A very touching story!
I chose this book for my 8 year old son. He read it on his own, while i read it on my own at the same time. I was not sure if he would understand some of the "island" dialect, but as we discussed the book I found that he was not having a problem understanding. The dialect may be a problem for some 8 year olds to understand. My son really enjoyed this story, as did I. It shows how a person can overcome racism, reguardless of what their upbringing was. I wasn't even aware that racism was an issue in this book until we read it, and I was glad for my son to read it and discuss our feelings on the subject. Amidst the turmoil of getting capsized on the island, the young boy takes a blow to the head which renders him blind. The boy learns how to trust the old man, and they have to depend on each other as they only have each other on this tiny island. The old man teaches the boy everything he needs to know to survive on his own just in case. As the story moves on, it is clear there is a growing unconditional love between the two. I feel it is a great book for both child and parent, and if you can find the time to read it and discuss it with your child, DO IT! It is a very touching story that should be read.