowledge, and one another.
Positive Role Models
The stepsiblings may not be all that alike -- or particularly fond of one another -- but they do work together to keep one another safe.
Violence & Scariness
There's no explicit violence, but the kids are in a devastating shipwreck and spend much of Stranded in peril.
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Products & Purchases
Stranded was written by the host of TV's Survivor, and there's a brief reference to "survival shows."
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Stranded is the first book in a series written by the host of TV's Survivor (with Chris Tebbetts, co-author of Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life). In the book, four kids -- two pairs of stepsiblings whose parents just married -- are in a devastating shipwreck and spend much of the book in peril on a deserted island. The stepsiblings will have to depend on their natural abilities, personal knowledge, and, most important, one another to survive. Readers will learn facts about the Pacific Ocean and some survival tips, including how to build a signal fire.
Is It Any Good?
The author does a good job of weaving in interesting facts about survival and island geography while also presenting each of the characters' strengths and weaknesses. ("Husky" 11-year-old Buzz, for example, isn't very good at physical challenges but is an innovative problem solver.) There's a lot of setup here as readers learn about each of the step-siblings and experience the devastating storm that takes their boat down. STRANDED is actually about half over before the kids finally get to the island.
The book's themes are obvious, and the kids' initial adventures are pretty predictable (looking for water, trying to power their satellite phone), but there's probably enough here to get readers anticipating the next book in the series. Kids may want to look at a picture of an atoll before reading Stranded so they can picture the stranded tweens' island a bit more clearly.
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.