Reviews provided by Syndetics
Publishers Weekly Review
In a starred review, PW called this novel about a girl living on a remote island "as welcome as a breath of fresh tropical air." Ages 8-12. (June)n (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
School Library Journal Review
Gr 2-5-Nim lives on the most beautiful island in the world (its location is a closely guarded secret) with a marine iguana, a sea lion, and her scientist dad, Jack. When he goes off to explore the world of plankton, the child occupies herself with typical Swiss Family Robinson-like chores and keeping her dad's batteries charged so she can check his e-mail on the laptop computer. When his boat becomes disabled, Nim's link to humanity becomes Alex Rover, the author of the novel she's reading, who has e-mailed Jack with some scientific questions. They correspond frequently, Nim giving Alex advice on building a raft out of coconuts, and Alex uncannily picturing spots on the island in her current book. A violent storm and volcanic eruption toward the end result in Nim saving the day, and the three characters set up life together on their paradise. And all of this occurs amid a clever plan to divert evil tourists from ever finding the island. If readers can suspend belief long enough to accept this plot, they will have a great time with this modern survival/adventure story. Children will love this unshakable, strong female character and the zany things that happen to her. They'll also enjoy the way adults seem to bungle everything. There are plenty of sketches to add visuals to this wild tale, which never loses its momentum. Teachers can springboard many geographic or scientific studies off this novel as they read it aloud, but kids can just enjoy the fun.-Debbie Whitbeck, West Ottawa Public Schools, Holland, MI (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Gr. 3-6. Nim and her father are stranded on a deserted tropical island, and she couldn't imagine a more perfect life. The two rough it in high-tech style. Their home is a wooden hut, their "family" includes a marine iguana and a protective female sea lion, and their meals consist of fish, fruit, and garden veggies, but they communicate with the world, when they want to, via a solar-panel-powered laptop and a cellular phone. Nim finds herself in crisis when she loses contact with her father's boat, a storm strikes, a volcano erupts, and tourists threaten her island paradise, and she turns to a new e-mail correspondent--a homebody author of adventure novels--for advice. Kerry Millard's small pen-and-ink illustrations extend the book's lively humor, action, and fantasy. Suggest this to youngsters seeking a solid, adventurous page-turner and to teachers looking for a fun upper-elementary read-aloud. --Catherine Andronik
Horn Book Review
Nim is content living on a deserted tropical island with her scientist father and a friendly sea lion and iguana for company. When her father's boat is temporarily stranded at sea, Nim begins an e-mail correspondence with Alex Rover, a very unadventurous adventure writer. Their letters, full of humorous misunderstandings, are a delight in an evenly paced narrative. The whimsical illustrations match the story's light tone. From HORN BOOK Fall 2001, (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Kirkus Book Review
A child finds that being alone in a tiny tropical paradise has its ups and downs in this appealingly offbeat tale from the Australian author of Peeling the Onion (1999). Though her mother is long dead and her scientist father Jack has just sailed off on a quick expedition to gather plankton, Nim is anything but lonely on her small island home. Not only does she have constant companions in Selkie, a sea lion, and a marine iguana named Fred, but Chica, a green turtle, has just arrived for an annual egg-layingand, through the solar-powered laptop, she has even made a new e-mail friend in famed adventure novelist Alex Rover. Then a string of mishaps darkens Nims sunny skies: her father loses rudder and dish antenna in a storm; a tourist ship that was involved in her mothers death appears off the islands reefs; and, running down a volcanic slope, Nim takes a nasty spill that leaves her feverish, with an infected knee. Though she lives halfway around the world and is in reality a decidedly unadventurous urbanite, Alex, short for Alexandra, sets off to the rescue, arriving in the midst of another storm that requires Nim and companions to rescue her. Once Jack brings his battered boat limping home, the stage is set for sunny days again. Plenty of comic, freely-sketched line drawings help to keep the tone light, and Nim, with her unusual associates and just-right mix of self-reliance and vulnerability, makes a character young readers wont soon tire of. (Fiction. 10-12)