Monday, August 28, 2017

MMGM: Nim's Island

Today's Marvelous Middle Grade Monday pick:

Nim's Island, by Wendy Orr
Cover by Chris Riddell
Nim's Island

Written by Wendy Orr
Illustrated by Kerry Millard
Allen & Unwin, 1999
Ages 7-10, Lexile 930L
128 pp, 21500 words

father-daughter relationship, tropical adventure

"In a palm tree, on an island, in the middle of the wide blue sea, was a girl.

"Nim's hair was wild, her eyes were bright, and round her neck she wore three cords. One was for a spyglass, one for a whirly, whistling shell and the other a fat, red pocketknife in a sheath.

"With the spyglass at her eye, she watched her father's boat. It sailed out through the reef to the deeper dark ocean, and Jack turned to wave and Nim waved back, though she knew he couldn't see.

"Then the white sails caught the wind and blew him out of sight, and Nim was alone. For three days and three nights, whatever happened or needed doing, Nim would do it."

Nim is a young girl who lives on a volcanic island with her scientist father. When her dad leaves her alone during a three day expedition, Nim must use all her ingenuity and imagination to tackle the adventures that befall her. She is aided by a seal and an iguana who show remarkable intelligence. In tough times, Nim asks advice from her favorite author via email. Despite the dangers, this scrappy heroine protects her island's inhabitants and herself.

I loved this book, discovering it only after I had seen the movie. When you're looking for capable female characters, consider Nim whose independent spirit, boundless imagination, and generous heart see her through both emotional and physical crises.The story is full of scientific exploration, stewardship principles, and just plain fun.You'll find my review of the movie on last Friday's Summer Drive-In.

1. There are more Nim books by this dynamic author/ illustrator duo. Check out the sequels and collections on Wendy's website.
Nim at Sea,
just one of the available stories
featuring Nim and her friends
2. Looking for books with a similar vibe? You might try the nonfiction Girls Who Looked Under Rocks and Finding Wondersby Jeannine Atkins or Island of the Aunts, by Eva Ibbotson.

Finding Wonders
by Jeannine Atkins,
Cover by Victoria Assanelli
Island of the Aunts,
by Eva Ibbotson
Cover by Kevin Hawkes

3. Other MMGM bloggers recommend

The Unwanteds, by Lisa McMann, reviewed by Shannon Messenger and Michelle Mason.
The Swiss Family Robinson, by Johann Wyss, reviewed here on Bookish Ambition.
Shipwreck Island, by S. A. Bodeen reviewed by The Reading Nook Reviews
The Explorers, by Adrienne Kress and Orphan Island, by Laurel Snyder, both reviewed by Word Spelunking.

4. Liberty Hill House posted all about their chapter-by-chapter classroom activities while they read Nim's Island. You'll find awesome crafts, field trips, and activities. The author also made a companion book with crafts and recipes, available on Amazon Kindle.

Check out the  Summer Drive-In review of the Nim's Island movie, from August 25, 2017.
View all the Summer Drive-In reviews for 2017.

Check out all the recommended titles for Marvelous Middle Grade Monday for August 28, 2017 available on Shannon Messenger's Ramblings of a Wannabe Scribe.

Feel free to leave your MG recommendations in the comments. Thanks!


  1. I've heard of this book but never read it. How fascinating that her father leaves her alone for days and she handles it well. That's girl power, all right!

    1. I think this is a great book for girls, but there's nothing "girly" about it. Perfect for every reader.

  2. I really enjoyed this one! I thought the book was better than the movie.

    1. I agree. I didn't realize there were sequels until I did this review. I am eager read them!!!!!

  3. I never saw the movie but I do remember enjoying this book. The adventure aspect always hooked kids who may otherwise be reluctant readers. Your review makes me want to read this one again.

    1. Thanks for the compliment. Reread or try a sequel, or enjoy reading aloud to some reluctant readers. Any way you crack the book is a winning situation. Thanks.


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