Lord of the Flies for a new generation, X-Isle is a compelling thriller about boys, friendship and the power of farts.
Steve Augarde was born in Birmingham, but spent most of his life in the West Country, working as an illustrator, paper-engineer, and semi-pro jazz musician. He has written and illustrated over 70 picture-books for younger children, and has produced the paper-engineering for many pop-up books, including those by other artists - as well as providing the artwork and music for two animated BBC television series. His first book for older children, THE VARIOUS, won a Silver Smarties Award in 2003.
Two years after floods have drowned most of the world, Baz's best hope for survival is to bargain for passage to Eck's Isle-nicknamed X Isle-a former school where it's rumored boys get three meals a day and a safe bed in exchange for work. But in reality, the boys are forced to compete for food, the "capos" supervising them are brutal, the Eck brothers tyrannical, and the leader, Preacher John, a madman. When boys start dying, the survivors realize they must make terrible choices-and take even worse risks-to have any chance of surviving long enough to regain their freedom. Augarde's near-future apocalyptic world is gruesomely hardscrabble without being overly graphic. It edges to the brink of Lord of the Flies territory but Augarde (the Touchstone Trilogy) never fails to display the boys' humanity, even during the most inhuman of moments. The story turns nerve-wracking when the boys set their freedom plan in motion, and it doesn't duck the moral consequences of their actions. A gripping tale of fighting for the slenderest chance of hope. Ages 12-up. (July) Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.
Gr 7 Up-A catastrophic flood has covered the world, leaving most of human civilization underwater. Life on the mainland is so hard that survivors compete to have their young sons taken away to an offshore island. It is rumored that on this island, used as a base for divers who scavenge underwater warehouses, the chosen boys must work for their keep but are safe and well fed. However, when Baz's father manages to win him passage with a valuable bribe, Baz finds that island conditions are much worse than he expected. He and the other boys live in a single filthy room. They are worked to the point of exhaustion, barely fed, and sometimes tortured. Preacher John, the island's leader and a self-appointed prophet, begins to use his Sunday sermons to suggest that God demands human sacrifice to make the flood waters recede. The boys' lives may be in danger, and they slowly begin to formulate a plan to turn the tables on their oppressors. A last-minute plot twist, though heavily foreshadowed, isn't quite worked through. But readers looking for grit, suspense, and a good underdog story will find much here to enjoy.-Hayden Bass, Seattle Public Library, WA Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.
"Totally emotional and a truly captivating read. I give this book five out of five" Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books "This is an excellent book; everything that Steve Augarde does is to a high standard. The characterisation, world building, narrative and pacing are all spot on and the result is a fantasy thriller that will appeal to teenagers all around the world" Fantasy Book Review "Billed as Lord of the Flies for the new generation, this book is dark, disturbing, compelling and utterly brilliant" Rosie Scribble