On the island, everything is perfect. The sun rises in a sky filled with dancing shapes; the wind, water, and trees shelter and protect those who live there; when the nine children go to sleep in their cabins, it is with full stomachs and joy in their hearts.
And only one thing ever changes: on that day, each year, when a boat appears from the mist upon the ocean carrying one young child to join them—and taking the eldest one away, never to be seen again.
Today’s Changing is no different. The boat arrives, taking away Jinny’s best friend, Deen, replacing him with a new little girl named Ess, and leaving Jinny as the new Elder. Jinny knows her responsibility now—to teach Ess everything she needs to know about the island, to keep things as they’ve always been.
But will she be ready for the inevitable day when the boat will come back—and take her away forever from the only home she’s known?
Acclaimed author Laurel Snyder returns with a powerful, original, unforgettable story of growing up—the things we fight to hold on to, and the things we struggle to let go. A National Book Award Longlist title.
Laurel Snyder is a poet, essayist, and author of picture books and novels for children, including Orphan Island, Charlie and Mouse, Bigger than a Bread Box, and Swan, the Life and Dance of Anna Pavlova. She is also a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and a faculty member of Hamline University’s MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults. She lives in Atlanta with her family and can be found online at www.laurelsnyder.com.
“Through the precocious Jinny, Snyder delivers a contemplative commentary on the transition from childhood to adolescence, and from ignorance to awareness.”
- Publishers Weekly
"This charming, engrossing tale set in a vividly realized world is expertly paced and will appeal to fans of wilderness adventure stories and character-driven relationship novels alike."
- Kirkus Reviews
"A unique and compelling story about nine children who live with no adults on a mysterious island. Anyone who has ever been scared of leaving their family will love this book"
"This is one of those books that haunts you long after you read it. Thought-provoking and magical."
- Rick Riordan, author of the Percy Jackson series
“Laurel Snyder has written a story that curls around the heart and pulls in tight—a meditation on the power and wisdom and closeness and sorrow of childhood. A wondrous book, wise and wild and deeply true. I loved every second of it.”
- Kelly Barnhill, Newbery Medal-winning author of The Girl Who Drank the Moon
Click below for a free educator’s guide for Laurel Snyder’s Orphan Island.
Published by Walden Pond Press an Imprint of HarperCollins Publishers